Thursday 23 January 2020 10:31 am

Volkswagen hit with largest environmental fine in Canadian history

Volkswagen has been hit with the largest environmental fine in Canada’s history after the automobile giant pleaded guilty to dozens of diesel emissions violations.

In December the carmaker was charged with importing 128,000 vehicles into the country which breached emissions standards.

As a result, the firm will be forced to pay CA$196.5m (£113.7m) for 60 counts of breaching the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

In a statement, prosecutor Tom Lemon said: “This is an unprecedented fine in Canada. It is 26 times greater than the highest federal environmental fine ever imposed.”

Volkswagen also issued a statement, saying that the fine would be used to support environmental projects on both a regional and national scale.

It added: “The resolution acknowledges the extensive measures by Volkswagen to make things right in Canada and strengthen its global compliance policies.”

Prosecutors had proposed a fine in order to draw a line under the violations.

Volkswagen had previously said it would buy back 125,000 of the vehicles in question for CA$2.4bn as compensation for duped owners.

In 2015 the German company was plunged into disarray after it admitted to using illegal software to deceive US pollution tests.

Thus far, the backlash over the scandal has cost the company €30bn (£25bn) in fines, penalties and buyback costs.

Last week Poland’s consumer watchdog fined it 120m zlotys (£23m) for misleading its customers.