- John Mills
Volkswagon Emissions Defeat Device
The Office of Fair Trading advises The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against German company Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft (VWAG) and its Australian subsidiary, Volkswagen Group Australia Pty Ltd (VGA), alleging they engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, made false or misleading representations and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public in relation to diesel vehicle emission claims.
When purchasing an affected vehicle, consumers still have the full protection of the law. Motor dealers and suppliers are obliged by law to fully disclose to prospective buyers if a vehicle contains a defeat device and will be subject to the recall. As further information about the impact of any necessary repairs to affected vehicles becomes available, including for example a change in the fuel economy of the vehicle, this information must also be disclosed to prospective buyers. In Queensland, it is an offence for a motor dealer or salesperson to make a false representation about a vehicle. The maximum penalty is a $65,826 fine. A false representation includes the wilful concealment of a ‘material fact’. All issues surrounding the emissions defeat devices are material facts, and must be disclosed to prospective buyers.