Oz regulator warns VW: cheatware scandal could cost you millions

Audi crosses fingers, hopes software was 'inactive' in its cars

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is the latest regulator to put Volkswagen in the cross-hairs, announcing that it's launched an investigation into the beleaguered car-maker.

The ACCC has pointed out that the company's “defeat device” cheatware breaches the country's design rules, making the cars unroadworthy.

However, VW is still scrambling to work out if any cars sold here under its brand had the ill-fated Type EA 189 engines.

Audi has better database admins, it seems: that brand has worked out that it did sell EA 189-powered vehicles in Australia, in A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5 models. Its local flack, Anna Burgdorf, says at this stage, “it is our understanding that the software is inactive”, at least in this country, she said at the widely-reported launch of a new R3 Sportsback.

ACCC chair Rod Sims says in the commission's media release that each breach of the Australian Consumer Law could cost VW AU$1.1 million.

“The ACCC will be seeking marketing materials from VW Group and will not hesitate to take action if consumers were exposed to false, misleading or deceptive representations”, Sims said.

However, an ACCC spokesperson told The Register it's up to the commission's investigators to work out how many such breaches VW might have committed in selling cheatware-affected cars (if any made it to our shores).

The media statement adds that the ACCC is “considering” Audi's statements in Australia. ®


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