Legal risks

Various legal proceedings, claims and governmental investigations (legal proceedings) are pending against Daimler AG and its subsidiaries on a wide range of topics, including vehicle safety, emissions, fuel economy, financial services, dealer, supplier and other contractual relationships, intellectual property rights, product warranties, environmental matters and shareholder matters. Some of these proceedings allege defects in various components in several different vehicle models or allege design defects relating to vehicle stability, pedal misapplication, brakes or crashworthiness. Some of the claims asserted by way of class action suits seek repair or replacement of the vehicles or compensation for their alleged reduction in value, while others seek recovery for damage to property, personal injuries or wrongful death. Adverse decisions in one or more of these proceedings could require us to pay substantial compensatory and punitive damages or undertake service actions, recall campaigns or other costly actions. Some of these proceedings may have an impact on the Group’s reputation.

We recognize provisions for these proceedings if the resulting obligations are probable and can be reasonably estimated. It is possible, as these proceedings are connected with a large degree of uncertainty, that after the final resolution of litigation, some of the provisions we have recognized for legal proceedings could prove to be insufficient. As a result, substantial additional expenditures may arise. This also applies to legal proceedings for which the Group has seen no requirement to recognize a provision. Although the final result of any such litigation may influence the Group’s earnings and cash flows in any particular period, Daimler believes that any resulting obligations are unlikely to have a sustained effect on the Group’s cash flows, financial position or profitability. Further information on legal proceedings can be found in Note 28 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.