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VW must pay car owners back: lawyers

AAP logoAAP 10/08/2016 By Luke Costin

Volkswagen should stop treating Australia as a backwater and offer compensation to car owners caught up in the global emissions fraud, say lawyers of a class action against the German auto maker.

VW and its Italian subsidiary were fined by the Italian competition watchdog on Monday (Tuesday Australian time) for selling cars with software that manipulated pollution controls.

In handing down the 5 million euros ($A7.24 million) fine - the maximum allowed under Italian law - the Italian Competition Authority said it was likely customers bought the vehicles because they believed they offered lower emissions.

Maurice Blackburn class action lawyer Jason Geisker says that decision is further proof VW has duped Australian motorists and needs to offer them proper compensation.

"It's time they offered a proper compensatory fix for affected Australians and stopped treating us as a backwater."

Maurice Blackburn and rival firm Bannister Law have both begun class action against VW on behalf of 100,000 owners.

VW Australia admitted in October that more than 100,000 diesel cars, including the popular Golf and Polo models, were sold between 2008 and 2014 with software that manipulated pollution controls.

In March, VWAustralia began recalling thousands of affected cars to apply a software fix.

It says diesel vehicles with the update run cleaner than the Australian regulation emissions limit.

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