DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kendall Law Group, led by former federal judge Joe Kendall, announces that a federal securities fraud class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of an institutional investor in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Detroit Division against Volkswagen AG (OTCMKTS: VLKAY) (OTCMKTS: VLKPY) (OTCMKTS: VLKAF), Volkswagen Group of America and certain of its officers and directors for violations of the federal securities laws. Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of all persons or entities that purchased shares of Volkswagen ordinary and/or preferred American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) of Volkswagen AG between November 19, 2010, and September 21, 2015 (the “Class Period”).
If you are a shareholder who purchased Volkswagen securities during the Class Period, you have until November 24, 2015, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff’s counsel, Joe Kendall of the Kendall Law Group at 877-744-3728 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.
Volkswagen is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world. The Company is headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany and sells vehicles in 153 countries. Volkswagen is the parent company of twelve brands, including Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley, SEAT, SKODA, Porsche, Lamborghini, Scania, MAN and Ducati. Volkswagen is the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Europe, but Volkswagen also has a strong presence in the United States, with a market share of 70% of all diesel cars sold in the United States.
The Complaint alleges that prior to and during the Class Period, defendants engaged in a scheme to defraud and made numerous materially false and misleading statements and omissions to investors regarding the Company’s operations and its business and financial condition and outlook. Specifically, defendants misled investors by failing to disclose that the Company had utilized a “defeat device” in certain of its diesel cars that allowed such cars to temporarily reduce emissions during testing, while achieving higher performance and fuel economy, as well as discharging dramatically higher emissions, when testing was not being conducted. The use of this device allowed Volkswagen to market its diesel vehicles to environmentally conscious consumers, increasing its sale of diesel cars in the United States and abroad and, as a result, its profitability. As a result of defendants’ scheme and false and misleading statements and omissions, Volkswagen’s ordinary and preferred ADRs traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, reaching highs of $54.82 and $56.55 per ADR, respectively, on December 30, 2013.
The truth regarding defendants’ false and misleading statements and omissions and scheme to defraud was revealed to investors and the markets through several shocking disclosures and news reports. On September 18, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a Notice of Violation (“NOV”). The NOV stated that defendants had installed sophisticated software in Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles sold in the United States that could detect when the vehicle was undergoing official emissions testing and turn the full emissions controls on only during the test. At all other times, however, the emissions controls were deactivated, meaning that pollution was freely released into the environment at levels exceeding those allowed by federal and state clean air regulators. This software produced and used by Volkswagen is a “defeat device” as defined by the Clean Air Act.
That same day, The New York Times published a front-page article entitled “U.S. Orders Major VW Recall Over Emissions Test Trickery.” The article reported that the Company had “illegally installed software in its diesel-power cars to evade standards for reducing smog” and that Volkswagen had “admitted to the use of a so-called defeat device. The recall involves 4 cylinder Volkswagen and Audi vehicles from model years 2009-2015.” The article also reported that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) had opened an investigation and that fines of as much as $18 billion could be imposed as a result of defendants’ misconduct.
In the days following these disclosures, which began to reveal the relevant truth that had previously been concealed from the market, Volkswagen’s share price collapsed. Specifically, between September 17, 2015, and September 22, 2015, the price of Volkswagen’s ordinary ADRs plummeted over 33%, from a close of $38.03 per share on September 17, 2015, to $25.44 per share on September 22, 2015. Volkswagen’s preferred ADRs declined from a close of $38.05 per share on September 17, 2015, to a close of $23.98 per share on September 22, 2015.
These price declines have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to Volkswagen ADR investors, who relied on the accuracy of defendants’ statements and suffered damages when the truth began to be revealed. Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of Volkswagen ADRs during the Class Period (the “Class”). Plaintiff is represented by Joe Kendall of the Kendall Law Group, which has extensive experience in prosecuting investor class actions including actions involving financial fraud.
The Kendall Law Group was founded by former federal judge Joe Kendall. It is a boutique trial law firm staffed by a former U.S. Attorney, federal law clerks, and experienced securities lawyers. Led by Joe Kendall, the group of experienced and highly specialized practitioners brings value-added assistance to their clients in complex class action, securities, and business litigation matters. Since 2002, in class action securities fraud cases, the lawyers at Kendall Law Group have participated in obtaining over $1 billion dollar for shareholders.