(Adds Volkswagen’s comment)
Dec 9 (Reuters) - German automaker Volkswagen AG on Monday was charged with importing nearly 128,000 vehicles into Canada contravening the country’s environmental legislation, a Canadian government agency said.
Volkswagen was charged with 60 counts of breaching the Canadian Environmental Protection Act by importing vehicles that did not conform to prescribed emission standards, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) said.
The charges included two counts of providing misleading information. The court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13 in the Ontario Court of Justice.
A Volkswagen spokesman said the company has cooperated fully with the investigation by the ECCC.
“At the hearing, the parties will submit for the Court’s consideration a proposed plea resolution and seek its approval,” he added.
In 2015, the agency launched an investigation into the importing of certain vehicle models allegedly equipped with a prohibited “defeat device”.
In this case, the device was software that reduces the effectiveness of the emission control system during normal vehicle use, according to the agency.
News in 2015 that Volkswagen had used such devices to cheat emissions tests has so far cost the company about 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in fines, vehicle refits and legal costs, and also triggered a global backlash against diesel vehicles. (Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)