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Aussie VW owners won't get new engines

Australian owners of dodgy Volkswagen diesels won’t get new engines, says insider.

Two weeks on and Australian Volkswagen owners still don't know which cars, if any, are affected. Now an insider has claimed we won't get new engines.

Australian owners of dodgy Volkswagen diesel cars won't get new engines, a company insider has claimed -- and the consumer watchdog has warned VW, Audi and Skoda brands may be fined up to $3.3 million locally for breaching vehicle regulations.

A statement from the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, said: “Using defeat devices is specifically prohibited under the Australian Design Rules, which are picked up as Australian Consumer Law (ACL) mandatory safety standards.”

“As the enforcer of the (Australian Consumer Law), the ACCC can take action against any corporation that has breached mandatory standards,” said Mr Sims.

The maximum penalty per breach of the ACL is $1.1 million for a corporation. With Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda cars likely to be affected, the group of companies may be fined a combined total of $3.3 million.

This would be in addition to the cost of rectification work.

However, VW mechanics may not even put a spanner on any cars affected locally.

As the diesel scandal enters its second week, Australian owners are still in the dark about which cars if any are affected by the "cheat" mode exposed in US and European in models made from 2009 to 2015.

The ACCC says an announcement is expected later today.

On Wednesday Volkswagen head office in Germany issued a statement saying it would "refit diesel vehicles with EA 189 EU5 engines" in 11 million cars globally, including more than 5 million VWs and 2 million Audi models. The balance is expected to comprise diesel cars from Skoda and other VW Group brands.

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But Australians are not likely to get the same treatment, with an insider telling News Corp Australia that local cars may simply get a computer upgrade while overseas models may have changes to the engine's mechanicals or a complete replacement.

VW and Audi executives in Australia are still banned from talking to the media, instead redirecting inquiries to their German head office.

Those cars are no longer approved for Australian roads

While the car giant is still trying to come to terms with the biggest ever corporate cheat in the automotive industry, a former VW Australia executive has told News Corp Australia if the cars are found to have cheating software they are technically not allowed on public roads.

"If (the Federal Government) has been given paperwork now proven to be false, that means those cars are no longer approved for Australian roads," said the former VW Australia executive, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"That means they can no longer be registered to be driven on Australian roads or insured. Will the government cancel their approval to be on Australian roads?"

Industry sources say it is unlikely the Federal Government would take such drastic action -- to park the estimated 50,000 VW diesels and 20,000 Audi diesels in Australia -- because it is not a safety hazard.

The affected VW and Audi diesel cars are emitting up to 35 times more toxins than what is allowed, so the damage is environmental rather than a road safety issue.

In the UK overnight VW confirmed more than 1.1 million diesel cars sold there were equipped with software designed to cheat emissions tests, including more than 500,000 VWs, 390,000 Audis, 76,000 Seat cars, 130,000 Skodas and almost 80,000 VW delivery vans.

News Corp understands VW, Skoda and Audi are in discussions with Australian Government authorities and are about to issue a recall for the affected cars late this week or early next.