Volkswagen and Audi to pay up to $2.1 billion to consumers and $15 million penalty for environmental marketing claims
December 19, 2016 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau
The Competition Bureau participated in a proposed Canadian class action settlement agreement that Volkswagen reached with consumers of certain 2.0 litre diesel vehicles. This settlement, if approved by the courts, will provide buyback and restitution payments to those consumers totalling up to $2.1 billion — one of the largest consumer settlements in Canadian history.
The result of this settlement was a determining factor in the Bureau reaching a consent agreement with Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. and Audi Canada Inc. (Volkswagen Canada and Audi Canada) that provides for an additional monetary penalty of $15 million.
The consent agreement, which is registered with the Competition Tribunal and has the force of a court order, was negotiated to address the Bureau’s conclusions that false or misleading environmental marketing claims were used to promote certain vehicles with 2.0 litre diesel engines.
The Bureau’s investigation found that Volkswagen Canada and Audi Canada misled consumers by promoting vehicles sold or leased in Canada as having clean diesel engines with reduced emissions that were cleaner than an equivalent gasoline engine sold in Canada.
The vehicles passed applicable emissions tests because software was installed that altered the operation of the vehicle during testing which appeared to have the effect of reducing emissions in testing.
- Approximately 105,000 vehicles in Canada were affected.
- The current agreement does not resolve the Bureau’s ongoing inquiry with respect to vehicles equipped with certain 3.0 litre diesel engines.
- For more information on how the settlement will work, please consult the backgrounder.
- Consumers can contact the claims administrator for the proposed class action settlement directly to inquire about their eligibility for benefits by visiting www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca or by calling 1‑888‑670‑4773.
"Consumers expect and deserve truth in advertising, particularly when it relates to such a significant investment. We are pleased that Canadians will now begin to receive compensation and that Volkswagen Canada and Audi Canada will address the impact this matter has had on the marketplace. The Bureau works to ensure that Canadians can trust advertising claims made by businesses and can be confident in their purchasing decisions."John Pecman
Commissioner of Competition
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