Automotive Manufacturers Pursue Action against Driving Empire for Infringement of Intellectual Property: AN INSIDER LOOK

Reported on 1st of September | 200k+ views

Updated on: 1st of November
Editor Note: Part 2 is released - Bentley + BMW Group + General Motors + Hyundai + Lucid + Stellantis + Toyota/Lexus

Background: In a past controversy, Driving Empire has been called out for implementing loot-boxes, which act as a form of gambling, making it outlawed in several countries including China, The Netherlands, and Belgium. As a result, car manufacturers have taken interest in the activities of Driving Empire and have taken action against Driving Empire for the infringement of intellectual property, which resulted in mass removals and refunds for the content removed. The team behind this game is Voldex, which purchased the game from its previous owner, Bourgist. The Insider Look has obtained exclusive statements from these car manufacturers on this issue.

Screenshot of Driving Empire's Crate System. This has caused anger and controversy amongst players of Driving Empire and is the heavily speculated reason for removal of vehicles.

Screenshot of Driving Empire's Crate System. Two rare cars surround one common car, giving the impression of being very close to winning. 


Back when Driving Empire introduced loot-boxes, the player base went crazy. The result of this was people messaging different automotive manufacturers to take action against Driving Empire for using their models in-game. That time has passed, but it seems the issue has resurfaced once again. The abundant number of manufacturers taking action is staggering. The Insider Look has been watching this very closely and have been in contact with several car manufacturers to navigate the current situation.

The main reason for the removal of the car models from Driving Empire seem to stem from infringement of Intellectual Property. This refers to designs, trademarks, and patents owned by the respective brands, and unlicensed to Driving Empire. Various takedowns and notices have been posted to Voldex Inc. (Driving Empire's Development Company) to remove the infringed intellectual property from the game. 

The fact that Driving Empire has introduced loot-boxes has zero consideration from any manufacturer we have spoken to thus far. The mechanisms may have been mentioned but are in no part the reason for taking action against the infringement of intellectual property by Driving Empire.


The crate system implemented in Driving Empire is of huge controversy. There are two crates, one paid with Robux and one with in-game money. The Robux option will cost around $8 US Dollars / € 7.4 Euro. These crates give players the chance to win multiple cars, but as with all gambling mechanisms, they function in a way that keeps players spending. These crates give out a bad car (1-3 stars) but surround good cars (4-5 stars) around the bad car to give players the feeling of nearly winning.

Furthermore, Driving Empire is currently rated for "All Ages" on Roblox, citing ethical concerns for children who can easily be taunted to spend a massive amount of money on these crates. Roblox themselves have stated that gambling mechanisms are prohibited, and Driving Empire seems to cross the line into breaking those rules.


When it comes to requesting and obtaining the rights to use the intellectual property of manufacturers, this is usually done through licensing. Although the way in which licensing works is usually kept in the dark from the public, it can be assumed to be in the hundreds of thousands, scaling in terms of exposure and growth of a specific game. This is an approach that Driving Empire or other games in-general can take to secure the legal use of intellectual property and to avoid legal action.


The result of these actions by different car manufacturers saw refunds issued by Voldex as an apology for having had to remove these cars. While players are left wondering why this has resurfaced, we have been in contact with car manufacturers to find out the details and statements they have made in this matter. The Insider Look has reached out to Voldex/Driving Empire and we did not receive any comment on this matter, even after contacting them for several days.


We have learned a lot about the developments of this story from both the community as well as car manufacturers. We have obtained insights and exclusive statements for the public from car manufacturers, and we will break it all down brand-by-brand to give readers an insight into the behind the scenes.

We must emphasize that this article is to be continued, with further edits added as we receive news from spokespersons in different car companies. We have received news from other spokespersons, however, as to not jeopardize this investigation and their actions (if any), we will not report on this until all is done.

Audi AG

Audi is a member/subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. A notable sibling of Audi is Lamborghini, which has taken action against Driving Empire in the past. 

Unlike the other manufacturers in this article, Audi's intellectual property extends to the Audi logo, which was seen removed from the game before the vehicles themselves. 

During the initial review itself, Audi was made aware of the various trademarks belonging to Audi, being used in Driving Empire. When asked for a comment, Audi's Communications Team provided us with the following on behalf of Audi AG:

"We have checked the matter and confirm infringement of our IP by the game "Driving Empire" on Roblox. Therefore, we will initiate effective measures to stop such infringement." - Audi AG

With that initial statement made, we worked with Audi on this matter and as things progressed, we received confirmation that Audi has taken action against Driving Empire. Audi has provided us with the following statement: 

"The game "Driving Empire" on Roblox clearly infringed trademarks and designs of Audi. After taken concrete measures against those infringements Roblox has deleted all relevant content in the game. In addition, we have established a sustainable monitoring solution to detect possible further trademark and design infringements at an early stage and to take action against them. In general: many of our Audi models have an iconic character – for us and for our customers. It is therefore a matter of course for us to protect the valuable intellectual property associated with it and to prevent any misuse." - Audi AG Spokesperson

While initially Audi only removed brand logos, the company was quick in their response to further their actions for full removal. This shows the vast effectiveness and responsiveness of Audi as a leading car manufacturer in the luxury-sports car brands. 

Bentley Motors Limited

Bentley is a British automotive manufacturer owned by the Volkswagen Group. Bentley spent quite some time removing their intellectual property in the game, however, The Insider Look was notified that they were actively investigating.

After following up with spokespersons that held a higher position in Volkswagen rather than Bentley, they assured us that everything would be taken care of accordingly. Soon enough, Bentley was removed from the game.

As a result of that removal, the Volkswagen Group gave this statement:

"Volkswagen defends itself against any unlawful infringement of its own Intellectual Property Rights. This is true in particular for iconic models and trademarks being used without any consent of the proprietor." - Volkswagen AG

BMW Group (BMW / Rolls Royce)

BMW Group is a German automotive manufacturer who owns both BMW and Rolls Royce. As such, both manufacturers had their intellectual property removed on the same day. The Insider Look had previously been in contact with BMW and Rolls Royce individually, and we were informed that the manufacturers were currently looking into taking action.

BMW and Rolls Royce have collectively decided not to comment on this situation.

General Motors

General Motors is an American automotive manufacturer which owns Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC. This is the third American manufacturer to have taken action against Driving Empire for its infringement of intellectual property.

The Insider Look was initially notified that the legal team at General Motors was looking into Driving Empire's illegal use of their intellectual property. Several weeks later, we received news that Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC were all removed from Driving Empire. This was one of the fastest removals of intellectual property from a manufacturer we have worked with, from start to finish. 

General Motors declined to comment further on this issue.

Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai is a Korean automotive manufacturer. Months ago, The Insider Look received news that Hyundai was looking into the potential infringement of intellectual property in Driving Empire.

Just yesterday, we received official notification that Driving Empire had been served a takedown notice and Hyundai had been removed from the game.

Hyundai has yet to respond for a request to comment. 

Lotus Cars Limited

Lotus Cars is a medium sized automotive manufacturer based in Britain. Following the notification that Lotus has been made aware of the infringement of intellectual property belonging to Lotus in Driving Empire, The Insider Look reached out for additional comments. 

Although Lotus has declined to comment further, we worked decisively with them in this matter and eventually saw Lotus being removed from Driving Empire. 

Lucid Motors

Lucid Motors is an American electric vehicles manufacturer, made by one of Tesla's former engineers. Lucid has only one vehicle in Driving Empire, however, it should be noted that this specific car was a part of the crate system, which could be a contributing factor towards the removal.

Lucid Motors did not respond to our many emails for comment.

Stellantis N.V

Stellantis is a multinational corporation that holds several subsidiaries that are well-known in the public including Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM and Maserati, all of which are present in Driving Empire. As of the time of writing, Stellantis stands to be the largest manufacturer to have taken action recently in light of Driving Empire's infringement of intellectual property.

Initially, Stellantis had this to say regarding Driving Empire using their intellectual property:
"This game and the designs that appear therein are neither licensed nor approved by Stellantis/FCA US LLC.  We are currently reviewing this matter."

After a short while, Stellantis confirmed that they were actively pursuing this matter, and within several weeks, three brands were removed; Alfa Romeo, Dodge, RAM, Maserati. Although these were removed from the dealership menu where these vehicles could be purchased, the vehicles are still accessible by players who have previously purchased them.

The Insider Look team kept regular contact with media relations staff at Stellantis, which have been nothing short of effective and responsive in their communications with regards to this matter. Although some brands such as Jeep are still present in-game, Stellantis is actively working on ensuring that their intellectual property is not misused.

Toyota / Lexus

Toyota is a Japanese automotive manufacturer, with Lexus being its luxury division. Being one of the largest manufacturers in the entire world, The Insider Look set eyes on any impending news to come out of Toyota, however none did.

The removal comes as a surprise in the string of car manufacturers removing their vehicles as The Insider Look had no notification or insight into this removal, unlike others.

As of the last update to this article, The Insider Look is actively reaching out to Toyota for comment. More news of this will come soon.


The community will be saddened to see the loved content removed, however, the unethical practices of Voldex have prompted the response of car manufacturers, who reserve the absolute legal right to protect and defend their intellectual property, the sole representation of their brand, especially under the circumstances of a controversial game. The only proper way to obtain rights to use manufacturers' models in-game is to contact them through their licensing departments.

With the amount of resurfaced controversy, it can be assumed that manufacturers will continue to pursue legal action in order to cease the infringement of intellectual property in games such as Driving Empire.

We work around the clock with these manufacturers to get the latest details, but to adhere to ethical standards of journalism, we guarantee confidentiality and off-the-record talks with these companies to continuously provide readers of The Insider Look the latest developments in this matter when everything is ready.

*This article will be periodically updated when we finish our communications with the manufacturers. 

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Car Manufacturers; Audi, Bentley (Volkswagen), BMW, General Motors, Hyundai, Lotus, Lucid, Stellantis and Toyota - Spokesperson Statements and their trust in our reporting and confidentiality