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

Homeschool play to take audience for a ride

Ponoka Thespians showcase a feud, a twist and a wedding

Bridges, Bobtail are county’s big projects in 2020

Paving and replacing pair of bridges are scheduled for the summer

Chamber receives update from Ponoka County

CAO speaks on items of interest over the past year

Patients to take hit as doctors’ deal killed

Cuts may force Ponoka clinic to make changes, makes recruiting harder

Province commits long term to 4-H in Alberta

10-year funding commitment will sustain re-structured 4-H organization

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Alberta government asks court to stay judge’s order regarding oilsands decision

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Barbara Romaine gave Alberta 10 days to make a decision on the Rigel projec

Alberta must juggle sluggish economy, big deficits, lost jobs in upcoming budget

Premier Jason Kenney won last spring’s election on a promise to boost jobs, grow the economy

Calgary father convicted in toddler’s death from staph infection granted parole

Court heard that John was never seen by a doctor until the day before he died in November 2013

Premier, health minister announces first phase of Red Deer Hospital expansion

Alberta government is committing $100 million to begin expansion

Most Read