24/09/2020

VW’s sentence, which could include charges or fines, has yet to be revealed

Volkswagen AG will be found guilty of lying to Canada’s federal environmental agency when it claimed its vehicles met the country’s emissions standards, the Ontario Court of Justice heard Wednesday morning.
Justice Enzo Rondinelli said “there will be a finding of guilt on all (60) charges” related to the German automaker importing vehicles with “defeat devices” that could cheat emissions tests and subsequently deceiving regulators about the vehicles. The ruling applies to approximately 128,000 VW vehicles and 2,000 Porsche vehicles imported into Canada between 2009 and 2016.
VW’s sentence, which could include charges or fines, has yet to be revealed, as the court decides whether to include victim impact statements.
But according to the agreed statement of facts submitted by the Crown and VW, the German carmaker accepted a civil administrative penalty of $17.5 million.
“VW settled Canadian consumer claims by providing compensation and benefits for emissions modification and buyback options to remediate the subject vehicles and Porsche vehicles, or remove them from the road,” according to the statement of fact. “These settlements provided for benefits of up to a potential maximum of CAD $2.39 billion. The settlement programs were completed by August 31, 2019.”
Environment and Climate Change Canada conducted independent testing and concluded the modifications meet its standards.
The agreed statement of facts reveals more information about the government’s investigation into one of the world’s largest automakers, which has already faced costs upwards of US$30 billion in relation to the global diesel emissions scandal.
Canadian officials found that certain VW supervisors and employees knew the slate of vehicles it wanted to import into Canada didn’t meet the Environmental Protection Agency standards, which had been adopted from American rules. They also knew VW was using software to cheat the U.S. testing process.
VW “attempted to and did conceal these facts from U.S. regulators and, therefore, Environment and Climate Change Canada.”
The EPA forbids the import of vehicles with defeat devices, but VW conceded that it imported vehicles equipped with such devices that were armed with software designed to beat emissions tests. By 2013, service technicians at dealerships across Canada were unknowingly downloading the software onto newly purchased VW vehicles.
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