On Friday, Australian competition regulator penalized Volkswagen AG $86 million for its alleged false representations about compliance with Australia’s diesel emission standards.
The exemplary fine is the highest ever ordered by the court for contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law, said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in a statement.
According to the ACCC, Volkswagen has admitted that it switched to two different software modes for testing and driving conditions, and thus did not correctly disclose the original level of nitrogen oxide emissions.
The breach of the Australian Consumer Law by th German carmaker occurred when the auto giant sought approval to supply and import more than 57,000 vehicles into Australia between 2011 and 2015.
“Volkswagen’s conduct was blatant and deliberate,” said Rod Sims, ACCC’s Chairman. “This penalty reflects a trend of ever higher penalties for breaches of Australian consumer law”.
Volkswagen did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside regular business hours.