Volkswagen’s dirty tricks revealed in Court on dirty diesels

22 February 2017
Volkswagen has come under pressure in the Federal Court to agree on terms of a proposed nation-wide corrective notice regarding alleged misinformation it has provided to Australian customers affected by the global emissions scandal.

The allegations, raised by class action specialists Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, concern reports from class action members that VW has engaged in underhanded tactics when dealing with its diesel vehicle customers. 

Maurice Blackburn today presented the Court with an extensive dossier of materials detailing numerous instances involving Volkswagen and its authorised dealerships pressuring customers, using bullying tactics, providing inaccurate information to its customers around the dieselgate emissions scandal and the voluntary ‘fix’ being offered. 

Some of the appalling tactics being employed by authorised Volkswagen service centres reported to Maurice Blackburn include: asking customers to sign VW waiver documents purporting to waive all their legal rights, wrongfully telling customers their vehicles will not be covered by manufacturer warranty if they refuse the voluntary ‘fix’ and a string of other questionable practices, such as making significant vehicle software changes without customers’ consent or knowledge.

Jason Geisker, who heads the Maurice Blackburn class action taking on the German vehicle manufacturers, says VW appears to be adopting a misleading approach to dealing with the facts in its communications with Australian motorists. 

“After presiding over one of the biggest motor vehicle scams in automotive history, impacting almost 100,000 Australian motorists and many millions more globally, Volkswagen seems to be completely unrepentant,” Mr Geisker said.

“Since the Diesel emissions scandal was exposed in September 2015, VW has been far from transparent or candid about its conduct.  The company has passed up numerous important opportunities to explain why it set out to mislead regulators and approval authorities about the real emissions generated by these so-called green diesel cars.

“Australian motorists deserve nothing less than straight answers about the whole picture from Volkswagen.  Many Australians have made it clear they will not ignore the mass deception perpetrated on them by the biggest motoring company in the world.

“There’s a simple solution available to VW to make amends to its customers, which far better than the one being offered by VW.  Be honest, say sorry, compensate motorists for what they have lost, and stop these dirty diesels cars from polluting the Australian environment.