In a huge blow to Volkswagen’s Australian defence of its global emissions scandal, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced today it is also targeting Audi, in line with the Maurice Blackburn Dieselgate class action.
Today the ACCC instituted proceedings in the Federal Court to include German company Audi Aktiengesellschaft (Audi AG), its Australian subsidiary Audi Australia Pty Ltd (Audi Australia), and their owner, German company Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft (VWAG).
This is in addition to the case the ACCC already has on foot against VWAG and its Australian subsidiary, Volkswagen Group Australia Pty Ltd (VGA) (together, Volkswagen), alleging they engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, made false or misleading representations and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public in relation to diesel vehicle emission claims.
The ACCC case against VWAG and Audi is that it engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, made false or misleading representations and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public in relation to certain diesel vehicle emission claims, and that VWAG was knowingly concerned in this conduct.
The ACCC case seeks declarations, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and legal costs.
Jason Geisker, Principal running the Maurice Blackburn class actions for affected motorists, said the increased intensity of the national regulator’s attention on VW and Audi is a welcomed development that will assist in ensuring these companies are held to account for their actions.
“The ACCC’s legal action today represents a new level of vigour and intensity being placed on the VW group in Australia, which we welcome,” Mr Geisker said.
“Maurice Blackburn has been astounded at the numerous procedural and technical points taken by VW in this litigation, so it is no surprise to us that the ACCC has now sued Audi AG and Audi Australia directly.
“Doing so should cut through on some of these procedural obstacles being raised by VW and allow the parties to get on with resolving the real issues in dispute.
“Australians should be very comforted to know that our national regulator has shown a strong determination to protect affected motorists from being treated as a backwater.
“By seeking a range of remedial actions and penalties against Audi and VW, we think the ACCC is playing an important role in ensuring that this Dieselgate scandal does not go ignored here, however, it is important to understand that the class actions against VW, Audi and Skoda are still the only avenue available for affected motorists to obtain compensation for their losses.”
Those who wish to actively participate in securing compensation over the scandal can go to www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/volkswagen for more information and to register a claim.