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$2.5 Billion Class Action Lawsuit Launched Against VW

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Sept. 30, 2015—Roy O’Conner LLP, a Toronto-based law firm, announced on Tuesday the beginning of a proposed class action lawsuit against Volkswagen A.G. and a number of its subsidiaries in Canada. The lawsuit is in response to the manipulation of emissions data in a number of the Volkswagen Group’s four cylinder turbo diesel engines.

The proposed action seeks damages in excess of $2.5 billion. The Plaintiff's notice of action alleges that Volkswagen A.G. and its subsidiaries incorporated a prohibited “software defeat device” into a number of diesel powered vehicles and kept this information from government regulators.

The class action is brought on behalf of any person in Canada who purchased or leased any of the following vehicles equipped with a four cylinder turbo diesel engine:

  • VW Jetta — model years 2009-15
  • VW Golf —model years 2010-15
  • VW Beetle —model years 2013-15
  • VW Passat —model years 2012-15
  • VW Golf Wagon/Sportwagon — model years 2009-15
  • Audi A3 – model years from 2009 – 2015

The claim refers to a variety of potential damages for class members including: improperly inflated purchase prices or lease payments; decreased resale values or residual lease values; and increased fuel costs coupled with decreases in performance and driving experience.

According to proposed Representative Plaintiff Jack Mastromattei – who leased a 2013 Jetta TDI: "I paid a premium for the diesel engine because of the lower emissions, better mileage and performance. I feel that I was misled. It appears that I did not get the car that I paid for. I am shocked and angry that a corporation of this size and reputation would treat its customers like this."

According to Roy O'Connor partner David O'Connor: "The acknowledged manipulation of emissions by Volkswagen over many years is dramatic and truly shocking. These issues and how they occurred, and how they were not disclosed earlier should be fully investigated and pursued. This is the type of case that class actions in Canada were designed to address and the type of case that motivates my firm. The outcry in Canada from those who purchased the vehicles and from those who leased the vehicles - who believed that they were getting clean diesel with mileage and performance benefits - is consistent and loud."

The next step in the case will be the filing of affidavit material by the plaintiffs in support of a motion to have this case certified as class action

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