Regulators fines mount up for Volkswagen over Dieselgate scandal
10 August 2016
The Italian Competition Authority has hit Volkswagen AG and its Italian subsidiary with the maximum fine possible under its laws, imposing a fine of five-million Euros for manipulating tests and misleading Italian consumers.
In one of the strongest messages sent to Volkswagen by a European regulator to date, the ICA has released a statement saying the practices undertaken by the embattled manufacturer are unfair and likely to materially distort consumer behaviour causing consumers to buy vehicles they otherwise would not have bought.
Australia’s leading class actions law firm, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, has filed an Australian class action against the Australian and parent VW companies on behalf of the 100,000 affected Australian vehicle owners caught up by the global fraud.
Class action Principal running the case, Jason Geisker, says the fine from the ICA is yet another very significant European decision against Volkswagen with direct relevance to Australian motorists.
“As Australia adopts the European system when it comes to vehicle emissions testing, the same unfair practices used by Volkswagen in Europe were relied upon to gain approval from Australian authorities to import these dirty diesel vehicles into our country," Mr Geisker said.
“The Italian regulator also concluded that Volkswagen’s behaviour was particularly egregious because it had marketed these polluting vehicles as having ‘green’ environmental credentials.
“This combination of deliberate deceit on many levels, combined with the reluctance to admit, acknowledge and resolve the problems that VW has itself caused, no doubt led to the maximum penalty being served.
“Unfortunately from VW, it’s a shocking pattern of behaviour that we’ve seen in Australia and is repeating around the globe. It’s time they offered a proper compensatory fix for affected Australians and stopped treating us as a backwater.
"Although we look forward to seeing the ACCC's response to Dieselgate in Australia, we believe that Maurice Blackburn’s class actions against Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda remain the best and most effective means of pursuing justice for all duped Australian motorists.”