Das not so Auto
A class action under consumer law is preparing to be launched against Volkswagen regarding recall protocol.
What this? You’ve been told that your Volkswagen (VW) is being recalled? and you’re not sure when.
Well, neither is Australia.
Australia have enabled VW a lenient scope of when and how they’ll conduct their recall of cars that are fitted with ‘defeat devices’ and owners aren’t happy.
[Update: Four more car-makers (Mercedes, Honda, Mitsubishi, and Mazda) have become embroiled in this diesel emissions controversy.]
What can you do?
If you’re unhappy with the situation VW has put you in, Law firm Maurice Blackburn is preparing to launch a class action lawsuit against VW under consumer law.
“It seems like your one opportunity to get back from Volkswagen what they’ve done to you” – Damian Scattini, Principal at Maurice Blackburn.
Extent of Impact
More than 90,000 VW’s have been identified with the emission-cheating software, whilst only 77,149 sold between 2008-15 have been fitted with the software that has tarnished the German brand. Additionally, its subsidiary Audi Australia has stated that 14,028 of its vehicles have been affected.
Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen American division, today testified before a House of Representatives oversight and investigations panel about the emissions scandal that has chopped more than a third of the company’s market value and sent tremors through the global auto industry.
When inquired about the harm done on the environment, with knowledge that some of the affected cars released up to 40 times the accepted level of nitrogen oxide, he responded: “these cars make up a fraction of the total amount of cars on US roads”, to which he quickly confirmed that he was not downplaying the impact and that “it’s clearly unacceptable”.
VW’s share price has also been subject to this tarnished brand. For more information on the share price, for more information read our recent post.
Unsure if your car is affected? Click here
With a statement from Horn capturing the end result of the scandal: “ The affected cars can be fixed, but performance may suffer.”
What response has VW given?
VW Australia has subsequently barred dealers from selling diesel versions of the Tiguan, Jetta, Passat and Caddy that have the ‘EA189-series diesel engines’ that are said to be the crux of the scam. Moreover, both VW and Audi have launched websites for VW owners to check if their vehicle is affected.
Horn, facing the first Congressional hearing in front of the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee, denied that the company had any knowledge of the ‘defeat devices’. Rather, he claimed that the devices were implemented by “a few rogue software engineers”. He then stated that “this was not a corporate decision”, but rather a “couple of software engineers who put this in for whatever reasons.
VW owners have been told not to take any action until a technical solution is made available by the company’s head office in Germany.
Horn also addressed VW’s plans for America, asserting that most of the affected models will require “five to ten hours of servicing to disable the defeat device and produce the correct emissions”. However, this process may take at least one or two years to establish – with no transparent picture of when repairs will begin.
Whilst American VW owners have a slight understanding of the path that VW plans to take, Australian owners are left clueless and unaware of whether this process is applicable to them.
So in the meantime, continue driving your ‘dirty’ VW and enjoy the accelerated rate of emissions produced.
Let us know your thoughts on Volkswagen’s response by tagging us #lawpath or @lawpath.
Dominic is the CEO of Lawpath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.