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The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from Volkswagen Group Australia (Volkswagen) to improve compliance with its consumer guarantee obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Volkswagen has committed to reviewing past complaints, and offering refunds, replacements or repairs to customers where consumer guarantees rights were not honoured.

“We have successfully sought Volkswagen’s commitment to improve its complaints handling systems to ensure compliance with the automatic rights consumers have under the Australian Consumer Law, which cannot be excluded, restricted or modified,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“Today’s action ensures Volkswagen will place consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law at the centre of their approach to consumer complaints, as every car manufacturer should do.”

Volkswagen has also undertaken to establish a ‘60-day policy’, where it will offer refunds or replacements without the need for a consumer to demonstrate a major failure, if a defect prevents a vehicle from being driveable within the first 60 days after purchase.

“We are pleased Volkswagen will offer its new car customers remedies in some cases beyond what the law requires and believe this positive step will be appreciated by new customers,” Ms Court said.

Volkswagen has also committed to providing customers with written reasons when a remedy requested by a consumer is not agreed to.

This undertaking is part of the ACCC’s ongoing work to seek responses from manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, to the ACCC’s concerns about industry-wide non-compliance with consumer guarantees.

“We will continue to pursue manufacturers to ensure they are honouring the rights of consumers under the law,” Ms Court said.

Volkswagen’s court enforceable undertaking is available at: Volkswagen Group Australia Pty Ltd