Italy: consumer group to sue Fiat and Volkswagen image

In Italy a consumer protection group is now allowing auto customers to join a class action lawsuit that would confront Fiat and Volkswagen over alleged exaggerations for the fuel economy figures of the company models.

Altroconsumo recently announced that following consumption trials on Fiat’s Panda 1.2 and Volkswagen’s Golf 1.6 TDI versions, the two cars were off the official figures between 18 and 50%. The official statements of the companies in marketing and sales material had them far more fuel-efficient.

“Consumers buying supposedly efficient cars are misled too often,” said Monique Goyens, director general of the European Consumer Organization, with Altroconsumo a a part of it. “The deplorable side-effect of this practice is that drivers might disregard fuel consumption information altogether.”

Now, the group has asked Fiat and VW to compensate buyers of the two models with 247 euros and 509 euros respectively, on estimates for the additional fuel costs incurred over an average annual drive of 15,000 km.

Altroconsumo added the class action suit would be set in motion in an Italian court in the following period and alleged that both Fiat and VW used procedural loopholes to obtain lower fuel ratings in the EU fuel test-cycle. The EU legislators are already preparing new draft bills to change the anachronistic test procedures.

Via Reuters