Roy O’Connor LLP is one of group of law firms across the country working together (the “Consortium”) on a proposed Canada-wide class action lawsuit action against Volkswagen A.G. and a number of its Canadian and international subsidiaries relating to the manipulation of emissions data in a number of Volkswagen Group’s four and six cylinder turbo diesel engines sold under the Volkswagen and Audi brand names.
The proposed class action seeks damages in excess of $4 billion. The Plaintiffs’ statement of claim alleges that Volkswagen A.G. and its subsidiaries incorporated a prohibited “software defeat device” into a number of diesel powered vehicles and concealed that fact from government regulators and proposed Class Members.
The proposed class action is brought on behalf of any person in Canada who purchased any of the following vehicles equipped with a four or six cylinder turbo diesel engine as well as anyone who leased any of the following vehicles:
2.0 Litre 4 Cylinder TDI Vehicles
- VW Jetta — model years 2009-15
- VW Golf —model years 2010-15
- VW Beetle —model years 2013-15
- VW Passat —model years 2012-15
- VW Golf Wagon/Sportwagon — model years 2009-15
- Audi A3 – model years from 2009 – 2015
3.0 Litre 6 Cylinder TDI Vehicles
- Audi A6 – model years 2009-2016
- Audi A7 – model years 2009-2016
- Audi A8 & A8L – model years 2009-2016
- Audi Q5 – model years 2009-2016
- Audi Q7 – model years 2009-2016
- VW Touareg – model years 2009-2016
- Porsche Cayenne – model years 2009-2016
The claim refers to a variety of potential damages for class members including: improperly inflated purchase prices or lease payments; decreased resale values or residual lease values; and increased fuel costs coupled with decreases in performance and driving experience.
UPDATE – December 19, 2016 – Proposed Settlement of 2.0L Emissions Claims
On December 19, 2016 Class Counsel and VW announced an agreement, subject to court approval, to resolve Canadian consumer claims related to the 2.0L TDI emissions matter for approximately 105,000 affected VW and Audi vehicles across Canada. The proposed settlement provides for cash payments to eligible owners and lessees, many of whom have choices that may include vehicle buybacks, trade-in, emissions modification (if approved by regulators) and early lease termination.
For more information about the terms of the proposed settlement or how the proposed settlement may affect you please see: https://www.vwcanadasettlement.ca/en/ or call: 1-844-982-5246
Please note that starting of January 4, 2017, court-approved Settlement Hearing Notices will be published in print and electronic media and sent to potential settlement class members by email from the court-appointed administrator. The emails are legitimate messages and will be sent from the following address: VWCanadaSettlementAdministrator@qgemail.com.
UPDATE – August 2016 – Status of Settlement Negotiations
The Consortium and their clients (the Plaintiffs) have now filed their affidavit material in support of the request to have this case certified as a class action. The certification motion was scheduled to proceed on June 7, 2016 but has been adjourned to allow the parties to discuss a possible settlement of this proceeding.
In addition to this class action in Canada, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have been sued for alleged diesel manipulations in the United States. All of the United States’ class actions against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have been consolidated in the Northern District of California before Judge Charles R. Breyer. On July 26, 2016, Judge Breyer gave the US Consumer Settlement Agreement for US 2-liter diesel vehicles preliminary approval. Any US settlement will not apply in Canada.
As set out in the above-referenced June 27 Notice, Canadian Class Counsel and the Volkswagen and Audi lawyers (“Defendants’ Lawyers”) reported to the Class Action Case Management Judge with oversite of this case (Justice Belobaba) on the status of settlement discussions on July 29, 2016. Class Counsel and the Defendants’ Lawyers are continuing to negotiate in an attempt to settle the class actions in Canada. The negotiations are confidential and we are not able to report to you about the particulars of the settlement discussions at this time.
Class Counsel and the Defendants’ Lawyers are currently scheduled to appear before Justice Belobaba on October 18, 2016, to report to him on the status of the settlement negotiations. If a settlement has been reached, Justice Belobaba may give directions for a settlement approval motion to be heard on December 19 and 20 2016. If a settlement has not been reached by October 18, 2016, Justice Belobaba may direct that the certification motion be heard in December 19 and 20, 2016. All of the foregoing dates are subject to change. Additional updates on the status of this class action will be posted on this site as events unfold.
Please note that another law firm, the Merchant Law Group (“MLG”), had commenced a similar class action in Ontario. MLG is not a member of the Consortium (the group of law firms working with Roy O’Connor LLP on this case).
Justice Belobaba heard a contested motion about who should control the class action in Ontario (called a “carriage motion”). On December 4, 2015, Justice Belobaba ordered that the Consortium (our group of law firms) and our clients were granted “carriage” (control) of the proposed national class action in Ontario. He ordered that the Consortium’s class action should continue and MLG’s Ontario class action should be stayed (stopped or not proceed). A copy of the December 4, 2015 carriage order can be read here.
MLG is still requesting carriage of other VW litigation it has commenced in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The Consortium and their clients are contesting those requests by MLG, and are seeking carriage (control) of the class actions in those other provinces.
Late on Monday January 25th, we became aware that MLG had sent an email “blast” (dated January 22) and proposed individual contingency retainer to approximately 9,500 potential class members across Canada. We (the Consortium) immediately scheduled an urgent motion before Mr. Justice Belobaba to challenge that email blast and proposed individual contingency retainer.
On February 3, 2016, our firm (as part of the Consortium) appeared before Justice Belobaba to address the email blast from MLG. To view or download Justice Belobaba’s brief endorsement from that February 3, 2016 motion please click here. To view or download Justice Belobaba’s Reasons for Decision please click here.
As noted in the Decision, a clarifying notice was to be sent by MLG to the 9,500 class members. Justice Belobaba settled the final form of the notice on Friday February 5, and we understand that MLG sent out the final clarifying notice by email on Monday, February 8, 2016. To view or download MLG’s clarifying email please in English and French please click here.