Poland initiates proceedings against Volkswagen Group
The proceedings pertain to practices which involved tampering with emissions sensors in the vehicles manufactured by the company.
The proceedings of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection have been initiated due to the fact that the Volkswagen Group equipped the cars manufactured under the VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands after 2008 with software which made it possible to artificially lower the nitrogen oxide emissions figures.
The activities of the group may result, among others, in the violation of the consumers' collective interests as well as in the failure to comply with environmental and technical standards.
In the course of explanatory proceedings, the Competition Authority examined, inter alia, the advertising materials as well as the extracts from certificates of approval and the contents of the EC compliance certificates.
The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection verified whether they contained any information concerning nitrogen oxide emissions or any specific properties with respect to emissions (e.g. declarations of environmental conformity).
The Competition Authority has found that the actual emissions figures in traffic conditions deviated from the figures announced by the undertaking to its consumers. As a result, the consumers could have been misled by the undertaking.
The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has also questioned the actions of the Volkswagen Group Poland relating to the handling of consumers’ complaints.
Proceedings concerning the infringement of consumers' collective interests may lead to the adoption of a decision on the declaration of infringement of consumers' collective interests.
A fine in the amount of up to 10% of the undertaking’s turnover may be imposed as a result. The proceedings may also end with the adoption of a commitment to take steps to remedy the effects of the infringement which have a detrimental effect on consumers.
In such case, the Competition Authority may refrain from imposing a fine. ■