'I want to get out of the Volkswagen market completely,' says Canmore owner on emissions scandal deal

Volkswagon Canada has reached a deal to compensate owners over a diesel emission scandal, but an owner in Canmore isn't sure when she will see any money and if it will be enough to buy another car — one that isn't a Volkswagon.

Marie Grenon is hoping she'll have enough to buy a new car, from another carmaker

Volkswagen Canada has agreed to a deal to compensate owners after an emissions scandal broke in 2015. (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

Volkswagen Canada has reached a deal to compensate owners over a diesel emission scandal, but an owner in Canmore isn't sure when she will see any money and if it will be enough to buy another car — one that isn't a Volkswagen.

"I want to get out of the Volkswagen market completely," said Marie Grenon, who bought her clean diesel car thinking it would be better for the environment. 

Grenon said she drives 150 kms each day for work and wanted to minimize her impact as much as possible. She went out of her way to buy her car, bringing it in used from Quebec. 

"So buying a clean diesel car was initially something I thought I was doing as a good thing considering the amount of driving that I do, and then one day to the next I was suddenly the owner of one of the worst polluting cars on the market," she said. "So that was a bit of a problem."

Emissions scandal

It was discovered in 2015 that many Volkswagen vehicles were fitted with software to fool emission tests, meaning the cars were pumping out far more pollution than advertised. 

Now the company says it will buy back the affected vehicles, trade for new ones or make repairs. Owners will also get between $5,100 and $8,000 in compensation, depending on the make and model of their vehicle.

Grenon isn't sure the money on the table will be enough for her to buy another car and be ahead of the game. She said Volkswagen will offer strong incentives to remain with the company. 

"Even if they buy my car back I'm still going to have to start from scratch and have another five years worth of payments," she said. 

Getting away from Volkswagen

She's hopeful other carmakers will realize the benefit of offering deals to disaffected Volkswagen owners, and visited a Honda dealership on Monday to sniff around. 

"I think it's going to trigger other carmakers to offer us some pretty good deals, but they will not be able to offer as good of deal as Volkswagen could. So it will be hard for us to get out of the Volkswagen market."

The Canadian agreement hinges on the approval of courts in Quebec and Ontario, expected in March, 2017.

With files from Elizabeth Snaddon