Poland’s office for consumer protection UOKiK fined the German automaker Volkswagen PLN120.6mn (€28.5mn) for the so-called Dieselgate scandal, UOKiK said on January 15.
Dieselgate was an international scandal in which Volkswagen used software that lowered emissions readings from cars during tests. The falsified readings were used in advertising while Volkswagen also instructed dealers not to recognise customers’ complaints about real emissions levels.
Volkswagen used misleading information about emissions from its brands Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, and Skoda between 2008 and 2016.
“Volkswagen manipulated emission indicators, misleading consumers by claiming that its vehicles were environmentally-friendly. The environmental awareness of Poles is growing, which is why many people could have deliberately chosen cars that emitted less harmful substances,” UOKiK president Marek Niechciał said in a statement.
UOKiK’s decision is not final and Volkswagen can appeal against it in court.
Once UOKiK’s decisions become legally binding, however, they become a precedent, allowing consumers to pursue claims in court, the office said.