Australia fines Volkswagen $86 mn over emissions scandal

Bloomberg) New Delhi | Updated on December 20, 2019 Published on December 20, 2019

An Australian federal court ordered Volkswagen AG to pay a record $86 million fine for misleading car buyers about emissions, as the biggest scandal in modern automotive history continues to drag the carmaker.

The penalty is the highest-ever under the country’s consumer law, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission said on Friday in a statement. Volkswagen said separately it will review the assessment, which exceeds an earlier settlement of A$75 million, and may appeal.

The scandal -- which started four years ago when Volkswagen admitted to cheating on diesel emissions tests -- has already cost the company more than $30 billion. The Australian decision, directed at the German company and not at its local unit, involves Volkswagen’s import of more than 57,000 vehicles between 2011 and 2015.

“Volkswagen’s conduct undermined the integrity and functioning of Australia’s vehicle-import regulations which are designed to protect consumers,” Rod Sims, ACCC’s chairman, said in a statement. “Volkswagen’s conduct was blatant and deliberate.”

Volkswagen faces a class-action lawsuit in the U.K., after 100,000 vehicle owners accused it of misleading them by installing emissions-cheating software. Regulators in the Netherlands and Italy have already fined Volkswagen, while Germany penalized the carmaker for €1 billion after a probe.

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Published on December 20, 2019
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