CORRECTED-Polish watchdog fines Volkswagen over ‘dieselgate’ scandal

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(Corrects story to clarify it is the biggest fine ever given for for violation of consumer rights, not the biggest for any issue, para 2)

WARSAW, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Poland’s consumer watchdog UOKiK said on Wednesday it was fining Volkswagen more than 120 million zlotys ($31.6 million) for misleading customers about the emissions of its vehicles.

The fine, the biggest ever given by the regulator for violation of consumer rights, is the latest chapter in a global emissions cheating scandal that has cost Volkswagen about 30 billion euros in fines, vehicle refits and legal costs, and also triggered a global backlash against diesel vehicles.

“False information in advertising materials caused misinformation – they referred to Volkswagen’s pro-ecological attitude, when in fact the cars were not environmentally friendly,” UOKiK president Marek Niechcial said in a statement.

Volkswagen in 2015 admitted to cheating U.S. emissions tests on diesel engines.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. ($1 = 3.7933 zlotys) (Reporting by Alan Charlish; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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