Norway’s $850bn oil fund to sue Volkswagen over emission scandal
May 15, 2016 10:16 PM EDT
The world's largest sovereign wealth fund from Norway is planning to sue German car manufacturer Volkswagen AG over the effect of its controversial emission scandal.
In the coming weeks, the $850 billion oil fund is set to join the set of class-action lawsuits filed against Volkwagen AG. Similar to most lawsuits against the company, this also stems from its diesel emission violations, which broke last September and has led to it taking €16bn in provisions already.
"We have been advised by our lawyers that the company's conduct gives rise to legal claims under German law. As an investor it is our responsibility to safeguard the fund's holding in Volkswagen," chief investment officer for equity strategies at Norges Bank Investment Management Petter Johnsen said, as quoted by Business Insider.
"Volkswagen management should have known about the manipulative engine-management devices," Johnsen added.
The Norweigian oil fund, which CNBC noted as the carmaker's fourth-largest shareholder, has already informed VW's supervisory board chairman, Hans Dieter Pötsch, of its decision to take legal action. However, the automaker declined to comment.
In 2015, Norway's wealth fund stated that Volkswagen, which admitted that it has improperly installed engine control units (ECU) to its cars in order to cheat exhaust emissions test, had contributed to a loss of 4.9 billion crowns in the fund's second quarter.
According to BBC, Volkswagen AG already achieved a close to $10 billion deal with the United States government in April to but back and fix nearly 500,000 diesel cars and establish environmental and consumer compensation funds.
Meanwhile, the largest wealth fund also recently turned up the heat on US oil giants, Exxon Mobil and Chevron, to exert more effort on its report on the risks of climate change.
The fund which was notably built from Norway's oil and gas wealth had also made similar demands from oil firms worldwide.