Volkswagen's financing arm has been slapped with a $216,000 fine for 20 notices to do with its "1% you can't ignore" advertising campaign.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) alleges
Volkswagen Financial Services Australia misled the public on ads promoted
online, in national and local newspapers, and on flyers for two months
until the end of January 2017.
Twenty infringement notices were issued for failing to adequately disclose
important financing details on its "1% you can't ignore" advertising
campaign, which gave the impression people would own a Volkswagen from $49
a week on a 1% per annum finance comparison rate.
But tucked away in the fine print were unclear conditions, including that a
"significant" bulk payment would have to be made after 48 months, and that
dealers arranging finance may earn additional fees.
Peter Kell, the acting chair of financial regulator ASIC, says businesses
have a responsibility to spell deals out clearly.
"Proper disclosure requires a genuine effort to ensure consumers will be
aware of and able to understand any conditions. Consumers cannot reasonably
be expected to navigate through dense text of fine print to find them," he