Australia

Volkswagen settles Australian class actions over 'dieselgate' scandal

About 100,000 owners of Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles will have access to compensation after the settlement of diesel emissions scandal class actions.

Car maker Volkswagen has settled multimillion-dollar Australian class actions over the global diesel emissions scandal, which affected about 100,000 vehicles locally and 11 million worldwide.

The owners of the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles will be able to access millions in compensation, the law firm leading the class action, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, says.

About 100,000 owners of Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles will have access to compensation.
About 100,000 owners of Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles will have access to compensation.
Getty

Under the agreement, which must be approved by the Federal Court, a minimum of $87 million will be available to Australian motorists, which could rise to $127 million depending on the size of the claimant group.

The actions followed revelations in 2015 that Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda had fitted their cars with software that could detect test conditions and cut its emissions accordingly to improve results.

Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer Julian Schimmel said the settlement was a significant victory for motorists.

"This is an important step in providing a measure of justice and redress to the thousands of Australian motorists who claim they were financially impacted by the diesel emissions issue," Mr Schimmel said in a statement.

Around 11 million cars worldwide were fitted with the "defeat device".
Around 11 million cars worldwide were fitted with the "defeat device".
AP

Volkswagen said the settlements were "a significant step towards fully resolving the diesel lawsuits in Australia, subject to approval by the Federal Court of Australia".

"Volkswagen views the in-principle settlements as a further step towards overcoming the diesel issue," it said.

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