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Government of Canada opens an investigation into Volkswagen’s use of defeat devices to circumvent emissions regulations

The Government of Canada is opening its own investigation into the Volkswagen Group’s use of a software defeat device to circumvent EPA standards for NOx. Canada’s emissions standards are in alignment with EPA’s.

With aligned emission standards, Environment Canada works closely with the US EPA to ensure our common environmental outcomes are achieved. Upon becoming aware of this issue, Environment Canada acted quickly to examine potential implications for Canada and is in communications with its US EPA counterparts and representatives of Volkswagen Group Canada Inc.

"After careful assessment of the known facts, Environment Canada has opened an investigation into this matter. An investigation involves gathering, from a variety of sources, evidence and information relevant to a suspected violation.

Canadian legislation and regulations prohibit vehicle manufacturers and importers from equipping a vehicle with a defeat device. If officers uncover sufficient evidence of violations, enforcement action will be taken in accordance with the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999). As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to provide further information at this time.

—Environment Canada

Approximately 100,000 Volkswagen and Audi four-cylinder diesel cars of the model years 2009-2015 were sold in Canada.

Canadian vehicle emission regulations are made under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999). Penalties for offenses relating to violations of such regulations may be imposed following a conviction of the offender and under CEPA, 1999, the maximum fine which a large corporation would face for conviction on indictment is $6 million for each offence. Violators may also have to forfeit any profits earned as a result of an offence. Corporate officials can be prosecuted if they authorize, accept or participate in any violation of CEPA, 1999, or its regulations. A range of sentences may be available upon conviction, including fines and possible imprisonment.


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