Australian regulator ACCC takes Volkswagen to Court

1 September 2016
In the biggest blow to Volkswagen’s credibility in Australia since having to face a consumer class action from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has today filed Federal Court action against the car giant.

The announcement comes on a morning where VW is already in the Federal Court in Sydney trying to prevent documents from being revealed in a class action against the domestic and international parent bodies of the company for around 100,000 affected Australian motorists.

The ACCC has today stated that it believes that VW has engaged in extraordinary conduct of a serious and deliberate nature, by misleading consumers and the Australian public. It is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising, findings of fact and costs.

Maurice Blackburn Principal running the VW consumer class action, Jason Geisker, says VW has continued to treat Australian motorists like second-class customers who can be profited from by being misled into thinking they were buying green vehicles.

“Quite simply this is a global scandal of staggering proportions and Australians have also been victims of VW’s misconduct. What is worse is that VW still refuses to come clean and admit the truth about its dirty diesel vehicles,” Mr Geisker said. 

“Instead VW is fighting with its customers and now the national regulator, continuing to refuse to compensate Australian motorists in any way.

“Today’s ACCC announcement is the strongest indication yet that VW will also feel the full force from Australian regulators – just as it has from overseas regulators already – in being held accountable here for this mass global scandal.

“Fortunately for affected Australian motorists, Australia has one of the most efficient and effective class actions regimes in the world, which has put consumers here at the forefront of securing a proper and compensatory resolution regarding this mass deception.”

The ACCC’s case 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.

To view the full ACCC statement on the legal action it has launched, visit:

https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-takes-action-against-volkswagen-over-diesel-emission-claims

Practice Areas: