Australia seeks urgent answers from Volkswagen on emissions

AFP , Friday 25 Sep 2015

The logo of German carmaker Volkswagen is seen at a dealership in Glenview, Illinois, September 24, 2015 (Reuters)

The Australian government Friday said it was seeking urgent clarification from Volkswagen over whether cars in the country are involved in a growing global scandal over rigged emission results.

The German auto giant has admitted that 11 million of its diesel cars are equipped with devices that can cheat pollution tests, a revelation that prompted a share price slide and the resignation of its chief executive.

"I expect advice from Volkswagen and Audi shortly and the government would then determine whether and what further action was required," Territories, Local Government and Major Projects Minister Paul Fletcher said in a statement.

"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."

US officials have publicly accused Volkswagen of cheating and launched a probe into the claims, while French and South Korean authorities have also announced investigations.

Fletcher said defeat devices that allow vehicles to perform better in emissions testing than they do in the real world are specifically prohibited in the Australian Design Rules, which are mandated under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989.

All vehicle recalls in Australia have previously been conducted on a voluntary basis and Fletcher said that he expected full cooperation from Volkswagen Australia and Audi Australia in this case, adding that both companies had provided strong cooperation to date.

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