It's been six months since Volkswagen reached a $2.1-billion settlement that compelled it to compensate the estimated 105,000 Canadian vehicles that were affected by its infamous emissions scandal. Yet many of those vehicle owners have yet to see their compensation arrive—or even find out for certain how much they are actually getting.
While Volkswagen has been quick to deal with Canadian-bought vehicles with 2.0-litre engines, owners in different situations have been largely ignored. For example, Jesse Zimmer, who lives in Quebec City and drives a 2010 Golf TDI that belonged to his dad before he passed away, hasn't been able to get any kind of answer on what he'll be receiving or when he should expect it.
"It's totally up in the air," Zimmer said. "I periodically call the claims representative or go on the portal chat to ask for an update and it's always the same thing: 'Sorry, we have no information at this time. We haven't worked out a process for people in your situation yet.'
"I've never, ever received a formal offer yet, so I really have no idea how much they will offer me. Will it be in Canadian dollars? U.S. dollars? Will it ever happen?"
His plight is similar to that of luxury vehicle owners who have been affected by the emissions scandal. As 2010 Touareg Sport Highline owner Stewart Gregg attests, 3.0-litre Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche owners are also excluded from the automated process that the 2.0-litre vehicles have gone through.
"It's super frustrating when you have essentially a precedent going on south of the border for the exact same vehicle with the exact same problem, and yet we're not being dealt with."
The end may be in sight, though. Charles Wright, one of the lead Canadian lawyers involved with the Volkswagen scandal, says those more complicated claims are starting to be processed and that "people should be able to now start to get offers on their claims—hopefully now or very, very soon."