Volkswagen is in new trouble in the U.S. market, as a supplier is suing the German car maker of stealing its hybrid technology.
Eight month after the first publication about the so-called Dieselgate, an American motor company complains against VW, claiming the german carmaker stole a hybrid car technology from Paice, a car supplier company based in Baltimore.
Paice accused VW to violate its patent rights for of the three VW-owned care brands like Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche. VW allegedly used the technology from Paice in more than 19,000 cars sold since 2010, but Volkswagen didn’t have the permission to do so.
From 2001 to 2004, Volkswagen and Paice formed a collaboration to develope hybrid motors, which came to an abrupt stop, Paice filed in a report. And Volkswagen still used the licensed technology of Paice without paying any fee.
Now with the legal action, Paice is trying to stop the sales of VW’s hybrid vehicles in the U.S. The CEO of Paice, Robert Oswald, was previously the CEO of the U.S. operation of the German car supplier Bosch. He knows the management of Volkswagen very well. A part of his strategy seems to be winning the court processes. Last October, Hyundai and Kia lost in a patent infringement case against Paice. Another legal proceeding between Ford and Paice is still pending.
For the image of Volkswagen, the new patent infringement accusation is a disaster. The reputation of the brand has been going down because of the illegal software that Volkswagen has used in its diesel cars to reduce the emissions. The result of this case is a terrible financial result for 2015 which Volkswagen reported last week. If they are now in trouble with the next technology-the hybrid motors-the company has no more ideas how to solve its crisis.