Volkswagen Group has reached a comprehensive in-principle settlement with both the class action plaintiffs and the ACCC (the national competition and consumer protection agency) in Australia. This is a significant step towards fully resolving the diesel lawsuits in Australia, subject to approval by the Federal Court of Australia. Volkswagen views the in-principle settlements as a further step towards overcoming the diesel issue.
Settlement of the customer class-action lawsuits
The class action lawsuits filed on behalf of Australian customers relate to approximately 78,406 Australian EA189 Volkswagen vehicles. If all affected vehicles participate, each of these customers can expect a payment per vehicle of approximately AU $1,400 (approximately €870), on average.
A proposed settlement has been reached in the class action proceedings filed in the Federal Court of Australia against Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda in relation to the diesel emissions issue. A Settlement Notice containing important information for group members on how to register to participate in the proposed settlement is now available on the Federal Court of Australia website or click here to download the Settlement Notice.
- Customers wishing to claim a settlement payment for their affected Volkswagen vehicle must register at www.vwsettlement.com.au.
- The deadline for registration is 10 March 2020.
- The settlement amount depends on how many affected vehicles participate in the proposed settlement, as well as on the Court's final approval of the settlement.
- The Settlement Administrator will advise registered group members of their settlement payments in 2020. It is likely that this will occur in mid-2020.
- Eligibility criteria are detailed at www.vwsettlement.com.au.
Settlement of the dispute with the ACCC
Volkswagen AG (VWAG) firmly believes that the penalty of $75 million agreed and submitted to the Court jointly with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to resolve the regulatory proceedings was a fair amount. VWAG has appealed the imposition of the additional $50m imposed by the Court.
Some 57,000 Volkswagen vehicles with EA189 diesel engines imported to Australia were involved in this matter. Most of these have subsequently had an update to the engine control software under the ongoing voluntary recall. The relevant authorities have confirmed that this update satisfies European and Australian emission standards.
The decision imposed a penalty only on VWAG. The case against Volkswagen Group Australia has been dismissed in its entirety with no orders made against Volkswagen Group Australia.
The case against Audi AG and Audi Australia in respect of Audi vehicles, has also been dismissed in its entirety with no orders made against any of the respondents to the Audi regulatory proceedings. Volkswagen Group Australia, Audi AG and Audi Australia are not involved in the appeal.
The decision relates specifically to the regulatory litigation and is separate from the in-principle settlement which has been reached in the customer class action proceedings (approval of which is scheduled to be heard by the Court on 26 March 2020).
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