ACCC launches investigation into VW diesel scandal

#hashtags: #Volkswagen #Australia #ACCC #September 2015 #Joshua Dowling #CarsGuide

Volkswagen is yet to release any information on what cars may be affected in Australia. ACCC launches investigation into VW diesel scandal 25 September 2015 by Joshua Dowling ยท CarsGuide Australia's top consumer watchdog has launched a probe into the Volkswagen diesel scandal as the German company remains silent on how many cars may be affected locally โ€” despite senior international executives being made aware of the unfolding drama at least 21 days ago.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it has begun making enquiries "to determine if consumers might have been exposed to misleading claims".Volkswagen is yet to release any information on what cars may be affected in Australia, even though the company's German head office advised three days ago 11 million vehicles worldwide were equipped with software that cheated emissions tests.It means the cars โ€” primarily diesel versions of the Golf hatch, Tiguan SUV and Passat sedan and wagon made between 2009 and 2015 โ€” belch out up to 35 times more emissions than what is allowed."It's very disappointing and very poor customer service to keep people in the dark for as long as they have," said Jack Haley, the vehicle engineering expert at the National Roads and Motorists Association.Mr Haley says the scandal has exposed the flaws in self regulation of the car industry.Fuel economy and emissions data is supplied to governments by the car makers after their own internal testing.There is rarely, if ever, any follow up test, which is how VW got away with it for so long but also how it eventually came undone.The cheat mode in the VW engine management computers only came to light after two clean air campaigners enlisted the help of West Virginia University to test diesel cars in real world driving conditions after they passed in a laboratory."There clearly needs to be much better oversight of the car industry, we can no longer rely on an honesty system," said Mr Haley."With the phasing out of local car manufacturing there needs to be better oversight of this and other aspects of car regulations."Although Australia has weaker emissions standards than the US and Europe, they are unlikely to be 35 times weakerIf certain Volkswagen diesel cars were found to have breached the rules, Mr Haley said there could be a "question mark whether the cars comply with Australian consumer law, because they have to be fit for purpose".Although Australia has weaker emissions standards than the US and Europe, they are unlikely to be 35 times weaker, which is why industry experts believe 50,000 or so diesel VWs sold locally could be recalled.In the meantime VW owners ought not to be alarmed as the cars should drive normally, although health experts have warned owners not to leave the car idling when getting things from the boot because the exhaust emissions could be more harmful than expected.If a recall were to occur, it would require owners of affected cars to return their vehicles to a dealership to have the engine management computer "reflashed".In a best-case scenario, experts say, it would take an hour to conduct the work.But the cars may have less power and drive differently once the pollution controls are reinstated, technicians say.As VW braces for billions of dollars in lawsuits in the US, Australian law firms that specialise in class actions say it is too early to determine what legal options are open to consumers. Related articles Heads roll as VW scandal claims CEO25 September 2015 by Joshua Dowling VW boss Martin Winterkorn resigns over emissions scandal24 September 2015 by Victoria Craw Does the VW diesel scandal affect you?24 September 2015 by Joshua Dowling VW diesel scandal goes global22 September 2015 by Joshua Dowling VW launches investigation into diesel emissions scandal22 September 2015 by William Boston What to read next Comments Related articles Heads roll as VW scandal claims CEO25 September 2015 by Joshua Dowling VW boss Martin Winterkorn resigns over emissions scandal24 September 2015 by Victoria Craw Does the VW diesel scandal affect you?24 September 2015 by Joshua Dowling VW diesel scandal goes global22 September 2015 by Joshua Dowling VW launches investigation into diesel emissions scandal22 September 2015 by William Boston Related pages Volkswagen Industry news Related cars for sale Search Volkswagen cars for sale Get the latest news, reviews and advice every week Subscribe '); }