Sydney, Australia, Nov 12 (EFE).- Volkswagen must pay a record fine of AU$125 million ($91 million) for misleading consumers over diesel emissions of its vehicles in Australia, according to a decision by the country’s High Court on Friday.
The court dismissed Volkwagen’s bid for special leave to appeal a December 2019 ruling issued by the Federal Court.
“The High Court’s decision today means the record $125 million penalty imposed by the Federal Court stands,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chair Rod Sims said in a statement.
The ACCC originally brought the case against Volkswagen in 2016, alleging that the company “engaged in multiple breaches of the Australian Consumer Law by concealing software in their vehicles to cheat emissions testing and misleading consumers about the vehicle’s compliance with standards and emission levels during on-road conditions.”
The ACCC noted that when importing more than 57,000 diesel vehicles into Australia between 2011 and 2015, and listing the vehicles on the government’s Green Vehicle Guide website, Volkswagen did not disclose that the vehicles were equipped with a two-mode software, which made them operate in one mode for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions testing and in another when driven.
“If tested in that second mode, the vehicles would have breached Australian emissions standards,” the regulatory body said.
Volkswagen sought special leave to appeal the fine in the High Court and have it replaced with a penalty of AU$75 million. This amount was originally agreed to by the manufacturer and the ACCC, but rejected by the Federal Court, which imposed the AU$125 million fine.
The manufacturer faces lawsuits and penalties over the so-called Dieselgate scandal across the world. EFE