The Canadian government is charging Volkswagen with knowingly importing cars to the country that violated federal emissions standards. Volkswagen faces 60 counts of contravening the 1999 Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
Of those 60 counts, 58 relate to “unlawfully importing into Canada nearly 128,000 vehicles that did not conform to prescribed vehicle emission standards” between January 2008 and December 2015, according to a statement by Environment and Climate Change Canada officials.
The two other counts are for “providing misleading information.”
Environment and Climate Change Canada, the country’s department focused on environmental issues, began an investigation in 2015 into vehicle models said to be equipped with software that allowed them to cheat on emissions testing. That year the German automaker admitted to equipping about 11 million cars worldwide with the “defeat device.” Since then, Volkswagen has paid more than $30 billion in fines.
But the emissions cheating scandal — also referred to as “dieselgate” — fallout continues. In August, German prosecutors brought charges against former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler and three other defendants in connection to the software. The following month, German prosecutors indicted CEO Herbert Diess and Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch over stock market manipulation related to the diesel scandal, CNN reported. The company’s board decided to let the two executives keep their jobs.
New Canadian charges are the latest to make headlines, albeit later than many expected. “Environment Canada’s investigation, launched in September 2015, was repeatedly criticized by environmental experts and lawyers for taking too long,” the Associated Press reported this week. “The affected cars in Canada included diesel engine vehicles sold under Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche brands.”
Canadian officials say that a court appearance is scheduled for Friday, December 13 in the Ontario Court of Justice.
We are currently accepting submissions for the 2020 Environment + Energy Leader Awards. Learn more here.