A deal between the company and drivers of vehicles with 2.0-litre TDI engines who launched a class-action suit has been approved in principle and was expected to be signed Monday in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto. A similar court action was also taking place in Montreal.
Under the deal, owners will be able to sell their vehicles back to the company, trade them in for new vehicles or get them repaired. Affected Canadian owners will also get between $ 5,100 and $ 8,000 in compensation, depending on the make and model of their vehicle.
The drivers have been waiting since it was learned in 2015 that many VW vehicles were fitted with software to fool emissions tests. Vehicles fitted with the cheat emitted nitrogen oxide at a level many times more than permitted under pollution standards.
“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 CEO Maria Stenstroem in a release.
Ontario Superior Court Judge Edward Belobaba called the deal a “slam dunk” class action.
“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 agency said in a release.
VW reached a compensation deal with about 475,000 U.S. owners of vehicles with 2.0-litre diesel engines in August, and it was approved by a judge in late October.
U.S. VW owners can opt to have the company buy back their vehicles regardless of condition for the full trade-in price on Sept. 18, 2015, the day the scandal erupted, or pay for repairs. U.S. owners will also get between $ 5,100 and $ 10,000 US each, conditional on the age of the vehicle and whether the owner had it before Sept. 18 of last year.
“For example, the punitive damages are enormous in the U.S. They have [product] recall statutes that make treble damages. We don’t have something like that here, but we have a fair and reasonable system.”
He also said the values of the vehicles in Canada will be different than in the U.S.
“I think that the vehicles in Canada were older than the vehicles in the U.S., for example,” he said.
On Monday, a judge in San Francisco gave attorneys for the U.S. government, VW and car owners until Tuesday to reach a settlement deal covering about 80,000 vehicles equipped with 3.0-litre diesel engines.