Car giant Volkswagen faces its first legal action in Germany from a big corporate client over the dieselgate scandal.
Deutsche See, which leases 500 vehicles from the German automaker, said it had been unable to reach an out-of-court settlement, Reuters reported.
VW is involved in numerous lawsuits from individual owners, regulators, states and dealers, many of them class-action cases in the US.
The company promotes itself as environmentally friendly, and in 2010 won an award for being Germany’s “most sustainable company”.
It said in a statement: “Deutsche See only went into partnership with VW because VW promised the most environmentally friendly, sustainable mobility concept.”
According to German media, Deutsche See filed its complaint for “malicious deception” at the regional court in Braunschweig, near VW’s Wolfsburg headquarters.
On February 5, VW declined to comment on the reports.
It admitted in September 2015 that it had used software to cheat diesel-emissions tests in the US.
VW is now embroiled in investigations across the world, and will have to spend a huge amount of money to settle claims and put the engines right.
The cost of settlements and fines in the US alone are approaching $20 billion.