ACCC Takes Action Against Volkswagen Over Diesel Emission Claims

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken German car giant Volkswagen and its Australian subsidiary to the Federal Court, alleging that they engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to emission claims for its diesel vehicles.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the watchdog believes that between 2011 and 2015, Volkswagen engaged in multiple breaches of the Australian Consumer Law by concealing software in their vehicles to cheat emissions testing and misleading consumers about the vehicle’s compliance with standards and emission levels during on-road conditions.

“Consumers rightly expect that their vehicle’s emissions would operate as advertised during their day-to-day use, and we allege that this was not the case, with more than 57,000 vehicles sold in Australia by Volkswagen over a five-year period,” he said.

“These allegations involve extraordinary conduct of a serious and deliberate nature by a global corporation and its Australian subsidiary, misleading consumers and the Australian public.

“We expect higher standards of behaviour from all companies that supply to Australian consumers.”

The ACCC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising, findings of fact and costs.

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