Christmastime in Canada: Volkswagen Showers Diesel Owners With $2.1 Billion

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
christmastime in canada volkswagen showers diesel owners with 2 1 billion

Half a year after an embattled Volkswagen agreed to pay nearly $15 billion in compensation to U.S. diesel owners and regulators, it’s Canada’s turn to dip into the automaker’s sooty wallet.

The company reached a deal today with the 2.0-liter diesel vehicle owners behind a class-action lawsuit. When finalized, the settlement means up to 105,000 bought-back vehicles and more cash added to the company’s penalty pile. $2.1 billion, to be exact, assuming everyone applies for a piece of the pie.

While the cash compensation has the same floor as in the U.S., the payout’s ceiling is lower.

According to CBC, the tentative deal was expected to be signed in Ontario Superior Court today, as well as in a Quebec court. The courts’ approval should come in March, after which owners can collect their loot and unburden themselves of heavily polluting vehicles.

A host of options are available to Canuck owners. First, they can rid themselves of their TDI by having the company buy it back, or have the company fix it for free. (U.S. owners are still waiting for a fix.) For those not completely soured on the brand, there’s the option of trading the old model in for a new Volkswagen.

Depending on the year, make and model, all owners can apply for cash compensation. Starting at $5,100, the payouts start at the same point as the U.S. offer, but top out at $8,000. American owners saw up to $10,000 in cash payments.

Assuming the settlement gains approval during the month of March, owners could start receiving buyout offers and payments at the end of the month. March 4, 2017 is the deadline to opt out of compensation.

Speaking to CBC, the lawsuit’s co-lead counsel, Harvey T. Strosberg, called the $2.1 billion price tag “as huge number.”

“No corporation has paid that money in Canadian history,” he said. “It is a watershed moment.”

In a statement, Volkswagen Group Canada president and CEO Maria Stenstroem said, “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.”

Unlike in the U.S., the government of Canada’s penalty is nowhere near as harsh. The federal Competition Bureau will fine Volkswagen Canada and Audi Canada $15 million for false environmental marketing claims. These figures do not include the crop of 3.0-liter Volkswagen Group vehicles also saddled with emissions-cheating defeat devices.

According to Reuters, a “global resolution” of 3.0-liter vehicle issues is expected to be announced tomorrow.

[Image: Volkswagen of America]

Join the conversation
2 of 28 comments
  • Tedward Tedward on Dec 20, 2016

    The payout structure here in the states seems to be working out well for the people I know participating. Everyone is looking at a bizarrely large down payment on their next car, tons of time to do the shopping (not how anyone but us shops normally) and a ridiculously low cost per mile on their doomed tdi's in the meantime. I wish all consumer scandals could have this kind of happy ending. My big concern is that this isn't repeatable. How many companies outside of pharma and finance can muster the credit and cash to pull off a restitution like this? The answer is distressingly few. That leads me to a distressing conclusion that while nearly perfect, I wouldn't want to see it necessarily become a template. The hosed vehicle owner class right now is actually broader than this, it's takata bag owners. From what I've heard dealers are offering auction bait pricing to those trade ins since they can't sell them themselves. So the other huge current auto scandal is savaging owner equity across many brands while this one is still soaking up all the attention despite/because of the happy ending.

  • Detroit-Iron Detroit-Iron on Dec 20, 2016

    I much prefer Christmastime in Hollis, Queens.

  • Alan The Prado shouldn't have the Landcruiser name attached. It isn't a Landcruiser as much as a Tacoma or 4 Runner or a FJ Cruiser. Toyota have used the Landcruiser name as a marketing exercise for years. In Australia the RAV4 even had Landcruiser attached years ago! The Toyota Landcruiser is the Landcruiser, not a tarted up Tacoma wagon.Here a GX Prado cost about $61k before on roads, this is about $41k USD. This is a 2.8 diesel 4x4 with all the off road tricky stuff, plus AC, power windows, etc. I'm wondering if Toyota will perform the Nissan Armada treatment on it and debase the Prado. The Patrol here is actually as capable and possibly more capable than the Landcruiser off road (according to some reviews). The Armada was 'muricanised and the off road ability was reduced a lot. Who ever heard of a 2 wheel drive Patrol.Does the US need the Prado? Why not. Another option to choose from built by Toyota that is overpriced and uses old tech.My sister had a Prado Grande, I didn't think much of it. It was narrow inside and not that comfortable. Her Grand Cherokee was more comfortable and now her Toureg is even more comfortable, but you can still feel the road in the seat of your pants and ears.
  • Jeffrey No tis vehicle doen't need to come to America. The market if flooded in this segment what we need are fun affordable vehicles.
  • Nrd515 I don't really see the point of annual inspections, especially when the car is under 3 years (warranty) old. Inspections should be safety related, ONLY, none of the nonsensical CA ARB rules that end up being something like, "Your air intake doesn't have an ARB sticker on it, so you have to remove it and buy one just like it that does have the ARB sticker on it!". If the car or whatever isn't puking smoke out of it, and it doesn't make your eyes water, like an old Chevy Bel-Air I was behind on Wed did, it's fine. I was stuck in traffic behind that old car, and wow, the gasoline smell was super potent. It was in nice shape, but man, it was choking me. I was amused by the 80 something old guy driving it, he even had a hat with a feather in it, THE sign of someone you don't want to be driving anywhere near you.
  • Lou_BC "15mpg EPA" The 2023 ZR2 Colorado is supposed to be 16 mpg
  • ToolGuy "The more aerodynamic, organic shape of the Mark VIII meant ride height was slightly lower than before at 53.6 inches, over 54.2” for the Mark VII."• I am not sure that ride height means what you think it means.Elaboration: There is some possible disagreement about what "ride height" refers to. Some say ground clearance, some say H point (without calling it that), some say something else. But none of those people would use a number of over 4 feet for a stock Mark anything.Then you go on to use it correctly ("A notable advancement in the Mark VIII’s suspension was programming to lower the ride height slightly at high speeds, which assisted fuel economy via improved aerodynamics.") so what do I know. Plus, I ended a sentence with a preposition. 🙂