Shareholders Sue to Access GM Records on Emissions Compliance

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By Yin Wilczek

Shareholders are suing General Motors Co. to access documents they say may shed light on whether directors allowed the company to illegally evade emissions standards.

Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and other automobile manufacturers have been accused of rigging their diesel vehicles to pass pollution tests. VW, for one, has paid about $30 billion over the last two years to address regulatory, shareholder, and consumer complaints about the scandal.

The shareholders’ complaint, filed Nov. 6 in the Delaware Chancery Court, said that according to media reports, testing undertaken in a consumer class action showed that “GM’s vehicles also violated emissions standards via defeat devices in a manner similar to Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, and Fiat Chrysler America” ( Cutler v. General Motors Co. , Del. Ch., No. 2017-0781-TMR, complaint filed 11/6/17 ).

The documents they seek include the company’s guidelines and policies in the U.S. for its diesel vehicles and those produced in response to law enforcement industry-wide investigations related to the VW scandal. They said GM responded to their initial demands but rebuffed subsequent requests for additional material.

Under Delaware law, stockholders may inspect a company’s books and records for any “proper” purpose.

A GM representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The shareholders are represented by P. Bradford deLeeuw from Rosenthal, Monhait & Goddess PA, Wilmington, Del.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yin Wilczek in Washington at ywilczek@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bna.com

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