The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has sued the Australian arm of Volkswagen.
The consumer watchdog, said 57,000 cars falsely touted as low emissions diesel vehicles had been sold over a five-year period in Australia.
“These allegations involve extraordinary conduct of a serious and deliberate nature by a global corporation,” Commission Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.
The ACCC said it wanted the company to make public declarations of misconduct, pay unspecified financial penalties and issue corrective advertising in relation to its actions over five years.
An Australian law firm has also launched a class action lawsuit against the country’s Volkswagen subsidiaries, following the diesel emissions scandal that led to the recall of millions of cars worldwide.
Seeking “well north” of A$100 million (€68 million), the firm filed the case on behalf of over 90,000 Volkswagen owners in Australia, with over 10,000 having already registered for the class action.
Volkswagen said it was reviewing the claims.
Scandal in brief
The scandal erupted in September 2015 when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that many VW cars being sold in America had a “defeat device” – or a software – in their diesel engines that could detect when cars were being tested and adjust performance to improve results – a discovery which Volkswagen later admitted.
The car manufacturer benefitted from a major marketing campaign which touted the low emissions of its cars, but the company has admitted that some 11 million cars worldwide were fitted with the “defeat device”.