Five German automakers are once again facing a proposed class action alleging they engaged in anti-competitive behavior to suppress competition and raise prices of their vehicles. The newest lawsuit, filed in Virginia, names the following companies as defendants: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG; BMW North America, LLC; 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; and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC.
The suit alleges that the defendants, who the complaint describes as “the oldest and largest auto manufacturers in Germany,” engaged in thousands of secret meetings during which they shared non-public information about every aspect of designing and manufacturing their vehicles. The result, according to the complaint, was that the defendants slowed the progression of innovation and placed a greater financial burden on their customers. The plaintiff, a Louisiana car dealership, alleges that it was unlawfully forced to pay a higher price for the defendants’ vehicles than it would have paid in a competitive market.