Volkswagen Group pays Americans. Australians still waiting.
Australian owners of Volkswagen Group vehicles must be wondering why their counterparts in the US are receiving compensation from the company in the wake of the emissions testing scandal, when all they are getting locally from Volkswagen is silence.
The Volkswagen Group has today agreed to pay an average of USD5,000 (AUD6,600) to American owners of their vehicles, and has included options for affected cars to be bought back by Volkswagen.
Australian Automobile Association (AAA) Chief Executive Michael Bradley said Australian owners caught up in the scandal deserve better from Volkswagen than they are currently getting, and that could start with a goodwill payment.
“We know the ACCC is currently investigating this matter and we, along with Australians impacted by the scandal, would like to see this concluded as soon as possible.
“But in the meantime there’s nothing to stop Volkswagen showing some good will to Australians unwittingly caught up in this situation and providing a payment along the lines of what they have agreed to provide American Volkswagen Group vehicle owners.
“We now know Volkswagen sold vehicles in Australia fitted with devices which allowed greater emissions in the real world than when under testing in a laboratory. We also know that such devices are specifically prohibited under the Australian Design Rules.
“It’s not clear to Australian consumers when the ACCC will conclude its investigations or what if any penalty will be applied to Volkswagen Group.
“Volkswagen should stop treating Australians as second class citizens. They should be up front and treat Volkswagen owners equally regardless of what country they’re in.”
The AAA will also be working with international motoring clubs to test Volkswagen Group vehicles before and after they are recalled and fixed to ensure that there is no long term impact on the way the affected vehicles perform. The outcomes of these tests will be made available by the AAA once testing is completed.