Australia’s consumer watchdog has launched court action against Germany’s Volkswagen brand Audi over the carmaker’s emissions cheating scandal. It said it was seeking proper compensation for deceptive conduct.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced Wednesday it had begun legal proceedings in the country’s Federal Court against German carmaker Audi over allegations that it misled clients about diesel emission levels in their cars.
The watchdog said legal action was leveled at local subsidiary Audi Australia as well as Audi’s German owner, Volkswagen.
The ACCC alleged that between 2011 and 2015 Audi had “engaged in misleading conduct by not disclosing the existence and operation of defeat devices in certain Audi-branded vehicles.”
Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement the software used to manipulate emissions tests in the laboratory breached Australian consumer law.
Skoda off the hook
Roughly 12,000 Audi cars would be affected by the current proceedings, the ACCC reported. By contrast, Volkswagen’s Skoda cars would not be affected as the commission decided not to pursue the matter due to the low volume of Skoda car sales in Australia.
The watchdog is seeking pecuniary penalties and corrective advertising. The latest action followed court proceedings launched against Volkswagen-branded cars last year.
In that lawsuit, the commission claimed that more than 57,000 vehicles sold in Australia did not operate as Volkswagen advertised.
Since then, Volkswagen and Audi have announced voluntary recalls to update the software in question.