BERLIN (Reuters) - The German states of Hesse and Baden Wuerttemberg are considering joining Bavaria in suing Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) for damages caused by its emissions-test cheating scandal.
Shares in VW, Europe’s largest automaker, plunged in the wake of the revelation of the cheating by U.S. regulators last September, hitting the state coffers and pension funds of German states.
Baden-Wuerttemberg, where Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and VW’s sports-car brand Porsche are headquartered, has been pondering legal action against VW, a spokeswoman for the state finance ministry said on Wednesday, adding it held about 65,000 VW preference shares when the scandal broke.
Hesse also said it was considering legal steps against Volkswagen, while Schleswig-Holstein, North Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate and the city state of Berlin said they were not considering legal steps.
Germany’s Finance Ministry also said it was not considering legal action on a federal level.
VW is caught up in legal action in the United States, South Korea and elsewhere, and faces billions of dollars in costs related to its emissions-test manipulations - the biggest scandal in its history.
Bavaria’s state pension fund for civil servants lost as much as 700,000 euros ($780,00) after VW shares plunged, the state said yesterday, adding it planned to file its suit in September at the regional court of Braunschweig near VW’s Wolfsburg headquarters in the state of Lower Saxony.
Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Alexandra Hudson