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Firm Files Lawsuit Against German Auto Manufacturers

The firm’s Warren T. Burns has filed suit in Alexandria, Virginia, against the five leading German automakers for engaging in a price-fixing conspiracy.

Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler-Benz, Audi, and Porsche dominate the German automobile market, exporting hundreds of thousands of popular models to the United States each year.  In July 2017, with government investigators hot on its trail, Volkswagen disclosed a conspiracy between the automakers designed to eliminate competition.

“For over two decades, the German car manufacturers reaped huge premiums by selling the world on the story that fierce competition between the brands resulted in superior products,” Burns said.  “That story was a lie—plain and simple.”

According to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the German automakers conspired over practically “every aspect of automotive engineering.”  By engaging in the conspiracy, the defendants hoped to eliminate competition between the manufacturers and to increase their profit margins.

The new allegations follow on the revelation in 2015 that Volkswagen had installed secret “cheat” devices in its diesel cars designed to satisfy standards during emissions testing, even though the vehicles failed to meet those standards during ordinary operations.

Burns filed suit on behalf of a nationwide class of German automobile dealership owners.  The plaintiffs allege that the German manufacturers violated the United States antitrust laws. As a result, the plaintiffs paid higher prices for the German vehicles than they would have in a competitive market.

Numerous suits have been filed across the country on behalf of consumers.  All the cases have recently been consolidated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California—the same court handling the Volkswagen “Dieselgate” litigation.

“This suit and Dieselgate before it demonstrate that the German auto industry is rotten at its core,” Burns said.  “We are going to do everything we can to ensure that our clients are compensated for their damages.”

The case is Audubon Imports, LLC v. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, et al., 1:17-cv-01127 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.