Australian regulator, the ACCC, has filed proceedings in the Federal Court against German car manufacturer Volkswagen over the company’s deceptive claims about vehicle emissions.The ACCC claims that between 2011 and 2015, Volkswagen engaged in “misleading conduct by installing and not disclosing the existence and
operation of ‘defeat’ software, which controlled the operation of the
vehicles’ exhaust gas recirculation system. The software caused the
vehicles to produce lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions when subject to
test conditions in a laboratory, but switched to a different mode under
normal on-road driving conditions resulting in significantly higher NOx
emissions being produced by the vehicles.”

They say the company “marketed the vehicles in
Australia as being environmentally friendly, clean burning, low emission
and compliant with stringent European standards when this was not the
case under normal driving conditions.”

According to ACCC chairman Rod Sims, “Consumers rightly expect that their vehicle’s emissions would
operate as advertised during their day-to-day use and we allege that
this was not the case with more than 57 000 vehicles sold in Australia
by Volkswagen over a five-year period.”
The ACCC alleges these actions consitute multible breaches of Australian Consumer Law.

Consequently, they are seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising, findings of fact and costs.

“These allegations involve extraordinary conduct of a serious and
deliberate nature by a global corporation and its Australian subsidiary
misleading consumers and the Australian public. We expect higher
standards of behaviour from all companies that supply to Australian
consumers,” Mr Sims said.

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