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Audi ads “misleading”
ACCC warns all car companies after Federal Court win
11 Dec 2007
By TERRY MARTIN
THE Federal Court Melbourne declared last week that Audi Australia had engaged in “false, misleading or deceptive conduct” in relation to advertisements for its Q7 SUV.
Audi was cited for advertising the Q7 as a seven-seater when in fact the standard specification for the base models is five seats.
The court ordered Audi to publish advertisements referring to the civil proceedings and the orders made by the court. It also ordered Audi pay the costs of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which initiated the action, fixed at $25,000.
Audi Australia has also given an undertaking that it will not, for a period of three years, engage in the “same form of conduct” as alleged in the proceedings by the ACCC. It will also implement a “trades practices compliance program” for three years.
“I have previously written to motor vehicle industry participants warning them that unless there was improvement in their level of compliance in advertising they risked formal legal action,” said ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.
“The proceeding against Audi Australia reflects the seriousness with which such conduct is viewed and the ACCC's shift from an educative approach to a litigious stance. It is perhaps now timely that a further warning be given to participants in the motor vehicle industry.
“The warning is this - next time such conduct may be considered with a view to instituting a criminal prosecution.”
Read more:Audi faces ACCC
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