FAQs - updated 20 December 2019
Which Audi models are affected?
Only certain Audi vehicles fitted with a 1.6 litre or 2.0 litre EA189 diesel engine manufactured from 2008 onwards are affected. Petrol engines are not affected.
To check if your vehicle is affected, please have your VIN number ready, and contact the Audi Information Line on 1800 50 AUDI (2834) which is open 7 days/week, 24 hours/day. See below for how to locate your VIN number.
How do I find the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) for my car?
The VIN for your car can be located in several different ways.
The easiest method would be to check the data label located on the inside cover of your Audi Service Schedule booklet (included with the vehicle log books).
Alternatively, if you own an A1, A4, A5, A6, Q3 or Q5, the VIN can be found using the MMI infotainment system, navigating through the ‘Car’ menu.
You can also refer to the Owner’s Manual for the physical location of the VIN stamp. Find this information under the ‘V’ index.
What does the settlement for the class actions mean for me?
The deadline for eligible group members to register a claim is 10 March 2020. If you fail to register by that date, you will not be entitled to receive any settlement payment.
How much money will affected customers receive?
The Federal Court of Australia must approve the proposed settlement before it can be implemented and before any settlement payments can be made. The Federal Court will be asked to approve the proposed settlement on 26 March 2020. If the settlement is approved by the Court, the Settlement Administrator will advise registered group members of their settlement payments and make payments as soon as practicable after this time.
For reasons of efficiency, and because this is a pragmatic, commercial settlement, the settlement scheme does not involve assessment of the value of any individual vehicle and cannot do so given it will not take into account all factors that may be relevant to vehicle values.
Why shouldn’t you pay the penalty imposed by the Federal Court of Australia?
While Volkswagen AG is considering its legal position, no comment on the Court’s ruling can be made.
Does this mean Audi is guilty of breaching compliance in Australia?
Irrespective of the penalty, the Federal Court of Australia has made declarations that certain implied representations made by Volkswagen AG to the Australian government in relation to regulatory approvals sought and obtained at the time affected vehicles were imported to Australia were false. There was, however, no evidence before the Court that any actual harm to public health or the environment, or any loss to Australian consumers, arose specifically in connection with the affected vehicles in Australia. The case against Volkswagen Group Australia, and the separate proceedings against Audi AG and Audi Australia in respect of Audi vehicles, have been dismissed in their entirety with no orders made against any of those entities.
What does this mean for the class actions?
The ACCC proceedings are independent of the class actions. The class action settlement is available to group members who satisfy three eligibility criteria. Eligibility criteria is detailed at www.vwsettlement.com.au.
What is a class action group member?
Group members in the Bannister Law class actions are people who held an interest in an affected vehicle as at 18 September 2015. Group members in the Maurice Blackburn class actions are people who held an interest in an affected vehicle as at 3 October 2015. If you are not a group member then you are not eligible to register for the settlement.
Has this issue impacted the residual value of my vehicle?
There is no evidence to suggest there has been any impact to residual value of vehicles. The market share of diesel vehicles is decreasing and the development of residual value risks is closely monitored. That said, a significant erosion of diesel residual values cannot be seen and what we are observing at present in the market for used diesel vehicles is, dependent on life cycle and general market trends, within the normal range of fluctuation.
Will Audi close its doors given the expected fine?
The penalty amount applies only to Volkswagen AG, and does not affect Audi Australia.
The Volkswagen Group, which is one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers, sells vehicles in 153 countries.
The Group comprises twelve brands from seven European countries: Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania, and MAN. In addition, the Volkswagen Group offers a wide range of financial services, including dealer and customer financing, leasing, banking and insurance activities, and fleet management. It is not expected that the fine payable to resolve the Australian regulatory proceedings will adversely affect Volkswagen's mission to be the globally leading provider of sustainable mobility.
How do I contact the class action lawyers?
You can contact Maurice Blackburn or Bannister Law for further information or if you have any questions regarding the proposed settlement or registration process:
Please note that Maurice Blackburn will be closed from 23 December 2019 and reopening on 2 January 2020. Bannister Law will be closed on public holidays between 23 December 2019 and 2 January 2020.
Is my car safe to drive as a result of the diesel emissions issue?
Yes, your vehicle remains safe to drive.
My vehicle did not have the software update, should I bother?
Audi believes that the best outcome for customers is the implementation of the technical measures, and strongly recommends that the technical measures are applied to customers' vehicles. If you own an affected vehicle, we recommend you book an appointment with your preferred Audi dealer to have the technical measures applied. The software update and, where necessary, the installation of a minor hardware component will be provided free of charge and be installed in less than an hour.
What exactly needs to be updated in the car?
The technical measures involve an update to the software in both the 1.6L and 2.0L variants of the EA189 diesel engine. In a small percentage of vehicles, a minor hardware update will also be installed.
The time needed for the implementation of the technical measures is expected to be less than one hour.
What effect does this situation have on the operation of affected vehicles?
The diesel engines in question were originally developed some years ago. Since that time there have been significant advances in diesel engine technology. The update takes into account the latest findings in the development of the diesel combustion process and includes an updated fuel injection pattern, injection characteristics and rail pressure. The update is intended to ensure that vehicles operate in a single mode when the vehicles are driven in a manner that accords with the prescribed emissions testing framework.
The relevant type approval authorities for Audi vehicles conducted a review and have certified that following the implementation of the technical measures the fuel consumption figures and CO2 emissions originally listed by the manufacturer were confirmed. They have further certified that previous engine performance, maximum torque and previous noise emissions remain unchanged.
Australian Government authorities have accepted that vehicles which have had the technical measures applied meet Australian Design Rule (ADR) requirements for emissions. Australian design rules prescribe maximum emissions figures for compliance purposes which are derived from a standard dynamometer (dyno) test conducted under controlled laboratory conditions. Outside the standard dynamometer test, factors like the age of vehicle, driving style, road and traffic conditions, environmental influences, the modification of vehicles and vehicle condition can lead to figures which may differ from those calculated for new vehicles under laboratory conditions.
We are confident in the effectiveness of the software update, based on the experience of over 5,700,000 customers worldwide across the various brands who have had the update implemented to date; testing performed by type approval authorities in Europe; and the results of independent before and after testing of emissions and fuel consumption by three of the world's oldest and respected independent motorists' organisations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria and one of Germany's most widely read car enthusiasts' magazines, Autozeitung.
Audi is committed to ensuring you are completely satisfied with the update and that you continue to derive pleasure and satisfaction from driving your car. If you have any questions before or after the update is performed please contact us. You may be assured that, in the unlikely event that you do experience a negative effect on the performance of your vehicle following the update, we will be pleased to investigate and resolve any such concerns with you.
Why is Audi dealing with this issue differently in Australia compared with other countries like the US?
Emission regulations and vehicle standards vary from country to country. Regulations governing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions limits for vehicles in the United States are much stricter than those in other parts of the world, including Australia, and their diesel engine variants also differ significantly.
In Australia, a voluntary software update and, where necessary, a minor hardware component is available for installation in your vehicle’s engine management software.
Who can I contact for more information?
Please feel free to contact the Audi Information Line on 1800 50 AUDI (2834) which is open 7 days/week, 24 hours/day.
For further information about the class actions settlement or to register you claim please visit www.vwsettlement.com.au.