Volkswagen Group Australia has declined an invitation from the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) to submit vehicles for judging in this year’s Best Cars competition. The refusal extends to Skoda vehicles.

Volkswagen Group Australia Managing Director Michael Bartsch said that Australia’s leading European importer believed these awards “lack validity”.

“The AAA’s public statements inspire little confidence in its grasp of fundamental issues,” Mr Bartsch said. “Moreover, the AAA has become hostile not only to our brands, but to the motor vehicle industry that employs tens of thousands of Australians.

“Volkswagen Group Australia continues to willingly submit its vehicles to judging in awards run by this country’s major media outlets. We enter these with no expectation of winning, but with every confidence in the ability of those organisations to arrive at the best outcomes for the car buying public.”

Last year the AAA re-ran Best Cars after arbitrarily banning Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi. Mr Bartsch said the AAA had failed to acknowledge that none of these vehicles were affected by the global voluntary recall.

New and acclaimed models – including Volkswagen’s Tiguan, Amarok V6 and Skoda’s Superb – are in contention for a number of Australian and international awards.