Volkswagen is facing stiffer headwinds after shareholders leveled new lawsuits Thursday against the beleaguered German automaker because of its emissions-cheating scandal which was revealed in September.
Damages sought against the company amount to $5.6 billion, or nearly five billion euros. The company is facing even heavier damages in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice sued VW in January for $46 billion.
The two law firms representing the shareholders say they’re seeking $2.8 billion (2.5 billion euros) in damages.
In September, VW acknowledged it installed “defeat device” in many of its most popular vehicles, including the Beetle and Porsche Cayenne, expressly to curb smog-producing nitrous oxide emissions.
The scandal animated both environmentalists and consumer advocates.
It is widely believed that nitrous oxide gas causes ground-level ozone and global warming, as well as asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
In December, a Chinese environmentalist group calling itself the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation filed a public interest lawsuit against VW.
The group stated on its website that VW “produced the problematic vehicles for the pursuit of higher profits and circumvented Chinese laws, which has worsened the air pollution and has affected public health and rights.”
More than three billion of VW’s 11 billion vehicles are sold in China.
The new round of lawsuits from shareholders heaps more pain on Germany’s powerhouse, which is still reeling from a three billion euro lawsuit made by 278 plaintiffs last week at the court of Brunswick, a northern city close to VW’s headquarters.
Cross-posted from: The Daily Caller Foundation