Volkswagen settlements move ahead, but some owners ‘totally up in the air’


Some Canadian possessors of Volkswagens at the centre of the diesel-emissions scandal are still awaiting word on how they last wishes as be compensated, six months after the company agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit.

While holders of vehicles with 2.0-litre engines have seen the accommodation process move quickly — at least once the initial wrinkles were ironed out — it’s not been about as easy for those with imported or higher-end vehicles affected by the carmaker’s emissions-cheating software.

“It’s thoroughly up in the air,” said Quebec City resident Jesse Zimmer, who owns a 2010 Golf TDI allow by his father in Connecticut and subsequently given to him and imported into Canada when his get died.

“I’ve never, ever received a formal offer yet, so I really oblige no idea how much they will offer me,” he said. “Will in it be in Canadian dollars? U.S. dollars? Discretion it ever happen?”

Last year, a U.S. judge approved a $15-billion court clearance of most claims against Volkswagen. And this spring, a Canadian court approved a $2.1-billion defrayal that will see Volkswagen compensate Canadians who purchased or leased pitilessly 105,000 vehicles with 2.0-litre TDI engines.

Alex McLellan Volkswagen

While some 105,000 Canadian Volkswagen owners with 2.0-litre TDI mechanisms are included in a recent $2.1-billion class-action settlement, those who own 3.0-litre means are not. (Robert Short/CBC)

Another 700 Canadian owners who bought their mechanisms in the U.S. were not included and Volkswagen subsequently agreed to extend the benefits of the U.S. encampment to Canadians with imported vehicles.

Still, many were hopped back and forth between company officials in the two countries when they inquired up compensation. 

That frustration continues for Zimmer and others who filed paperwork months ago but obtain not received an offer.

“I periodically call the claims representative or go on the portal prevail upon to ask for an update and it’s always the same thing: ‘Sorry, we have no information at this nonetheless. We haven’t worked out a process for people in your situation yet,'” Zimmer revealed.

‘Lipstick on a pig’

A Volkswagen Canada spokesperson told CBC News the process is not a understandable one.

“We are working through these claims, although each one must be fingered individually and separately from the automated claims process to address cross-border logistical appears,” Thomas Tetzlaff said in an email.

Charles Wright, one of the lead attorneys-at-law in the Canadian class action, said while the process has been creeping, his information is that those claims are now being processed.

“People should be competent to now start to get offers on their claims — hopefully now or very, very willingly,” he said, adding owners can contact his firm, and lawyers “will choose inquiries and see what we can do.”


Stewart Gregg said he’s tried to sell his 2010 Touareg Highline, but ‘unknown wants it’ because of the emissions scandal. (Yvonne Colbert/CBC)

Meanwhile, colleagues of another group of Canadian owners — those with 3.0-litre Volkswagens, Audis and Porsches — are yet waiting to learn their fate.

Stewart Gregg, who owns a 2010 Touareg Flaunt Highline, has considered trading in his vehicle, but the offers have been either low or mythical.

The U.S. settlement offers 3.0-litre owners a buyback plus payment or a fix profit payment, however no such deal has yet been struck in Canada. An point of viewed 17,000 to 18,000 Canadians own 3.0-litre vehicles.

“It’s super check when you have essentially a precedent going on south of the border for the consummate same vehicle with the exact same problem, and yet we’re not being handled with,” said Gregg. 

Gregg said he has lost all trust in Volkswagen and pleasure not buy another one — even though he likes the styling and the look. “It’s like lipstick on a pig. It’s notwithstanding a pig at the end of the day, so I’m not interested anymore. I’ll look elsewhere.”

Keeping the ‘lost group’ cultivated

Saint John resident Cheryl Steadman set up a Facebook page, Canadian VW/Audi/Porsche V6 3.0 TDI Forum, to preserve owners apprised of updates for this “lost group.” 

It’s now more than 975 colleagues strong, and Steadman said many worry their vehicles are seniority. She, like others, has parked her 2011 Touareg because it needs new weakens and other work.

“I didn’t want to throw money into a carrier that might be scrapped or that I’m not going to get any value from.”


Saint John local Cheryl Steadman started a Facebook group to keep affected 3.0-litre proprietresses in Canada up to date. (CBC)

Steadman said some of the Facebook group’s colleagues have suggested Volkswagen is dragging its feet on the premise that as every so often goes by, owners will die and vehicles will be involved in accidents, swiping them ineligible for a settlement.

“I’d like to think that’s not the case, but after the alternatives they made in the beginning, I wouldn’t put it past them,” she said.

Steadman spoke she and the others are still awaiting word from the class-action lawyers who, along with Volkswagen, agreed to dilly-dallying a September hearing to discuss class-action certification for the 3.0-litre platoon.

Lawyer Wright said the ongoing negotiations are confidential, but the delay isn’t a bad affection: it suggests the two sides are making progress on an agreement, rather than entirely forging ahead in litigation.

Steadman said she hopes she and other 3.0-litre holders see a settlement, but she worries the value of their vehicles will continue to dab as time goes by.

“It just needs to be done,” she said. “It’s something that’s been falter over our heads for a couple of years. We need to move on.”

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