ACCC chases local VW disclosure
The ACCC says it will go to great lengths to find out whether the Volkswagen scandal involves Australian customers.
With revelations this week that one of the world’s top car-makers pulled its ‘defeat devices’ scam on over a million customers in the UK, many are waiting for similar disclosure about VW and its affiliate’s cars purchased in Australia.
So far the company has admitted selling over 11 million cars with special software to deceive emissions tests.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has provided an update on its investigation into the possible use of ‘defeat devices’ in Australia, following significant public interest.
“This enforcement investigation is a priority for the ACCC. We are very concerned about the potential consumer and competition detriment from this alleged conduct,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“First, using defeat devices is specifically prohibited under the Australian Design Rules, which are picked up as Australian Consumer Law (ACL) mandatory safety standards.”
“As the enforcer of the ACL, the ACCC can take action against any corporation that has breached mandatory standards,” Mr Sims said.
“Secondly, cars are a big purchasing decision and claims that relate to environmental benefits or fuel efficiency can influence consumer choice.”
“Businesses must be able to substantiate any claims they make. The ACCC will be seeking marketing materials from VW Group and will not hesitate to take action if consumers were exposed to false, misleading or deceptive representations,” Mr Sims said.
The maximum penalty per breach of the ACL is $1.1 million for a corporation.
VW Australia is yet to clarify if it has supplied cars or car components into the Australian market that use defeat devices.
The ACCC is considering public comments made by Audi Australia on how their Australian customers are affected.
The ACCC also says it will work closely with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to determine the impact on Australian consumers.