1. What class actions are addressed by the approved Settlement?

The Plaintiffs (on behalf of customers) and the Defendant automobile companies have reached a Settlement valued at $4,950,000 to resolve class actions alleging that the gasoline-powered Audi, Bentley, Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles listed in the enclosed Schedule and originally sold or leased in Canada (the “Eligible Vehicles”) are equipped with transmission software resulting in fuel ratings and greenhouse gas emissions of the Eligible Vehicles being higher than advertised. Under the Settlement, the Defendants do not admit any wrongdoing, and none of the allegations against them has been proven.

The class actions are known as Renk v. Audi Canada Inc. et al., Ontario Superior Court of Justice, File No. CV-16-564517-00CP, and Gagnon et al. v. Audi Canada Inc. et al., Superior Court of Québec, File No. 500-06-000828-166.

The Settlement was reached years after the class actions were commenced and following extensive negotiations between the parties. The courts approved the Settlement on January 6, 2021. The amount of the Settlement factors in, among other things, the approximately 10,000 Eligible Vehicles, the increase in the average fuel rating of the Eligible Vehicles as determined through testing and other methods, and the price of premium fuel covering the period for the model year 2013-2017 Eligible Vehicles.

2. Who is a “Class Member” affected by the Settlement?

Class Members consist of anyone (including individuals and entities), except for the Excluded Persons listed below, who currently reside in Canada or the United States and, as of October 5, 2020, own or owned an Eligible Vehicle or, alternatively, lease or leased an Eligible Vehicle from Volkswagen Finance, Audi Finance or Porsche Financial Services Canada (including PFSC GP d/b/a Bentley Financial Services Canada).

The Eligible Vehicles must have been originally sold or leased in Canada. The makes and models of the Eligible Vehicles are listed on the Home page.

The following persons are excluded from the Settlement and cannot receive compensation under the Settlement:

a. Defendants’ officers, directors and employees and participants in Defendants’ internal leasing programs; Defendants’ affiliates and those affiliates’ officers, directors and employees;

b. Distributors of the Eligible Vehicles or parts therefrom, such as dealerships, insurance companies, and salvage yards, and those distributors’ officers, directors and employees;

c. Judicial officers assigned to the class actions and their immediate family members and associated court staff; and

d. Class Members who or which timely and properly excluded themselves the class actions.

3. How will the $4,950,000 Settlement proceeds be distributed?

The compensation received by Class Members would be paid out of the funds remaining from the $4,950,000 after deducting the court-approved legal fees and disbursements of Class Counsel, the costs of administering and distributing the Settlement, and amounts owing to Ontario’s Class Proceedings Fund.

4. What payment will current owners receive under the Settlement?

As different vehicles have different fuel ratings, the compensation payable under the Settlement is tailored for the various Eligible Vehicles. The Maximum Per Vehicle Payments available for the Eligible Vehicles, as set out in the enclosed Schedule, provide compensation for additional fuel costs covering 96 months from the Eligible Vehicles’ in-service date. The Maximum Per Vehicle Payments are determined by multiplying the difference between the original and restated average fuel rating (known as the Combined rating) of the Eligible Vehicles by 1,666.67 km/month, 96 months, and a negotiated fuel price of $1.35/L, plus an additional goodwill payment of 15% for any inconvenience to Class Members.

Class Members who owned their Eligible Vehicle as of October 5, 2020, are entitled to compensation for the months they owned their Eligible Vehicle and/or previously leased it, and, subject to proof of continued ownership as of the date of their claim, any future time remaining on the 96-month period.

Please note that compensation from the Settlement will be paid out to Class Members proportionately based on the number of participating Class Members up to the amount of the Maximum Per Vehicle Payments. Because of this proportionate distribution, it is not possible to estimate the individual payments to Class Members until all of the claims have been received and reviewed.

5. What payment will current lessees receive under the Settlement?

As different vehicles have different fuel ratings, the compensation payable under the Settlement is tailored for the various Eligible Vehicles. The Maximum Per Vehicle Payments available for the Eligible Vehicles, as set out in the enclosed Schedule, provide compensation for additional fuel costs covering 96 months from the Eligible Vehicles’ in-service date. The Maximum Per Vehicle Payments are determined by multiplying the difference between the original and restated average fuel rating (known as the Combined rating) of the Eligible Vehicles by 1,666.67 km/month, 96 months, and a negotiated fuel price of $1.35/L, plus an additional goodwill payment of 15% for any inconvenience to Class Members.

Class Members who hold active leases as of October 5, 2020, are entitled to compensation for the full duration of their lease.

Please note that compensation from the Settlement will be paid out to Class Members proportionately based on the number of participating Class Members up to the amount of the Maximum Per Vehicle Payments. Because of this proportionate distribution, it is not possible to estimate the individual payments to Class Members until all of the claims have been received and reviewed.

6. What payment will former owners and former lessees receive under the Settlement?

As different vehicles have different fuel ratings, the compensation payable under the Settlement is tailored for the various Eligible Vehicles. The Maximum Per Vehicle Payments available for the Eligible Vehicles, as set out in the enclosed Schedule, provide compensation for additional fuel costs covering 96 months from the Eligible Vehicles’ in-service date. The Maximum Per Vehicle Payments are determined by multiplying the difference between the original and restated average fuel rating (known as the Combined rating) of the Eligible Vehicles by 1,666.67 km/month, 96 months, and a negotiated fuel price of $1.35/L, plus an additional goodwill payment of 15% for any inconvenience to Class Members.

If Class Members either leased their Eligible Vehicle with such lease having ended before October 5, 2020, and/or purchased and sold their Eligible Vehicle before October 5, 2020, such Class Members are entitled to a payment based on the number of months they possessed it, up to a total of 96 months.

Please note that compensation from the Settlement will be paid out to Class Members proportionately based on the number of participating Class Members up to the amount of the Maximum Per Vehicle Payments. Because of this proportionate distribution, it is not possible to estimate the individual payments to Class Members until all of the claims have been received and reviewed.

7. Why is the Settlement recommended to Class Members?

Class Counsel and the Settlement Class Representatives recommend the Settlement because it will provide more than reasonable monetary compensation to Class Members for their additional fuel costs, weighed against the further delays, risks and unknown results, and a potential unfavorable finding.

8. When was the Settlement Approved?

Courts in Ontario and Québec approved the Settlement on January 6, 2021.

9. Who are the lawyers representing Class Members and how are they paid?

The law firms of Roy O’Connor LLP and Koskie Minsky LLP, referred to hereinafter as National Class Counsel, represent Class Members outside of Québec. The Consumer Law Group Inc., referred to hereinafter as Québec Class Counsel, represents Québec Class Members. Class Counsel can be reached through the following contacts:

Class Members Outside Québec

Québec Class Members

Demi Cartwright
KOSKIE MINSKY LLP
20 Queen Street West
Suite 900, Box 52
Toronto, ON M5H 3R3
Email: [email protected]
Tel: (416) 595-2266

Jeff Orenstein
CONSUMER LAW GROUP INC.
1030 rue Berri, Suite 102
Montréal, QC H2L 4C3
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 1-888-909-7863 ext. 3

James Katsuras
ROY O’CONNOR LLP
1920 Yonge Street, Suite 300
Toronto, ON M4S 3E2
Email: [email protected]
Tel: (416) 362-1989

Class Members will not have to pay Class Counsel for the work that they have done or for the disbursements that they have incurred since the class actions began. Class Members will, however, be responsible for the legal costs of any other lawyers they independently choose to consult, including in regards to potentially bringing their own legal action against the Defendants if they chose to opt out of the Settlement.

The Settlement Class Representatives have entered into contingency fee agreements with Class Counsel providing that Class Counsel will be paid a percentage of the recovery (plus disbursements and taxes).

Given that the recovery is a nationwide Settlement in two class actions, one approved in Québec (the “Québec Action”) and one approved in Ontario for the rest of Canada (the “Ontario Action”), National Class Counsel has been approved legal fees of 33% of the portion of the Settlement attributed to the Ontario Action plus disbursements and applicable taxes, and Québec Class Counsel has been approved legal fees of 33 1/3% of the portion of the Settlement attributed to the Québec Action plus disbursements and applicable taxes. The percentages set out above are the percentages agreed to in the contingency fee agreements entered into between the Ontario Settlement Class Representative and National Class Counsel, on the one hand, and between the Québec Settlement Class Representative and Quebec Class Counsel, on the other hand. The legal fees and disbursements will be paid out of the $4,950,000 Settlement proceeds.

In this case, the National Class Counsel received financial support from Ontario’s Class Proceedings Fund (the “Fund”), which is a body created by statute and designed to allow access to the Ontario courts through class actions. The Fund agreed to reimburse the National Class Counsel for some disbursements incurred in pursuing the Ontario Action. The Fund would also have been responsible for costs that could have been awarded against the Plaintiffs in prosecuting the Ontario Action. In exchange for taking on this exposure, the Fund is entitled to recover under the Settlement the amount of its funded disbursements, as well as 10% of the total amount available as compensation to Class Members outside of Québec. The payments to the Fund will be paid out of the portion of the Settlement attributed to the Ontario Action.

10. How do I claim a payment under the Settlement?

Class Members will be required to submit a claim form with proof of their ownership and/or lease of an Eligible Vehicle to receive a payment on the Settlement Website.

An online claims portal will be the main channel for Class Members to submit their claim. If a Class Member is unable to electronically submit a claim using the claims portal, the Class Member can register over the telephone with an administrator and the administrator will send the Class Member a hardcopy claim form by mail.

The claims portal will be open as of February 12, 2021 and will run for 4 months until June 14, 2021. Class Members who do not submit a claim by the deadline will not receive a Settlement payment and will not have the right to bring their own lawsuit against the Defendants if they did not opt-out.

11.How will I receive my Settlement payment?

An administrator will pay approved claims by cheque, which will be sent by regular mail to the mailing address provided by Class Members when they submit their claim Cheques not cashed within 6 months of issuance will become stale-dated and not eligible for redemption. There will be no obligation to reissue stale-dated cheques. All payments will be made in Canadian dollars.

12. Where can I find more information about the Settlement?

For further information about the Settlement, please contact the Administrator at [email protected] or toll-free 1-866-761-1380.

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT AUDI, BENTLEY, PORSCHE, VOLKSWAGEN OR THE COURT FOR INFORMATION.