Volkswagen Group Canada Inc., et al. v. Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique, et al.
(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)
Civil procedure - Civil procedure - Class action - Criteria for authorizing class action - Application for authorization to institute class action in civil liability - Whether class action based on Charter of human rights and freedoms, on behalf of all Quebecers, can be authorized where, as in this case, neither representative plaintiff nor any member of proposed class has sufficient interest to assert rights on which action based - Sections 46.1 and 49 of Charter of human rights and freedoms, CQLR, c. C-12 - Article 575 of Code of Civil Procedure, CQLR, c. C-25.01.
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In 2015, a scandal involving the appellants, automobile manufacturers Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. et al. and Audi Canada Inc. et al., erupted when it was revealed that certain diesel models of their cars had been equipped with software allowing them to falsify the results of emissions tests. This scheme concerned models manufactured between 2009 and 2015. In addition to the class actions brought on behalf of owners and lessees of cars equipped with the software in the province of Quebec, the respondents, Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique and André Bélisle, filed an application for authorization to institute a class action in which they sought compensation for all residents of the province of Quebec for environmental consequences of the use of the software. The Superior Court granted the application for authorization to institute a class action in part, authorizing one for a claim for punitive damages. The Court of Appeal dismissed a motion by the appellants for leave to appeal that decision.
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