German states of Hesse, Baden-Wuerttemberg sue VW over dieselgate

September 16, 2016 3:26 AM EDT

A VW sign is seen outside a Volkswagen dealership in London, Britain, November 5, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File photo

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The German states of Hesse and Baden-Wuerttemberg said on Friday they would sue Volkswagen for damages over its "dieselgate" emissions-test cheating scandal, joining a swathe of equities investors seeking compensation.

Volkswagen (VW) shares plunged last September after Europe's largest automaker admitted to cheating U.S. diesel emissions tests, hitting the state coffers and pension funds of German states among other investors.

Hesse Finance Minister Thomas Schaefer said in a statement the drop in VW's share price had cost the state about 3.9 million euros ($4.4 million).

Baden-Wuerttemberg, where VW's sports-car brand Porsche and rival Daimler are headquartered, also said it would sue, estimating it had lost around 400,000 euros.

Bavaria's state pension fund for civil servants said last month it had lost as much as 700,000 euros after VW shares plunged, adding it planned to file its suit this month at the regional court of Braunschweig near VW's Wolfsburg headquarters in the state of Lower Saxony.

A spokesman for the Braunschweig court said on Friday so far about 450 suits had been filed.

(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde, Ilona Wissenbach and Sabine Wollrab; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter)

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