Volkswagen Charged With Violating Vehicle Emission Rules in Canada

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
volkswagen charged with violating vehicle emission rules in canada

Volkswagen Group can’t seem to escape the rippling effects of its 2015 emissions cheating scandal. It wasn’t long ago that the automaker was subjected to surprise raids from German prosecutors, still investigating its regulatory malfeasance. On Monday, Canada threw its hat into the ring — charging the company with importing roughly 128,000 vehicles into the country in direct violation of its environmental laws.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) announced VW is facing 60 counts of breaching the Canadian Environmental Protection Act by selling automobiles that fell outside the prescribed emission standards. Broken down, that includes 58 counts of contravening the law between 2008 and 2015 with two counts of providing misleading information.

A court hearing is scheduled for December 13th in the Ontario Court of Justice. Volkswagen said it intends to cooperate fully with the investigation by the ECCC. “At the hearing, the parties will submit for the Court’s consideration a proposed plea resolution and seek its approval,” a spokesperson explained.

From the ECCC:

In September 2015, Environment and Climate Change Canada launched an investigation into the importation into Canada of certain models of vehicles allegedly equipped with a prohibited “defeat device”, which in this case, is software that reduces the effectiveness of the emission control system during normal vehicle operation and use.

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s enforcement officers conducted a very comprehensive, thorough and meticulous investigation. Officers gathered an extraordinary quantity of evidence and information from foreign and domestic sources related to the suspected violations of federal environmental legislation. This involved collecting all relevant information possible, while working within different international legal environments. They then spent months poring over the information, analyzing and preparing the evidence for Public Prosecution Service of Canada review.

Thus far, VW has shelled out over $30 billion to settle fines, vehicle repairs, buybacks, and associated legal costs. Quite a bit of that went to the United States, which managed to push the automaker through the legal process more swiftly than other nations. But Germany continues to ramp up its investigation into the automaker, targeting specific staffers, and countless civil suits remain unsettled.

Those in Europe have been dragging, with VW trying to reframe the defeat devices as software-based emission fixes gone awry. However, Canada managed to snag two victories in 2017 when dual settlements were reached on behalf of customers who purchased affected 2.0 and 3.0-liter diesel units from Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche. The company has since promised to do better, placing a strong focus on electrification.

[Image: Villorejo/Shutterstock]

Join the conversation
4 of 27 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Dec 10, 2019

    "Environment and Climate Change Canada’s enforcement officers conducted a very comprehensive, thorough and meticulous investigation." Sure, but what took 4+ years?

    • See 1 previous
    • Thejohnnycanuck Thejohnnycanuck on Dec 10, 2019

      Justine Trudeau was getting his hair done. Rumour has it that also takes half the national budget.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Dec 11, 2019

    Technically it's advanced, but with the front styling they've doubled (okay, tripled, if you include the Silverado HD) down on ugly. The IRS is a completely different setup from what Ford uses on the Expedition, so I wonder what advantages their setup offers over the Expedition. Less camber change maybe? One of things that keeps me away from GM products ids the Chinesium content, and the cheap parts. Speaking of Chinesium, where's DeadWeight?

  • SCE to AUX I charge at home 99% of the time, on a Level 2 charger I installed myself in 2012 for my Leaf. My house is 1967, 150-Amp service, gas dryer and furnace; everything else is electric with no problems. I switched from gas HW to electric HW last year, when my 18-year-old tank finally failed.I charge at a for-pay station maybe a couple times a year.I don't travel more than an hour each way in my Ioniq 1 EV, so I don't deal much with public chargers. Despite a big electric rate increase this year, my car remains ridiculously cheap to operate.
  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.