BMW Class Action Lawsuit

Company Name
Stock Symbol
Class Period
November 3, 2015 to September 24, 2020
District of New Jersey

Case Summary

The BMW class action lawsuit charges Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft, BMW (US) Holding Corp. (“BMW US”) and certain of their officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and seeks to represent purchasers or acquirers of Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft  (“BMW”) securities between November 3, 2015 and September 24, 2020, inclusive (the “Class Period”).  The BMW class action lawsuit was commenced on October 27, 2020 in the District of New Jersey and is captioned Spanier v. Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft, No. 20-cv-15081.

BMW, together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and sells automobiles and motorcycles and spare parts and accessories worldwide.

The BMW class action lawsuit alleges that throughout the Class Period defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) BMW kept a “bank” of retail vehicle sales that it used to meet internal monthly sales targets regardless of when the sales actually occurred; (2) BMW artificially manipulated sales figures by having dealers register cars as sold when the cars were still in inventory; and (3) BMW’s key operating metrics were inaccurate and misleading due to the forgoing facts.  When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

On December 23, 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) was probing BMW’s sales practices, and stated, among other things, that: “The [SEC] is looking into whether the Munich-based auto maker engaged in a practice known as sales punching in the U.S., the people said.  Sale punching occurs when a company boosts sales figures by having dealers register cars as sold when the vehicles actually are still standing on car lots.”  On this news, the price of BMW’s American Depository Receipts declined, damaging investors.

Then, on September 24, 2020, the SEC announced a settlement agreement with BMW regarding the investigation.  According to the SEC’s order, from January 2015 to March 2017, BMW US “used its demonstrator and service loaner programs to boost reported retail sales volume and meet internal targets, resulting in demonstrator and loaner vehicles accounting for over one quarter of BMW [US]’s reported retail sales in this period.”  One this news, the price of BMW’s American Depository Receipts declined, further damaging investors.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is one of the world’s leading law firms representing investors in securities class action litigation.  With 200 lawyers in 9 offices, Robbins Geller has obtained many of the largest securities class action recoveries in history.  For seven consecutive years, ISS Securities Class Action Services has ranked the Firm in its annual SCAS Top 50 Report as one of the top law firms in the world in both amount recovered for shareholders and total number of class action settlements.  Robbins Geller attorneys have helped shape the securities laws and have recovered tens of billions of dollars on behalf of aggrieved victims.  Beyond securing financial recoveries for defrauded investors, Robbins Geller also specializes in implementing corporate governance reforms, helping to improve the financial markets for investors worldwide.  Robbins Geller attorneys are consistently recognized by courts, professional organizations and the media as leading lawyers in the industry.

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