Volkswagen emissions defeat devices

Media Release

PF001/2015

25 September 2015

Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects Paul Fletcher today announced that the Government had sought urgent clarification from Volkswagen Australia and Audi Australia whether emissions defeat devices were being used in vehicles in Australia.

Defeat devices provide a means whereby vehicles perform better in emissions testing than they do in real world operation, and are specifically prohibited in the Australian Design Rules, which are mandated under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989.

"I expect advice from Volkswagen and Audi shortly and the Government would then determine whether and what further action was required," Mr Fletcher said.

"If defeat devices have been used in Volkswagen or Audi vehicles in Australia, the Government will ensure that affected vehicles are no longer supplied to the Australian market and that a recall of any affected vehicles already in the Australian fleet will be implemented as soon as possible.

"The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is working closely with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to ensure the rights of Australian consumers are protected."

Mr Fletcher said all vehicle recalls in Australia had previously been conducted on a voluntary basis and that he expected full cooperation from Volkswagen Australia and Audi Australia in this case.  Both companies had provided strong cooperation to date.

Emissions in this case relates to noxious emissions that can cause smog and adverse health impacts, but not to CO2 levels.