January 19, 2017 / 1:50 PM / 2 years ago

Polish consumer watchdog launches proceedings against Volkswagen

FILE PHOTO - A U.S. flag flutters in the wind above a Volkswagen dealership in Carlsbad, California, U.S. May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Poland’s consumer protection watchdog on Thursday said it had initiated proceedings against Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) for misleading customers over emissions, a step which could result in a fine of up to 10 percent of Volkswagen’s local turnover.

“The proceedings may also end with the adoption of a commitment to take steps to remedy the effects of the infringement which have a detrimental effect on consumers,” Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection said in a statement.

“In such case, the Competition Authority may refrain from imposing a fine.”

The regulator said it was examining whether emissions sensors installed in VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars after 2008 made it possible to artificially lower the nitrogen oxide emissions readings.

The Competition Authority said it found that the actual emissions figures in traffic conditions deviated from the figures given by VW. As a result, the consumers could have been misled by the undertaking, the watchdog said.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Christoph Steitz

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