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VW Group dumped from Best Cars
AAA Best Cars program postponed in wake of VW diesel emissions scandal
11 Nov 2015
THE Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has excluded all Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda vehicles from this year's Best Cars appraisal program, following the discovery of the now widely documented emissions cheating “defeat device”.
In light of the developing scandal, the AAA Board has postponed the program to reconsider criteria it uses to critically appraise vehicles nominated in the annual assessment.
The program was due to launch this month but the extra time required to reshape assessment process and guidelines has pushed the start date to the New Year.
In a statement, AAA chief executive officer Michael Bradley said that given the extent of the still emerging scandal, it would not be fair to include any vehicles suspected of using the evasive software.
“The AAA Board is of the opinion that the program cannot accurately or fairly assess Volkswagen Group vehicles against each criterion and as a result, no Volkswagen, Audi, or Skoda vehicles are able to be considered in this year’s program,” he said.
The Best Cars program assesses more than 200 cars each year and provides the public with scores relating to value for money, design, function and performance – the latter category includes the consideration of emissions.
Mr Bradley goes on to explain that the organisation would take the time it needs to evolve its evaluation strategy in an effort to maintain the trustworthiness and reputation it had worked hard to forge with Australian motorists.
Left: AAA CEO Michael Bradley.
“The Australia's Best Cars program prides itself on being the largest independent automobile assessment and awards program in Australia, evaluated by judges who together have more than 200 years of experience in the industry and spend more than 7000 hours on the road every year testing new cars.
“It is a robust information source available to the more than seven million Australians who are today members of AAA clubs and the delivery of credible and reliable information is of the utmost importance to the AAA Board.”
The emissions deception, which started with the discovery that some 2.0-litre diesel powered Volkwagens has since spread to Audi, Skoda and Porsche models.
Most recently, the ongoing investigations have unearthed efforts by the Volkswagen Group to evade C02 emissions test in petrol models as well as compression ignition engines – a factor influencing the AAA's decision to re evaluate its 2015 program.
To date more than 11 million vehicles have been implicated in the scandal with about 100,000 of those located in Australia. The more recent C02 “irregularities” have potentially added another 800,000 to the global figure.
The AAA is the peak organisation for Australia's various state- and territory-based motoring clubs.
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