By Barry Ellsworth
TRENTON, Canada (A) - Volkswagen (VW) pleaded guilty in a Canadian court Wednesday to myriad charges stemming from vehicle emissions-cheating.
The auto giant acknowledged it imported to Canada 2,000 Porsches and 128,000 Audis and Volkswagens that contravened pollution standards.
The court heard that some VW employees, “knew that VW was using software to cheat the U.S. testing process,” said prosecutor Tom Lemon. Canada uses U.S. results as its benchmark for vehicle emission pollution measurements.
In December, the company was charged with 58 counts of illegally importing vehicles that violated the Environmental Protection Act, as well as two counts of deceptive information.
The court noted that VW attempted to make some restitution in Canada.
Lemon said the company “devoted significant resources to, and undertaken extensive measures for, the remediation of the subject vehicles.
“VW settled Canadian consumer claims by providing compensation and benefits for emissions modification buyback options to remediate the subject vehicles (or) remove them from the road,” Lemon read in court.
The settlements gave benefits to wronged vehicle owners of potentially CAN$2.39 billion, the court heard.
The Canadian charges were part of an international scandal that enveloped VW.
In 2017, the company pleaded guilty in an American court and was fined US$4.3 billion. In Germany, VW was hit with a €1-billion euro fine in 2018.
Some company executives were also charged in the U.S. and Germany and some were sentenced to prison.