The Australian government – through its Department of Infrastructure and Transport -- is probing reports of power loss problems in vehicles produced by Volkswagen. In a statement, the department said it is investigating recent reports of safety concerns with Volkswagen vehicles to “establish whether systemic safety issues are involved."
The department’s probe comes amid a current inquiry into the death of a certain Melissa Ryan after the VW Golf she was driving was hit by a truck in 2011. According to Volkswagen Group Australia, the allegations carried by Australian media that Ryan’s demise seemed to be a result of a sudden deceleration were incorrect.
The probe also comes weeks after the German carmaker recalled around 91,000 vehicles in Japan due to possible transmission problems that may cause a vehicle to speed up or slow down during driving.
Safety concerns over Volkswagen vehicles are now under probe in Australia as the Victoria state coroner inquires into Ryan’s death. The coroner's decision will be out in July. Australia's Department of Infrastructure and Transport has said that it was aware of Ryan's case and might provide support to agencies including coroners.
The transport department provides information to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which can direct a vehicle recall. A number of drivers have contacted local newspapers and radio stations to report occurrences of sudden power loss while driving a Volkswagen vehicle. The carmaker, on the other hand, noted that neither Ryan nor those who lodged complained to local media had a vehicle with the DSG direct shift transmission that was the cause of the recall in China and Japan. [source: autonews - sub. required]