Volkswagen Pleads Guilty, Canucks Hand Wolfsburg a Record Bill

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
volkswagen pleads guilty canucks hand wolfsburg a record bill

While it absolutely pales in comparison to the fines levied in the United States, Volkswagen will still have to fork over a pile to appease the Canadians.

This week, the automaker pleaded guilty to 60 charges relating to its deception of regulators and consumers with emissions-rigged diesel vehicles. While $196.5 million sounds like small potatoes in this day and age, it happens to be the largest monetary fine for an environmental crime in the country’s history.

As CBC reports, it happens to be 20 times the previous maximum fine, which was levied on a mining company.

The penalty handed down by the Ontario Court of Justice is in response to the importation of 128,000 diesel Volkswagen and Audi vehicles over several years (ending September 2015), as well as 2,000 Porsche units.

“The proposed fine here indicates that a new era of environmental protection is upon us,” said Judge Enzo Rondinelli while handing down the court’s decision.

Volkswagen’s guilty plea was expected; at this point, with all the evidence against it — and having already faced the music in the U.S. and Germany — Volkswagen likely just wants to get it over with. Headlines from a scandal that started in the 2000s and broke half a decade ago aren’t something a company wants in the media. Not when there’s family-friendly CUVs to sell and much-hyped electric vehicles on the way.

Money handed over by VW will apparently be distributed, via a federal environmental fund, to various provinces and territories for local eco projects. As for the actual vehicles, VW has already taken care of those. An earlier settlement included the same buyback or fix options offered to American owners, at a cost of up to $2.39 billion.

Unlike in the U.S., Volkswagen’s Canadian sales weren’t nearly as buoyant in 2019. Brand sales sank 4.2 percent for the year.

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2 of 5 comments
  • YellowDuck This is a completely vulgar vehicle. I understand that that is the point, but still...pretty douchey.
  • IBx1 ...and it's automatic, so you get the same driving experience as a camry or an Ioniq 5. What a waste.
  • SCE to AUX Love it, and the price is a bargain, actually. The clean exterior is nice.Also, this caught my attention: "105mm throttle body"... that's a lot of air flow.
  • Tassos I predict this will be a big hit and conquer new markets. Housewives will be lining up to grab them, and the dealers will charge $200k a unit. Why? Because they already buy SUVs and crossovers they never needed, which have much less interior space than their minivans. So they will sacrifice a bit more of that space, but at least they will not drive identical looking crossovers with their accursed neighbor's wife.I also predict the Tesla Plaid and even lesses Teslas will beat the living daylights of this idiotic vehicle, and without even breaking a sweat.
  • Bobbysirhan I fully expect to be reading about the last-of-the-line Challenger Demon 170 Redeye Widebody three years from now.