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The ACCC launches proceedings against Volkswagen over #dieselgate

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking Volkswagen to court over alleged misleading conduct around vehicle emissions.

THE AUSTRALIAN consumer watchdog has announced it has instituted proceedings against Volkswagen and its Australian subsidiary, “alleging they engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, made false or misleading representations and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public in relation to diesel vehicle emission claims”, the ACCC said in a statement.

The ACCC is going all out against Volkswagen and is “seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising, findings of fact and costs”.

“The ACCC alleges that between 2011 and 2015:

“VWAG engaged in misleading conduct by installing and not disclosing the existence and operation of ‘defeat’ software, which controlled the operation of the vehicles’ exhaust gas recirculation system. The software caused the vehicles to produce lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions when subject to test conditions in a laboratory, but switched to a different mode under normal on-road driving conditions resulting in significantly higher NOx emissions being produced by the vehicles.     

“Both VGA and VWAG engaged in misleading conduct by representing that the vehicles complied with Australian and European standards and all Australian regulatory requirements when, because of the defeat software, that was not the case.  

“Using information provided by VWAG, VGA marketed the vehicles in Australia as being environmentally friendly, clean burning, low emission and compliant with stringent European standards when this was not the case under normal driving conditions.”

Practical Motoring spoke with the ACCC this morning and will be reviewing the court documents and the testing procedures it has based its action on later today (stay tuned for a separate story once we’ve done that).

Neither Skoda nor Audi has been included in the current set of proceedings, and according to the ACCC investigations into both of those brands is ongoing. “Volkswagen is the largest supplier of affected cars and so we’ve begun with them,” an ACCC spokesperson said. “We’re currently investigating both Audi and Skoda vehicles”.

In response, Volkswagen Australia has said it will contest the allegations made by the ACCC in the Federal Court.

The Volkswagen branded vehicles covered by these proceedings are:

  • Amarok 2.0 litre – 2011 to 2012
  • Caddy 1.6 and 2.0 litre – 2010 to 2015
  • Eos 2.0 litre – 2009 to 2014
  • Golf 1.6 and 2.0 litre – 2009 to 2013
  • Jetta 1.6 and 2.0 litre – 2009 to 2015
  • Passat 2.0 litre – 2008 to 2015
  • Passat CC 2.0 litre – 2008 to 2012
  • Polo 1.6 litre – 2009 to 2014
  • Tiguan 2.0 litre – 2008 to 2015
  • CC 2.0 litre – 2011 to 2015

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober