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Driving penalties reform: ACCC Audi action augments ALP's argument against absurdly low amercements



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TIM HAMMOND MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR RESOURCES FEDERAL MEMBER FOR PERTH

DRIVING PENALTIES REFORM: ACCC AUDI ACTION AUGMENTS ALP’S ARGUMENT AGAINST ABSURDLY LOW AMERCEMENTS

The ACCC’s announcement that it will pursue Audi for misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Scandal is yet another demonstration of the inadequacies of the penalties regime for the anti-consumer provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The maximum possible penalty for a breach of the Australian Consumer Law is a mere $1.1 million, when compared to Audi who may have profited up to $60 million from its alleged misleading and deceptive conduct.

Labor has repeatedly called for the maximum penalties for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law to be increased to $10 million to align them with the maximum penalties for breaches of the anti-competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Labor’s submission to the Australian Consumer Law Review reflects these calls. The Review is due to report later in March.

Audi, and its parent company Volkswagen, are alleged to have deceived consumers by using ‘defeat’ software to minimise Nitrogen Oxide emissions in laboratory testing conditions which did not reflect actual emissions in on-road driving conditions.

The ACCC’s media release about its action against Audi is available here: http://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-takes-action-against-audi-over-diesel- emission-claims

THURSDAY, 9 MARCH 2017

MEDIA CONTACT: LAURENCE COLEMAN 0409 797 311