Auto Service World
News   December 20, 2016   by CARS Magazine

Volkswagen and Lawyers for consumer class announce settlement in Canada on 2.0L TDI Diesel Vehicles

Volkswagen and Canadian class counsel have agreed to resolve consumer claims in Canada related to the 2.0L TDI emissions matter for approximately 105,000 affected vehicles nationwide, subject to court approval.

The proposed settlement provides for cash payments to eligible owners and lessees, and many of these settlement class members will also have choices that may include vehicle buybacks, trade-in, emissions modification (if approved by regulators) and early lease termination. The total value of the benefits is up to CAD $2.1 billion.

This result was reached by Volkswagen and Canadian class counsel in consultation with the Commissioner of Competition in Canada. Volkswagen Group Canada also has agreed with the Commissioner to resolve related civil consumer protection concerns with the agreed benefits in the proposed class settlement, as well as with a CAD $15 million civil administrative monetary penalty.

“Volkswagen’s primary goal has always been to ensure our Canadian customers are treated fairly, and we believe that this proposed resolution achieves this aim,” said Volkswagen Group Canada president and chief executive officer, Maria Stenstroem. “We are working hard to earn back the trust of our customers, dealers and regulators, and today is an important step in that effort. We appreciate the engagement of the other parties to these agreements and thank our Canadian customers for their continued patience.”

Harvey T. Strosberg QC, one of the two lead class counsel in the national class action certified in Ontario said: “Our team of lawyers is delighted to deliver to the Settlement Class Members a just settlement, valued at up to $2.1 billion, without legal costs to them.”

Charles M. Wright, the other lead class counsel in the national class action certified in Ontario said: “Our clients were clearly looking for finality and choices, and we hope that through this agreement we have provided both.”

Sylvie De Bellefeuille, legal advisor at Option consommateurs, Representative Plaintiff for the Québec Settlement Class Members, said: “We are very pleased with this outcome. This is a great settlement for all Canadian consumers. Option consommateurs is proud to play a leadership role in large-scale class actions and consumer-related issues of national scope. 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.”

Proposed 2.0L TDI Settlement Program in Canada

The proposed nationwide class settlement is subject to approval by two courts. Approval hearings will take place around the end of March 2017 before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto and the Superior Court of Québec in Montréal.

If approved, the 2.0L TDI settlement program in Canada will include:

  • Cash payments to eligible owners and lessees of approximately 105,000 affected vehicles nationwide.
  • Many of these eligible settlement class members can also choose to sell their vehicle to Volkswagen (the buyback option) or terminate their lease without penalty, or, if an emissions modification is approved, choose to keep their vehicle and have it modified at no charge and receive an extended emissions warranty.
  • An eligible 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 that time 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.

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