ACCC takes Audi to Federal Court over emissions scandal
The ACCC has taken Audi and the Volkswagen Group to court over #dieselgate and alleged breaches of the Australian consumer law.
THE AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION (ACCC) and Audi are headed to court as Federal Court proceedings were filled today by the ACCC.
The case covers more than 12,000 vehicles sold between 2011 and 2015, and “the ACCC alleges that Audi AG and Audi Australia engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, made false or misleading representations and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public in relation to certain diesel vehicle emission claims, and that VWAG was knowingly concerned in this conduct”.
The case against Audi claims it knowingly used ‘defeat’ software which would recognise if a vehicle was being tested and purposely altered engine management software so it would provide lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than when in normal driving conditions. One algorithm to do this would be if a car was stationary, in gear and throttle was being applied. Software can then adjust engine management accordingly.
The ACCC then alleges Audi AG and Audi Australia engaged in misleading conduct by representing that the vehicles complied with all applicable regulatory requirements for road vehicles in Australia when, because of the defeat software, that was not the case; and
- Using information provided by Audi AG, Audi Australia marketed the vehicles in Australia as being environmentally friendly, producing low emissions and complying with stringent European standards when this was not the case under normal driving conditions;
- VWAG designed and supplied the engines and defeat software to Audi AG for installation in the affected vehicles.
It follow court proceedings initiated by the ACCC against Volkswagen September 1 last year which covered over 100,000 vehicles, however Volkswagen has also been named in the case against Audi as it is alleged Volkswagen knew of the conduct.
The ACCC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising, orders relating to the future use of findings of fact and costs.
It is just one of many law suits brought against Volkswagen around the world, and the company is likely to spend billions of dollars to cover charges, fines, recalls, replacement vehicles and legal costs.
“Consumers expect that there is some relationship between the performance of the car as set out in the sales brochure and their day to day on-road use,” said Rod Sims, ACCC Chairman.
“We allege that the installation of software which allows the vehicle to meet testing standards but then causes the vehicles to operate differently on the road, and associated representations about the vehicle and its performance, breach the Australian Consumer Law.”
The ACCC said it does not intend to file proceedings against Volkswagen subsidiary Skoda due to low volume sales.
The Audi branded vehicles covered by these proceedings are:
A1 3 Door – 2011 to 2013
A1 Sportback – 2012 to 2015
A3 Sportback – 2011 to 2013
A4 Allroad – 2012 to 2015
A4 Avant – 2011 to 2015
A4 Sedan – 2011 to 2015
A5 Cabriolet – 2012 to 2015
A5 Coupe – 2012 to 2015
A5 Sportback – 2012 to 2015
A6 Avant – 2012 to 2015
A6 Sedan – 2011 to 2015
Q3 SUV – 2012 to 2015
Q5 SUV – 2011 to 2015
TT Coupe – 2011 to 2014