Volkswagen logo

The Problem:

In 2014, Volkswagen (VW) was caught selling millions of diesel vehicles with an emissions fraud machine globally. This means that thousands of nitrogen oxide (NOx) particles have been released into our air illegally creating air pollution. Countries such as the U.S. has taken leadership in suing VW causing them to pay billions of dollars in green programs. Canada, on the other hand, has done nothing.

The Solution:

That is why we, along with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, launched a legal case against federal government for their inaction on VW and bringing justice to Canadians and the environment.


wooden gavel legal case against Volkswagen

Global timeline of Volkswagen activities

Below is a timeline of indictments and activities regarding the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal. As you can see, Canada has not taken any action against VW.

Study reveals VW diesel emissions inconsistency

May 1, 2014

Study finds NOx levels inconsistent with VW’s reported emission levels and much higher than emission standards in the U.S.

U.S. files a notice of violation against VW

September 18, 2015

U.S. EPA issues a notice of violation that VW and Audi diesel vehicles from 2009-2015 with 2.0 L engine included defeat devices.

VW admits to the scandal

September 22, 2015

VW admits that 11 million vehicles have been affected worldwide.

Canada opens an investigation against VW

September 22, 2015

Canada announces opening an investigation into VW’s diesel emissions scandal.

U.S. files a second notice of violation against VW

November 1, 2015

Government lab in Ottawa tests VW vehicles and finds ??? This evidence was used to issue a 2nd notice of violation by the U.S. EPA.

U.S. launches a law suit against VW

January 4, 2016

U.S. launches law suit against VW seeking up to $46 billion for violations of pollution laws.

First partial settlement reached between U.S. and VW

October 25, 2016

First partial settlement reached between U.S. and VW causing VW to pay $2 billion for zero-emission vehicle infrastructure (ex. charging stations) and $2.7 billion to fund NOx reduction programs.

Second partial settlement reached between U.S. and VW

December 1, 2016

Second partial settlement reached between U.S. and VW causing VW to pay $225 million to fund EPA initiatives to mitigate NOx emissions.

Eligible VW vehicles on recall in Canada

December 1, 2016

Consumers have the option for a trade-in, buyback or approved emissions modification along with a cash back payment.

VW pleads guilty to its offences in the U.S.

January 1, 2017

VW admits to criminal and civil offences in the U.S., resulting in another $1.45 billion settlement.

VW continues to sell non-compliant cars in Canada

March 1, 2017

Despite recall, Canada allows VW to continue to sell non-compliant cars.

VW pays criminal fines in the U.S.

April 1, 2017

U.S. orders VW to pay criminal fine of $2.8 billion for rigging the vehicles prior to government emissions tests.

VW pays settlement charges in Ontario

April 1, 2017

Ontario approves $2.1 billion settlement between VW and Canadian customers.

Request submitted to the Canadian government regarding VW investigation

June 1, 2017

Environmental Defence and CAPE submits official request to the federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (ECCC) under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) to investigate four crime allegations related to VW scandal. Check out this blog to find out more.

Canada refuses to investigate

July 1, 2017

ECCC refuses to investigate three of the four allegations put forwarded by us.

Judicial review launched in Canada

August 1, 2017

Environmental Defence and CAPE represented by Ecojustice file a judicial review of ECCC’s decision to withold information.

First VW employee sent to jail in the U.S.

August 1, 2017

James Liang, VW engineer, is sentenced to 40 months in prison, making him the first employee of the company to go to jail in the U.S.

Ontario takes action against VW

September 1, 2017

Ontario charges VW Canada for not complying by Ontario’s emissions standards and raids their headquarters.

VW employee indicted in the U.S.

December 6, 2017

Oliver Schmidt, former VW manager, indicted by U.S. authorities.

Canada refuses to disclose information

March 1, 2018

We file a motion to re-examine an ECCC witness after they refuse to disclose any documents related to the investigation.

Former CEO of VW charged in the U.S.

May 3, 2018

Martin Winterkorn, former CEO of VW, charged with fraud and conspiracy in the U.S.

VW pays criminal fines in Germany

June 13, 2018

Germany orders VW to pay $1 billion euros in fines for organizational failure to prevent illegal interference and installation of cheat devices in nearly 11 million cars sold in Germany between 2007 and 2015.

CEO of Audi arrested in Germany

July 10, 2018

Rupert Stadler, CEO of Audi (owned by VW), arrested in Germany due to links to VW diesel emissions scandal.