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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Volkswagen Group Poland - UOKiK information

< previous | next > 13.01.2020

Volkswagen Group Poland - UOKiK information
  • An investigation into manipulation of emissions level indicators in cars belonging to the Volkswagen concern has reached the final stage.
  • The President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has finished analysing the evidence, of which he informed the company's proxy.
  • This means that the next step will be to issue a decision.

The proceedings conducted by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection concern the fact that the Volkswagen concern used software in Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars produced after 2008 which under test conditions allowed understatement of nitrogen oxide emissions. The Office has made the following allegations:

  • disseminating false information in advertising materials which suggest that Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda and Audi cars are environmentally friendly and meet the requirements for nitrogen oxide emissions,
  • providing incorrect nitrogen oxides emission parameters in EC certificates of conformity,
  • directing guidelines to the sellers of these cars, which could lead to dealers rejecting consumer complaints about nitrogen oxide emissions.

- In late 2016 we brought allegations against Volkswagen Group Poland. The procedure is already in its final stage. During this time we have collected 25 volumes of files with over 5,000 sheets with evidence and letters from the company. We sent a survey with questions to 13 of the concern’s car dealers. We exchanged correspondence with the Transport Technical Inspection and German and British approval authorities. The company's proxy, exercising his rights, repeatedly (24 times) reviewed the file and provided extensive explanations, e.g. one response comprised of 827 pages with annexes and required careful analysis. I am quoting these statistics in order to make everyone aware how extensive the evidence was that we had to analyse - says Marek Niechciał, President of UOKiK. The Office has repeatedly accepted requests from the company’s proxy to provide an extension of the response time. A prosecutor from the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw also joined the proceedings conducted by the Office.

The proceedings against Volkswagen Group Poland have reached the final stage. The next and last stage will be a decision. The company did not propose to issue a commitment decision. The President of UOKiK may, for example, find that the collective interests of consumers have been infringed and impose a financial penalty - up to a maximum of 10% of the annual turnover.

Once UOKiK’s decisions become legally binding, they become a precedent, which makes it easier for consumers to pursue possible claims in court. The findings of the Office as to the practice used are binding for common courts when handling individual cases concerning the practices challenged in the decision.

UOKiK is third Authorities in Europe, which is finishing proceedings in this case. For example, the Italian competition authority has imposed total fines of EUR 5 million on Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen Group Italia. In the United States the sanction imposed by the court was $2.8 billion. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission informed about a settlement worth nearly $15 billion - Volkswagen in the United States committed, among others, to buy back defective cars. An Australian authority has recently imposed a fine on the company of 125 million Australian dollars (about $85 million). 

Support for consumers:

Tel. 801 440 220 or 22 290 89 16 - Consumer Helpline
E-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Rzecznicy konsumentów – in your city or district
Regional Consumer Centres: 22 299 60 90 - Dlakonsumenta.pl

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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