MILAN -- An Italian consumer group said on Friday an appeals court in Venice had accepted a class action suit against Volkswagen Group over allegations the automaker exaggerated the fuel-saving credentials of its Golf model.
Altroconsumo filed the class action in September 2014, long before Volkswagen was engulfed in a scandal over its cheating of diesel-emissions tests in the U.S. and before it admitted last year to understating fuel consumption in up to 800,000 cars sold mainly in Europe.
The consumer group had filed a similar class action against Fiat Chrysler that was rejected by a lower court, but also later accepted after an appeal.
Altroconsumo said in 2014 it had done laboratory tests on a Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI BM model, which resulted in CO2 emissions 50 percent higher than those declared by the carmaker.
"The carmakers have created false consumer expectations, a truly unfair commercial practice," the consumer group said in a statement.
In the class action it had asked that Volkswagen be ordered to pay around 500 euros ($563) in damages to each owner of the tested model. The class action was lodged with a court in Venice, whose catchment area covers the city of Verona, where Volkswagen has its Italian headquarters.