Volkswagen and Canadian class counsel announce they 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.
Volkswagen said it has agreed with the Commissioner of Competition in Canada to resolve related civil consumer protection concerns with the agreed benefits in the proposed class settlement, as well as with a $15-million civil administrative 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 chief 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.”
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
– 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 wholesale value as of Sept. 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 Sept. 18, 2015 exceeds its fair market value at the time of the trade-in.
The proposed settlement agreement and Court-approved notices summarizing its terms can be found at www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca. Starting on or around January 4, 2017, the Court- approved notices will be published in newspapers and online media and sent to settlement class members.
Settlement class members may begin to take steps to determine their eligibility for benefits by visiting the Check My Eligibility and Vehicle Look-Up sections at www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca, or by calling 1-888-670-4773 for assistance with these steps. Settlement class members will need their vehicle identification number. Instructions on where to find this information are available online.
Eligible settlement class members who wish to make a claim for benefits under the settlement do not need to take any action at this time. The period to submit a claim will not begin until after the proposed settlement receives approval by the Courts.
More detailed information about the options settlement class members may have, including the choice to opt out of or object to the settlement by March 4, 2017, is available at www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca.
Class settlement benefits of up to CAD $2.1 billion assumes that 100% of eligible settlement class members participate in the settlement program, and that 100% of the participants eligible for the buyback option choose that option.
Amounts for legal fees and expenses of class counsel that are approved by the Courts will be paid by Volkswagen and will not reduce the benefits to eligible settlement class members.
The agreements described here do not apply to owners or lessees of 3.0L TDI V6 vehicles. Proposed class actions that are under way will continue on their behalf.
The class settlement and agreement with the Commissioner of Competition are not an admission of liability by Volkswagen. By their terms, they are not intended to apply to or affect Volkswagen’s obligations under the laws or regulations of any jurisdiction outside Canada.