VW surrenders on cheat mode results – Trial update

16 March 2018

A bombshell has been dropped on the final days of the Maurice Blackburn-led Dieselgate class action trial, with the vehicle giant finally conceding that their vehicles in question fail the required emissions standards tests unless operating in cheat mode - known internally within Volkswagen as ‘customer’ or ‘comfort’ mode.

As the trial enters its closing submissions phase, VW has, in its closing address to the Court finally conceded on the major point that only its ‘test’ mode was able to pass Australia’s emissions testing standards. 

The trial, which is due to conclude on Monday when the Maurice Blackburn team for the plaintiffs delivers its final rebuttal and closing, has seen VW already come under intense ridicule for objecting to its own witness evidence.

Class Action Principal at Maurice Blackburn, Jason Geisker, said today’s admission from VW was a major bombshell late in the trial given VW had vigorously defended any attempts to show these vehicles would fail emissions testing without using a cheat mode.

“The admission that these vehicles fail Australia’s emissions requirements without the use of a ‘test’ mode – although blindingly obvious to everyone else – is a crucial admission from Volkswagen,” Mr Geisker said.

“This belated concession was only wrested from the company after sustained pressure and in the face of overwhelming evidence put before the Court against VW on this issue. This entire Dieselgate scandal as it impacts on Australian consumers, could and should have been resolved a long time ago. Australian motorists deserve far better from VW.

“People should have had straight answers and proper redress from the company just like their North American counterparts. VW’s corporate conduct towards Australians is abysmal.

“Only now, after more than two and a half years of continuing to push for concessions and admissions to the questions at the heart of this scandal, are we finally seeing the cracks appear and a company that is facing a closing window of opportunity to resolve this scandal before the Court decides the issue conclusively.

“This is not only a pivotal moment in the case, but clearly demonstrates the broader social benefit of pursuing rogue corporate conduct through the class actions regime we are lucky enough to have in this country.

“Australian consumers would have no hope of receiving any meaningful answers or proper treatment from this company if people couldn’t band together to seek greater accountability.”

Media inquiries: Cameron Scott at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
T 0400 876 466 / (03) 9605 2832 E  cscott@mauriceblackburn.com.au    www.mauriceblackburn.com.au

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