A proposed antitrust class action filed against the below defendants on August 21 claims the companies, as a “German Auto Cartel,” colluded for decades to suppress competition in the auto industry while still charging customers premium prices for their vehicles:
- Volkswagen AG
- Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
- Audi AG
- Audi of America, LLC
- Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG
- Porsche Cars of North America, Inc.
- Daimler AG
- Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC
- Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
- Mercedes-Benz Vans, LLC
- Bayerische Motoren Werke AG
- BMW of North America, LLC
Despite repeated public promises, the above defendants, the lawsuit claims, have illegally colluded with one another by, for example, agreeing to limit the size of urea tanks in diesel-engine vehicles and the top speed at which soft-top convertibles can be opened. Such understandings, the case argues, have “freed up time and capital for the German Auto Cartel” while both relieving the companies from the strain of continually needing to innovate and allowing them to charge customers top dollar for their vehicles.