Wednesday

20th Nov 2019

Investigation

Australian consumer watchdog sues Volkswagen

  • 'Consumers rightly expect that their vehicle’s emissions would operate as advertised during their day-to-day use', the Australian consumer authority said (Photo: Tunde Pecsvari)

Australia's consumer protection body is suing Volkswagen Group and its Australian daughter company for misleading consumers over emissions testing.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement on Thursday (1 September) that VW had broken Australian laws “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”.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 year's of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

The German carmaker, which is also being sued in three American states, admitted almost a year ago that it had fitted software into 11 million diesel cars that modified emissions during test conditions.

The Australian commission said VW's Australian subsidiary “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”.

“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,” the commission's chairman Rod Sims said.

Volkswagen Australia said the legal action did not provide “any practical benefit to consumers, because software solutions for cars affected by the voluntary recall are expected soon”.

The Australian consumer commission said it wanted VW to receive a “significant penalty” to deter other car companies from cheating.

The law enforcement chiefs from New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland, who announced their lawsuit last July, also said they wanted VW to face “substantial penalties”.

The carmaker has already made a €13.2bn settlement with American consumers and the federal government, and a €1bn settlement with its US dealers.

In South Korea, the government banned the sale of nearly all VW models and gave a €14m fine.

Compared to actions worldwide, it has been relatively quiet in Europe on the legal front. Almost a year later, no authority has sued VW for the use of the illegal cheating software.

Last month, it did receive a €5m fine from the Italian Competition Authority for misleading advertisements.

Investigation

Porsche told EU not to publish diesel emission result

The EU Commission has kept results of an emissions test of a Porsche diesel vehicle secret for months, at the request of the German car company - which was fined €535m for its role in the Dieselgate scandal.

EU commission appeals Dieselgate ruling

The Court of Justice of the EU annulled legislation which relaxed toxic emission limits for cars. EU commissioner Bienkowska said the commission will appeal.

Visual Data

Top 100 European places where Dieselgate 'kills' most

In Europe, more than a third of those killed each year by toxic particulate matter - associated with unlawful diesel emissions exceeding the EU limits - live in about 100 conurbations, mainly in Italy, France, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  3. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  5. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  6. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  7. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  9. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021

Latest News

  1. New calls for Muscat to resign over journalist's murder
  2. Tusk pledges 'fight' for EU values as new EPP president
  3. Don't lead Europe by triggering its fears
  4. Finland: EU 'not brain dead' on enlargement
  5. The labour market is not ready for the future
  6. Parliament should have 'initiation' role
  7. AI skewed to young, male, and western EU, report warns
  8. US and EU go separate ways on Israeli settlers

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us