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

Working Well Workshop coming to White Sands

Informative water well management workshop will help residents protect their drinking water

Community marks the completion of the second phase of the renovation project at Stettler Hospital

Two new labour and delivery suites opened Feb. 6th, replacing the previous one room

Castor and Coronation FCSS offices invited Turning Point from Red Deer to speak on the current trends in drugs

Jen McCrindel, Kevin Cunningham and Tricia Peden were the presenters for the evening

The Stettler Board of Trade welcomes 2020 board of directors

The board is an organization comprised of business owners and municipal representation

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Canada’s flag was flown for first time 55 years ago today

The flag is used to celebrate wins in sports, honour Canada Day, and flown at half-mast after tragedy

No shirts, no city services: Firefighter calendar too steamy for Ontario officials

The city has never funded the calendars, but has OK’d photoshoots at city-owned properties

CFL teams under the microscope after free agency begins

While some big names remain, here’s what lies ahead leading up to next month’s CFL combine in Toronto

Kenney says ongoing rail blockade risks becoming an economic crisis

‘I think Canadians are losing patience with this. I know Indigenous people are’

CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos keep team name following consultations

Talks stem from 2015 concerns about Inuit people being used as mascots in sports

Industry warns of empty shelves as CN rail blockade hits ninth day

Goods that could run out soon include fresh food, baby formula and propane

Most Read