By on December 10, 2019

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]

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27 Comments on “Volkswagen Charged With Violating Vehicle Emission Rules in Canada...”

  • avatar
    Big Smoke

    While Americans get their full MSRP purchase price back, plus damages.

    Canadians will get 15oo bucks off the purchase of another new VW product. And 30% off some winter mats. Take off, eh.

    • 0 avatar

      Not sure where you got that misinformation.

      Nobody got full MRSP back on a used car and buyback programs were roughly similar.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not sure where you got that information from. I’m in Canada and I had a 2013 Passat TDI. The sticker was around $29K new. VW bought it back in early 2018 with 60K kms on it for $24K.

      • 0 avatar

        “Big Smoke” is one of those Americans who has never set foot in any other country, but thinks he knows all about what goes on there because he believes what Fox and AM radio tell him.

  • avatar

    Hopefully this bad news generally coinciding with the EOY sales push will mean the dealer(s) are more thirsty for my Golf Sportwagen dollars.

    • 0 avatar

      Dieselgate certainly got me a good deal on my Jetta, but the Sportwagen you’re looking for is kind of a unicorn by comparison. And VW dealers like to play old-skool car sales games. You might be at it a while.

      Kind of sucks, because the Sportwagen is a no-excuses excellent car.

      • 0 avatar

        There’s a local CPO one with 4k on the clock that was a service loaner. 19, white/tan, SE.

        They’ve got it priced at $23k, when a new one is $24,5. “It’s almost better than new because of the warranty!”

        They offered to come down $100. They’ll have to come down $800 to make it to the KBB fair price for it, which they argue is fake news.

        I told them it doesn’t make any sense for me to pay over what KBB says is fair for a used car. It’s still sitting there at the dealer 3+ weeks later.

        They reached out once and said they could “come down some but not thousands.” But never actually asked me what I wanted to pay for it.

        I’m letting them simmer.

        • 0 avatar

          Well speak of the devil, who just checked in via email!?

          • 0 avatar

            Hopefully that means they are ready to deal a bit more.

          • 0 avatar

            No reply this evening, but I hope so. I’d like to avoid having to go cross-country or deal with shipping.

          • 0 avatar

            I am not hearing good things about the modified vehicles but the extra warranty does alleviate some of those problems. VW dealers are nuts though. I almost purchased a 2014 VW Golf Wagon Tdi( manual, not brown though) that had 9,000 mile on it, 4 months after the scandal broke. No one knew what’s going to happen but a lot of people knew the non-urea equipped are probably non fixable. Living in Florida ( no inspection) I would have taken that risk, for the right price of course. Dealers wouldn’t budge. They wanted the same exact price as per scandal. In retrospect, I dodged a big bullet.

          • 0 avatar

            1.4 or 1.8?

          • 0 avatar


            1.4 as it’s the SE.

            Their offer is 22,5.

          • 0 avatar

            Well, they’re not “dealing” much, but I looking around on Autotrader, I think that’s actually a pretty fair price for that particular car. It’s thirty grand new, after all.

            But, yeah, since this is a pretty rare model, it’s kind of hard to gauge the market for it.

          • 0 avatar

            Gonna offer a bit lower to absorb the bogus doc fee.

          • 0 avatar

            There’s always free oil changes!

            (Don’t laugh – they’re not all that cheap with this car.)

        • 0 avatar

          “They offered to come down $100. They’ll have to come down $800 to make it to the KBB fair price for it, which they argue is fake news.”

          I look forward to hearing how they determine the CNN value of your trade in.

          • 0 avatar

            Their offer on my Subaru was too low, just like I knew it would be. I told them to take that part out of the equation, because if course they offered a but more for the trade if it meant I’d accept their full asking price.

    • 0 avatar

      Run-ins with Canadian government – been there, done that, don’t envy VW.

      Proposed question of the day (prompted by Corey): How long does your typical vehicle purchase process take?
      [Possibly related: Our first house, we told the (excellent) Realtor what neighborhood we were interested in – looked at 5 houses on a Saturday – offered/countered/accepted on Monday. Had friends who were shown ~200 houses before choosing one.]

      • 0 avatar

        Well no one likes showing someone 200 houses, so I’m thinking in their case they didn’t really know what they wanted, which is not uncommon for a first time buyer. I’ve had clients that looked at 50+. On the other hand when looking for myself I’ve looked at 100+ houses before I found the right one at the right price.

      • 0 avatar

        Not a bad question idea. Probably use it in January, thanks!

  • avatar

    Okay, I get it: VW cheated. I recall that just a few weeks after the scandal was discovered I was walking out of a mall and heading to my car. My awful, awful killing machine of a car that could easily get 5L/100km (47 mpg). I guy is his bro-dozer RAM diesel went by spewing black smoke everywhere. I felt ashamed that I was such a terrible person for driving my TDI while in the presence of this upstanding, law-abiding citizen.

    This thing still cheeses me off. And I’m not mad at VW.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “Okay, I get it”

      No, you don’t get it.

      Presumably, the RAM diesel left the factory meeting all regulations in letter and spirit. VW’s diesels did not, and they willfully deceived multiple regulatory bodies about that.

      If the bro-dozer has been modified, then blame the driver; the courts and the governments have nothing to do with it.

      And by the way, fuel economy and emissions aren’t completely related. Today’s 40 mpg Civic is a lot cleaner than the 40 mpg Civic from 1975.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Environment and Climate Change Canada’s enforcement officers conducted a very comprehensive, thorough and meticulous investigation.”

    Sure, but what took 4+ years?

  • avatar

    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?

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