Australian Regulator Sues Volkswagen Over Diesel Cheating

Image courtesy of frankieleon

After many months of bad press, recalls, and legal woes, Volkswagen earlier this year reached a settlement with U.S. regulators over its emissions-cheating dirty diesel “defeat devices.” But just because the case is mostly closed (at least on paper) here in the states doesn’t mean Volkswagen’s out of legal hot water yet. There are, after all, more than 190 other nations in the world, and some of them are ticked off too.

Specifically, regulators down under are about to pursue their own legal claims. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission — basically the Aussie version of the FTC — announced today that it’s taking Volkswagen to court.

The ACCC is alleging that Volkswagen and its Australian subsidiary engaged in “misleading or deceptive conduct” when it secretly installed and operated defeat devices in several different 2008-2015 VW vehicles sold in Australia.

VW “engaged in misleading conduct by representing that the vehicles complied with Australian and European standards and all Australian regulatory requirements when, because of the defeat software, that was not the case,” the ACCC says.

It also claims that Volkswagen “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.”

If these complaints sound familiar, well, the complaints are almost identical to allegations the U.S. Department of Justice made in a similar lawsuit back in March, except with “EPA” substituted for “European” or “Australian.”

The first result of that lawsuit was a $15 billion settlement the DoJ and VW reached in June, kicking off buyback programs for both consumers and dealers. There is also still a possibility that U.S. officials could decide to file criminal charges.

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