Sydney law firm Bannister Law has brought the first class action in Australia against the Volkswagen and Audi car manufacturers for programming their diesel vehicles to defeat emissions standards.
The action, commenced last month in the Federal Court, relates to the use of so-called “defeat devices” in VW and Audi cars. These devices were allegedly programmed to deceive emissions performance tests used by regulators.
According to Charles Bannister, Principal of Bannister Law, consumers may be entitled to compensation if they purchased a VW or Audi motor vehicle made between 2008 and 2015 and still own the vehicle.
Reportedly, the defeat devices – which were allegedly programmed to detect test conditions and limit engine performance so as to meet the required test score – were fitted in diesel vehicles manufactured in the 2008-2015 period and sold in Australia.
Approximately 90,000 vehicles in Australia are affected.
Bannister Law has framed the class action under the Australian Consumer Law, which requires that products are fit for the purpose for which they are sold.
Mr Bannister says that “damages for the diminution in value” and, alternatively, a refund of the relevant purchase price are possible.
Additionally, “consumers could be entitled to seek compensation for any increased fuel costs, […] out of pocket expenses and cost associated with future repairs.”