United States and European law firms have also filed against Volkswagen (VW); however, VW is a very popular brand in Canada and the Canadians have come out of the gate fast on this.
“There has been a lot of interest from Canadian VW owners in terms of getting a class action started and trying to figure out fair compensation. People are just shocked by the extent of the misconduct by VW,” says Richard Mallett, a lawyer at James H. Brown & Associates.
As many as 11 million VW, Audi and Porsche owners in Canada, the United States and Europe may be entitled to compensation.
In September 2015, it was discovered that VW had installed software in VW diesel 2.0 engines that would essentially trick emission testing equipment into thinking the cars complied with EPA regulations. In fact, the vehicles were emitting up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides (NOx).
“This is not what anyone expected from VW,” says Mallet.“People thought this was a reliable vehicle, fuel-efficient vehicle, and they were driving ‘green cars.’ They have got anything but.”
VW has admitted wrongdoing and the company’s CEO has resigned.
VW is the second largest automaker in the world after Toyota and GM. In 2015, it produced a record 10 million vehicles. The company’s assets are in the many, many billions of dollars.
How much VW owes to owners of these compromised vehicles is something that has to be determined.
READ MORE AUTOMOTIVE RECALLS LEGAL NEWS
Volkswagen dealership owners have also been negatively impacted.
“VW has already been making efforts to compensate dealerships,” says Mallet. “They obviously would not have known what VW was doing with respect to falsifying emissions, so I expect they do have a case at some point.”
Models and years affected
(Primarily 2.0 Liter Engines)
VW Jetta (model years 2009-15)
VW Beetle (model years 2009-15)
VW Golf (model years 2009-15)
VW Passat (model years 2014-15)
Audi A3 (model years 2009-15)
BMW X3 diesel was also reported to exceed EU limit Euro 6 by over 11 times.