A worker fixes a sign at a Volkswagen Golf car during a press tour in Zwickau, central Germany on Nov. 9, 2012. German automaker Volkswagen is expected back in court in Toronto today to plead guilty to environment-related charges. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jens Meyer

Volkswagen pleads guilty to all Canadian charges in emissions-cheating scandal

Feds charged the auto giant with 58 counts of illegal importation under Environmental Protection Act

Volkswagen pleaded guilty to dozens of Canadian charges in a wide-ranging emissions-cheating scandal on Wednesday, admitting — among other acts — to secretly importing cars that violated polluting standards.

The German automaker and the Crown submitted an agreed statement of facts in a Toronto court, acknowledging the company imported 128,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, along with 2,000 Porsches, that violated the standards.

Reading from the statement, prosecutor Tom Lemon noted that certain supervisors and other employees at Volkswagen “knew that VW was using software to cheat the U.S. testing process,” the results of which are used by Canadian authorities.

The federal government charged the auto giant last month with 58 counts of illegal importation under the Environmental Protection Act and two counts of providing misleading information.

The statement of facts notes that the automaker has already tried to make some amends in Canada.

Volkswagen “has devoted significant resources to, and undertaken extensive measures for, the remediation of the subject vehicles,” Lemon read in court.

“VW settled Canadian consumer claims by providing compensation and benefits for emissions modification and buyback options to remediate the subject vehicles … or remove them from the road.”

Those settlements, according to the document, provided benefits “of up to a potential maximum” of $2.39 billion, and were completed by Aug. 31, 2019.

READ MORE: VW to stop making iconic Beetle

In court last month, defence lawyers said they intended to plead guilty, but the resolution was delayed while three people sought to make victim-impact statements and provide other input.

Ontario court Judge Enzo Rondinelli ruled against them, saying it’s not their role to prosecute the company accused of harming them.

Lemon said at the time he would gather victim impact statements and review them before submitting them to the court on Jan. 22, in line with the typical process.

On Wednesday, prosecutors argued that the “community impact statement” turned in to them was not admissible in court. The seven-page document — accompanied by 520 pages of reference materials — was an attempt to enter untested expert testimony into the record, they said.

Rondinelli will now weigh whether to accept that document.

Volkswagen previously pleaded guilty in U.S. court to three felonies in 2017 and was fined $4.3 billion. German prosecutors fined the company one-billion euros in the emissions-cheating case in 2018.

Several company executives and managers were also charged in the U.S. and Germany, and some were sent to prison.

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

United Church benefits from goodwill of Magpies business owners

Considerable donation of items made after move from former Willow Street shop

Recognizing exceptional professionalism on World Teachers’ Day

COVID has brought an unprecedented change to the education system

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Blitterswyk awarded another significant scholarship

The honours just keep coming for Chemainus Secondary School 2020 grad class valedictorian

Killer whales cause a scene

WHALE OF A TALE Art Carlyle captured these images of killer whales… Continue reading

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Abandoned Neucel mill in Port Alice to cost at least $17 million to decommission

Removing hazardous waste and de-risking the site ratchet up bill to taxpayers

Long-term care study credits fewer COVID deaths in B.C. than Ont. to funding, policy

The study was published Wednesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Metis pilot Teara Fraser profiled in new DC Comics graphic novel of women heroes

The Canadian pilot’s entry is titled: ‘Teara Fraser: Helping Others Soar’

Growing food sovereignty at Klemtu

Greenhouse and grow boxes help create circular food economy for Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nations

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

Most Read