Vancouver Alumni Asset Holdings, Inc. v. Daimler AG

Updated: March 17, 2017
Status: Ongoing Case

We lead the prosecution in a securities class action against Mercedes-Benz manufacturer Daimler AG for its use of emission testing “defeat devices.”

On July 20, 2016, Labaton Sucharow was appointed as lead counsel in this securities class action against one of Germany’s “Big Three” car makers, Daimler AG.

The action alleges that Daimler AG made misleading and false representations concerning its characterization of Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC diesel engine vehicles as being “clean” and environmentally friendly, and whether those vehicles used defeat devices. In real world driving scenarios, Mercedes-Benz vehicles emitted much higher levels of nitrous oxide than permitted under applicable emissions testing regulations.

On September 21, 2015, Transport & Environment published an article that compiled emission data indicating that certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles potentially produce illegal levels of emissions, signaling the presence of defeat devices. On this news, the price of Daimler ADRS fell approximately 7 percent from its previous closing price on September 22, 2015.

The fallout from Transport & Environment’s exposure of Mercedes-Benz’s use of defeat devices led to a consumer class action lawsuit filing and regulatory investigations by the EPA and DOJ, all accompanied by additional share price drops.

The amended consolidated class action complaint was filed on October 11, 2016. The defendants filed two motions to dismiss (for failure to state a claim and lack of personal jurisdiction), and lead counsel has filed opposition briefs. Oral argument on the motions is scheduled for May 15, 2017.  

The case is Vancouver Alumni Asset Holdings, Inc. v. Daimler AG, No. 16-cv-2942 (C.D. Cal.). Labaton Sucharow represents the lead plaintiff Public School Retirement System of the School District of Kansas City, Missouri. The defendants are Daimler AG, Mercedes USA, and certain individual defendants.