Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. and Canadian class counsel announced today that both the Québec and Ontario Courts have granted approval of the nationwide settlement agreement to resolve consumer claims in Canada related to the 2.0L diesel emissions matter for approximately 105,000 affected vehicles. The Ontario Court will also be subsequently providing additional reasons for granting approval.
The approved settlement agreement provides for cash payments to eligible owners and lessees of Volkswagen and Audi 2.0L TDI vehicles. Many of these settlement class members will also have choices that may include selling or trading in their vehicle, or terminating their lease without any early termination penalty, or keeping their vehicle and receiving an emissions modification that has been approved by regulators together with an extended emissions warranty.
Maria Stenstroem, Chief Executive Officer, Volkswagen Group Canada, said, “Approval of the settlement is an important milestone in our journey to making things right in Canada. Volkswagen Group Canada is committed to ensuring that the settlement program is carried out as conveniently as possible for our affected Volkswagen and Audi 2.0L TDI customers. We are devoting significant resources and personnel to ensuring their experience with the settlement program is a positive one.”
Charles Wright, a partner at Siskinds LLP and one of the lead counsel for vehicle owners, said, “this settlement responds to the concerns raised by our clients and we are pleased that it will now be implemented.” Harvey Strosberg, a partner at Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP and one of the lead counsel, stated, “the approvals from the Courts are wonderful news for the Settlement Class Members.”
Sylvie De Bellefeuille, Legal Advisor at Option consommateurs, Representative Plaintiff for the Québec Settlement Class Members, said: “this is a great settlement for all Canadian consumers. We are very pleased with this outcome. We thank Belleau Lapointe, our lawyers in this class action, who have done an exceptional job for the benefit of all Canadian Settlement Class Members.”
2.0L TDI Settlement Program in Canada
The approved nationwide settlement program includes:
• Cash payments to eligible current and former owners and lessees of approximately 105,000 affected vehicles nationwide.
• Many of these settlement class members are also eligible to choose to sell their vehicle to Volkswagen (the buyback option) or terminate their lease without any early termination penalty, or, if an emissions modification is approved, keep their vehicle and have it modified at no charge and receive an extended emissions warranty.
• A vehicle’s value for a buyback will be determined based on the Canadian Black Book® Inc. wholesale value as of September 18, 2015, with adjustments for factory options and mileage at the time of the buyback offer.
• Eligible owners can also choose to trade in their vehicle and apply its fair market value at the time of the trade-in towards the purchase of a new or used Volkswagen or Audi vehicle. In addition, they will receive payment of any amount by which their vehicle’s wholesale value as of September 18, 2015 exceeds its fair market value at the time of the trade-in.
Starting on April 28, Canadian settlement class members and U.S. customers with affected 2.0L TDI vehicles that were first sold or leased in Canada may submit claims for benefits under the settlement by way of an online portal at www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca or a paper claim form(available at www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca or by calling the Canadian Settlement Claims Centre at 1-888-670-4773).
As their claims are approved, claimants will, where applicable, be able to schedule appointments with their preferred Volkswagen or Audi dealership in Canada to complete their settlement transactions.
More detailed information about the 2.0L TDI settlement program in Canada and available benefits can be found at www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca or by calling the Canadian Settlement Claims Centre at 1-888-670-4773.
The following 2.0L TDI vehicles are included in the approved settlement program in Canada:
VW Jetta – 2009-2015
VW Beetle – 2013-2015
VW Jetta Wagon – 2009
VW Golf Wagon – 2010-2014
VW Golf – 2010-2013, 2015
VW Golf Sportwagon – 2015
W Passat – 2012-2015
Audi A3 – 2010-2013, 2015
Amounts for legal fees and expenses of class counsel that will be approved by the Courts will be paid by Volkswagen Group and will not reduce the benefits available to settlement class members.
The class settlement is not an admission of liability by Volkswagen Group. By its terms, the settlement agreement is not intended to apply to or affect Volkswagen Group’s obligations under the laws or regulations of any jurisdiction outside Canada. Emission regulations and vehicle standards vary from country to country. Regulations governing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions limits for vehicles in Canada are stricter than those in other parts of the world and diesel engine variants also differ significantly.