Class action against over-priced trucks grows

Munich, Germany: The Road Haulage Association’s class action against truck manufacturers claiming over-charging has grown.

Deutsche Bahn is leading dozens of German companies in a lawsuit for damages from a cartel of truck manufacturers.

Today, Deutsche Bahn filed a lawsuit in Munich against Daf, Daimler, Iveco, MAN and Volvo/Renault. The lawsuit comes after the European Commission last year fined a truck cartel involving Europe’s five biggest truck makers — Daimler, Daf, Iveco, MAN and Volvo/Renault. The truck makers illegally agreed on gross list prices for trucks between 1997 and 2011 and received fines totalling €3.8bn.

The case established that the truck manufacturers had illegally agreed on gross list prices, delayed the introduction of new technologies to reduce emissions and passed the costs for these technologies on to the customers.
Deutsche Bahn has joined its claim with that of the German Armed Forces, which also had been “severely affected”, and 40 or so corporations, including airport operators and logistics companies, have also assigned their claims to DB.

The lates claim covers some 35,000 trucks, bought at a cost of more than €2bn according to media reports. Claimants could receive some€6,785) per truck, which in Deutsche Bahn’s case could result in damages of some €237m – the German company said that at DB Schenker alone, several thousand trucks were affected.

In the UK, the Road Haulage Association urges hauliers to come forward and join its own legal action against the manufacturers. It is working with law firm Backhouse Jones and insurance broker Therium Capital Management, which is underwriting the fees.