Settlement agreement between Volkswagen and investors gets green light

By Charmaine Little | Dec 5, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted a motion for a preliminary approval of a settlement after a number of Volkswagen investors sued the company for allegedly violating federal security laws.

A number of entities that invested in Volkswagen-sponsored American Depository Receipts accused Volkswagen AG (VWAG), related corporate entities and management of infringing on securities laws when it allegedly made false and misleading statements about the company’s financial status, regulatory compliance and supposed promise to design eco-friendly vehicles, according to court documents.

After taking part in discovery for a majority of 2017, both parties have reached a settlement agreement, which the court has approved.

The court first conditionally OKed the class before it went on to approve the settlement. VWAG is required to give $48 million to a settlement fund, which will help pay the plaintiffs’ court costs. The rest of the balance will be given to class members who file valid claims.

The class includes “all persons and entities in the U.S. or elsewhere who purchased or otherwise acquired VWAG Ordinary American Depositary Receipts and/or VWAG Preferred American Depository Receipts,” according to the lawsuit. The term in question starts on Nov. 19, 2010 through Jan. 4, 2016.

The court scheduled a fairness hearing for May 10, and the class counsel has until April 5 to file a motion for final approval, and until May 3 to file any necessary replies.

U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer approved the settlement.

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