This is a securities class action against Volkswagen AG, its wholly owned subsidiaries Volkswagen Group of America and Volkswagen Group of America Finance (together, “Volkswagen”), and certain senior executives (collectively “Defendants”). This lawsuit asserts claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired U.S.-issued debt securities (Bonds) of Volkswagen between May 23, 2014 and September 22, 2015, inclusive (the “Class Period”).
This action alleges that during the Class Period, Defendants made false and misleading statements and material omissions in its public statements as well as its offering memoranda in connection with the Bond Offerings regarding Volkswagen’s operations, its business and finances, and its outlook. Specifically, Defendants caused the Bonds to trade at artificially inflated prices by failing to disclose that Volkswagen secretly installed an illegal “defeat device” in certain of its popular selling diesel cars that allowed such cars to deliberately cheat U.S. emissions tests and make its diesel cars appear cleaner and more powerful than they actually are. The use of a defeat device assisted Volkswagen’s marketing to environmentally conscious consumers to increase sales of diesel cars, while evading emissions regulations and standards. When the fraud was revealed in September 2015, there was an immediate impact on the financial health of Volkswagen, and with it the price of the Bonds.
On October 11, 2016, the Honorable Charles R. Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California appointed AF&T’s client, Puerto Rico Government Employees and Judiciary Retirement Systems Administration (“PRGERS”), as Lead Plaintiff, and appointed AF&T as Lead Counsel.