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SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian consumer watchdog said on Wednesday it was suing the local Audi unit of Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) for intentionally selling more than 12,000 vehicles with software which lied about levels of toxic emissions.
This follows a separate suit that the watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), launched against Volkswagen last September for the same alleged offence.
"The ACCC alleges that Audi AG and Audi Australia engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, made false or misleading representations and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public in relation to certain diesel vehicle emission claims, and that VWAG was knowingly concerned in this conduct," the ACCC said in a media release.
The ACCC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising, orders relating to the future use of findings of fact and costs.
The Federal Court action adds to what is already proving to be a costly legal fallout for the German company as it faces class action lawsuits in Australia and around the world over emissions fraud, as well as penalties from antitrust authorities.
Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Richard Pullin