Volkswagen Group will spend 2.1 billion Canadian dollars ($1.6 billion USD at current exchange rates) in a buyback campaign for 105,000 vehicles with the company’s 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder engine in the country. In addition, the company will pay 15 million CAD ($11.2 million USD) as a civil penalty. In total, this amounts to one of the largest ever settlements by a corporation in Canada.
Canada’s Competition Bureau found that “Volkswagen Canada and Audi Canada misled consumers” by marketing vehicles with “clean diesel engines with reduced emissions that were cleaner than an equivalent gasoline engine sold in Canada.” The models could only pass emissions tests because of software for cheating on the evaluation.
The buyback and repair campaign will cover the following TDI-equipped vehicles in Canada:
2009-2015 VW Jetta
2009 VW Jetta Wagon
2010-2013, 2015 VW Golf
2012-2015 VW Passat
2013-2015 VW Beetle
2010-2014 VW Golf Wagon
2015 VW Golf SportWagen
2010-2013, 2015 Audi A3
Owners and lessees have the choice of participating in the vehicle buyback or fixing their vehicle – once Canadian authorities approve the company’s repair. Customers will potentially get 5,100 to 8,000 CAD ($3,800 USD to $6,000 USD) cash in addition to the value of the vehicle, according to Reuters. Early lease terminations will also be an option. However, Canadian owners won’t receive any money from a buyback until later next year because two courts will need to approve the settlement first, which will happen around the end of March.
VW Canada already has a Website where people can check to see if their vehicle is eligible for the campaign. The page also answers frequently asked questions about how the process works. The authorities will determine a vehicle’s buyback amount based on the Canadian Black Book value as of September 18, 2015, and they will include additional adjustments for factory options and mileage.
Like in the United States, Canadian authorities are still working with VW Group on a settlement for owners of vehicles with the 3.0-liter V6 TDI. A buyback for some them in the U.S. would allegedly cost $200 million, but the campaign is not official yet.
Source: Government of Canada, Volkswagen Group, Reuters
VOLKSWAGEN AND LAWYERS FOR CONSUMER CLASS ANNOUNCE
SETTLEMENT IN CANADA ON 2.0L TDI DIESEL VEHICLES
• Proposed nationwide class settlement provides cash payments for approximately
105,000 2.0L TDI diesel vehicles in Canada.
• Many owners and lessees of these vehicles will also have choices that may include
vehicle buyback; trade-in; emissions modification, if approved; and early lease
Ajax, ON; Toronto, ON; Montréal, QC – December 19, 2016 – Volkswagen and Canadian class
counsel announce they have agreed to resolve consumer claims in Canada related to the 2.0L
TDI emissions matter for approximately 105,000 affected vehicles nationwide, subject to court
approval. The proposed settlement provides for cash payments to eligible owners and lessees,
and many of these settlement class members will also have choices that may include vehicle
buybacks, trade-in, emissions modification (if approved by regulators) and early lease
termination. The total value of the benefits is up to CAD $2.1 billion.
This result was reached by Volkswagen and Canadian class counsel in consultation with the
Commissioner of Competition in Canada. Volkswagen Group Canada also has agreed with the
Commissioner to resolve related civil consumer protection concerns with the agreed benefits in
the proposed class settlement, as well as with a CAD $15 million civil administrative monetary
“Volkswagen’s primary goal has always been to ensure our Canadian customers are treated
fairly, and we believe that this proposed resolution achieves this aim,” said Volkswagen Group
Canada President and Chief Executive Officer, Maria Stenstroem. “We are working hard to earn
back the trust of our customers, dealers and regulators, and today is an important step in that
effort. We appreciate the engagement of the other parties to these agreements and thank our
Canadian customers for their continued patience.”
Harvey T. Strosberg QC, one of the two lead class counsel in the national class action certified in
Ontario said: “Our team of lawyers is delighted to deliver to the Settlement Class Members a
just settlement, valued at up to $2.1 billion, without legal costs to them.”
Charles M. Wright, the other lead class counsel in the national class action certified in Ontario
said: “Our clients were clearly looking for finality and choices, and we hope that through this
agreement we have provided both.”
Sylvie De Bellefeuille, Legal Advisor at Option consommateurs, Representative Plaintiff for the
Québec Settlement Class Members, said: “We are very pleased with this outcome. This is a
great settlement for all Canadian consumers. Option consommateurs is proud to play a
leadership role in large-scale class actions and consumer-related issues of national scope. We
thank Belleau Lapointe, our lawyers in this class action, who have done an exceptional job for
the benefit of all Canadian Settlement Class Members.”
Proposed 2.0L TDI Settlement Program in Canada
The proposed nationwide class settlement is subject to approval by two courts. Approval
hearings will take place around the end of March 2017 before the Ontario Superior Court of
Justice in Toronto and the Superior Court of Québec in Montréal.
If approved, the 2.0L TDI settlement program in Canada will include:
• Cash payments to eligible owners and lessees of approximately 105,000 affected
• Many of these eligible settlement class members can also choose to sell their vehicle to
Volkswagen (the buyback option) or terminate their lease without penalty, or, if an
emissions modification is approved, choose to keep their vehicle and have it modified at
no charge and receive an extended emissions warranty.
• An eligible vehicle’s value for a buyback will be determined based on the Canadian Black
Book® Inc. wholesale value as of September 18, 2015, with adjustments for factory
options and mileage at the time of the buyback offer.
• Eligible owners can also choose to trade in their vehicle and apply its fair market value at
that time towards the purchase of a new or used Volkswagen or Audi vehicle. In
addition, they will receive payment of any amount by which their vehicle’s wholesale
value as of September 18, 2015 exceeds its fair market value at the time of the trade-in.
The proposed settlement agreement and Court-approved notices summarizing its terms can be
found at www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca. Starting on or around January 4, 2017, the Courtapproved
notices will be published in newspapers and online media and sent to settlement class
Settlement class members may begin to take steps to determine their eligibility for benefits by
visiting the Check My Eligibility and Vehicle Look-Up sections at www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca,
or by calling 1-888-670-4773 for assistance with these steps. Settlement class members will
need their vehicle identification number. Instructions on where to find this information are
Eligible settlement class members who wish to make a claim for benefits under the settlement
do not need to take any action at this time. The period to submit a claim will not begin until
after the proposed settlement receives approval by the Courts.
More detailed information about the options settlement class members may have, including
the choice to “opt out” of or “object” to the settlement by March 4, 2017, is available at
Notes to Editors:
The following 2.0L TDI engine vehicles are included in the proposed 2.0L TDI settlement
program in Canada:
VW Jetta 2009-2015
VW Jetta Wagon 2009
VW Golf 2010-2013, 2015
VW Passat 2012-2015
VW Beetle 2013-2015
VW Golf Wagon 2010-2014
VW Golf Sportwagon 2015
Audi A3 2010-2013, 2015
Class settlement benefits of up to CAD $2.1 billion assumes that 100% of eligible settlement
class members participate in the settlement program, and that 100% of the participants eligible
for the buyback option choose that option.
Amounts for legal fees and expenses of class counsel that are approved by the Courts will be
paid by Volkswagen and will not reduce the benefits to eligible settlement class members.
The agreements described here do not apply to owners or lessees of 3.0L TDI V6 vehicles.
Proposed class actions that are under way will continue on their behalf.
The class settlement and agreement with the Commissioner of Competition are not an
admission of liability by Volkswagen. By their terms, they are not intended to apply to or affect
Volkswagen’s obligations under the laws or regulations of any jurisdiction outside Canada.
Emission regulations and vehicle standards vary from country to country. Regulations governing
nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions limits for vehicles in Canada are stricter than those in other
parts of the world and diesel engine variants also differ significantly.
Volkswagen and Audi to pay up to $2.1 billion to consumers and $15 million penalty for environmental marketing claims
December 19, 2016 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau
The Competition Bureau participated in a proposed Canadian class action settlement agreement that Volkswagen reached with consumers of certain 2.0 litre diesel vehicles. This settlement, if approved by the courts, will provide buyback and restitution payments to those consumers totalling up to $2.1 billion — one of the largest consumer settlements in Canadian history.
The result of this settlement was a determining factor in the Bureau reaching a consent agreement with Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. and Audi Canada Inc. (Volkswagen Canada and Audi Canada) that provides for an additional monetary penalty of $15 million.
The consent agreement, which is registered with the Competition Tribunal and has the force of a court order, was negotiated to address the Bureau’s conclusions that false or misleading environmental marketing claims were used to promote certain vehicles with 2.0 litre diesel engines.
The Bureau’s investigation found that Volkswagen Canada and Audi Canada misled consumers by promoting vehicles sold or leased in Canada as having clean diesel engines with reduced emissions that were cleaner than an equivalent gasoline engine sold in Canada.
The vehicles passed applicable emissions tests because software was installed that altered the operation of the vehicle during testing which appeared to have the effect of reducing emissions in testing.
Approximately 105,000 vehicles in Canada were affected.
The current agreement does not resolve the Bureau’s ongoing inquiry with respect to vehicles equipped with certain 3.0 litre diesel engines.
For more information on how the settlement will work, please consult the backgrounder.
Consumers can contact the claims administrator for the proposed class action settlement directly to inquire about their eligibility for benefits by visiting www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca or by calling 1‑888‑670‑4773.
"Consumers expect and deserve truth in advertising, particularly when it relates to such a significant investment. We are pleased that Canadians will now begin to receive compensation and that Volkswagen Canada and Audi Canada will address the impact this matter has had on the marketplace. The Bureau works to ensure that Canadians can trust advertising claims made by businesses and can be confident in their purchasing decisions."
Commissioner of Competition