Volkswagen Canada may be prosecuted by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada if it’s found complicit in the illegal actions that wrought the diesel-gate scandal now affecting approximately 100,000 Canadian owners of diesel-powered VWs, Audis and Porsches.
Environment and Climate Change Canada may recommend charges be laid by the PPSC under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, based upon the findings of their investigation currently underway, reports Automotive News Canada.
Whether or not Volkswagen Canada was aware it was importing vehicles equipped with emissions-fixing software is under scrutiny; the wilful knowledge of the importation of emissions-faking software, if proven in court, would carry significant fines of up to $6 million per charge.
In addition, VW Canada stands to pay a fine amounting to the total profit earned as a result of the offending software, if charged and found guilty in Canadian courts.
Individual Volkswagen Canada executives may also face charges if they are found to have “directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced or participated” in the environmental fraud which violated the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and regulations.
“We are cooperating with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s investigation,” a Volkswagen Canada spokesperson said in response to the ongoing investigation. “It would be inappropriate for us to comment further while the investigation is ongoing.”
Class-action lawsuits by Canadian consumers and Canadian VW dealerships against Volkswagen Canada are in progress; a compensation package is expected to be announced by the automaker, though the timeline for such an announcement is not clear.
Volkswagen Canada has promised its Canadian customers repairs will be offered “in full co-operation with Environment Canada” once its repair package has gained approval in the U.S., thereby allowing a blanket fix of all North American VW diesels affected by the software.
Volkswagen Canada has not made any friends on the wings of its emissions scandal—Mercedes-Benz Canada has directly called out Volkswagen Canada and held it responsible for Benz’s own product delays due to more stringent government emission test procedures.
The German automaker and VW competitor says the increased scrutiny of both its gasoline and diesel engines is what’s behind the two-month delay hampering the sale of some of its 2017 cars and SUVs.