Manitoba

Angry Volkswagen owners join Winnipeg lawyer's class action lawsuit

A Winnipeg lawyer says his phone is ringing off the hook as angry Volkswagen owners clamour to join a class action lawsuit.

Angry Volkswagen owners join Winnipeg lawyer's class action lawsuit

A Winnipeg lawyer launched a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen on Wednesday. (Michael Sohn/The Associated Press)

A Winnipeg lawyer says his phone is ringing off the hook as angry Volkswagen owners clamour to join a class action lawsuit.

Norm Boudreau filed the suit on behalf of Winnipeg VW owners in Court of Queen's Bench on Wednesday.

Recently it was discovered the German automaker installed software on 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide that enabled them to cheat emissions tests and evade Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Boudreau told CBC News that one woman who contacted him said she feels embarrassed to drive her VW now.

"She almost feels ashamed. She was in the parking lot [and] someone came back behind her and says, 'Oh, you bought one of those lemons, did you?'"

Other people are concerned the value of their vehicles has plummeted.

"They're saying, 'So what if I have an accident and MPI declares my car totalled? How much am I going to get?'" Boudreau said.

More than two dozen class action lawsuits against VW have been filed in other Canadian cities.

Boudreau hasn't yet filed for a particular amount against VW.

"We cannot claim a total loss on the vehicle, but we can certainly claim a very large portion of the value of the vehicle — and the resale value. That's what's going to be most affecting everyone is the resale value," he said.

"Jetta usually, or Volkswagen, was the kind of car that kept their value. You bought a German-made car thinking that you're going to keep a very good value on your vehicle, and that value is going to last and that car is going to last for a long time. Well, that's no longer the case."

Volkswagen has set aside almost $10 billion Cdn to update the vehicles, but that figure doesn't include any fines or legal costs. 

The EPA said it could fine the company as much as $18 billion US, and other countries have launched probes into the issue.

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