SYDNEY: Australia's consumer watchdog is taking legal proceedings against Volkswagen and will seek corrective advertising from the automaker over its "deceptive conduct" in regard to the rigging of diesel emission tests.
In addition, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will demand public declarations of misconduct, the payment of (unspecified) financial penalties, findings of fact and costs in its Federal Court action, Ad News reported.
"The ACCC alleges that 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," said Rod Sims, ACCC chairman.
"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 added.
Ten models across nine VW brands are involved – Amarok, Caddy, Eos, Golf, Jetta, Passat, Polo, Tiguan and CC – although Skoda and Audi models were also affected.
Volkswagen observed that the legal action did not deliver any practical benefit to consumers as software solutions for recalled cars were expected soon.
"The best outcome for customers whose vehicle is affected is to have the voluntary recall service updates installed," said Michael Barsch. Managing director of Volkswagen Group Australia.
"This takes 45 minutes. It is free of charge. We will be contacting owners of affected vehicles to arrange an appointment with their dealer."
Volkswagen is already facing a number of class action suits from private plaintiffs. Law firm Maurice Blackburn is seeking more than A$100m ($75m) from the company, including the full replacement cost of some 90,0000 vehicles.
Data sourced from Ad News, Business Insider Australia, Reuters; additional content by Warc staff