Toronto law firm Roy O'Connor has commenced a "proposed class action lawsuit action" against Volkswagen AG and a number of its subsidiaries in Canada relating to the manipulation of emissions data in a number of the froup's four cylinder, turbodiesel engines. The proposed action seeks damages in excess of C$2.5bn.

"The plaintiffs' notice of action alleges that Volkswagen AG and its subsidiaries incorporated a prohibited "software defeat device" into a number of diesel powered vehicles and concealed that fact from government regulators and proposed class members," the law firm said in a statement.

The proposed class action is brought on behalf of any person in Canada who purchased or leased any affected vehicle.

The claim refers to a variety of potential damages for class members including improperly inflated purchase prices or lease payments; decreased resale values or residual lease values; and increased fuel costs coupled with decreases in performance and driving experience.

Roy O'Connor partner David O'Connor said: "The acknowledged manipulation of emissions by Volkswagen over many years is dramatic and truly shocking. These issues and how they occurred, and how they were not disclosed earlier should be fully investigated and pursued. This is the type of case that class actions in Canada were designed to address and the type of case that motivates my firm. The outcry in Canada from those who purchased the vehicles and from those who leased the vehicles - who believed that they were getting clean diesel with mileage and performance benefits - is consistent and loud."

The next major step in this case will be the filing of affidavit material by the plaintiffs in support of a motion to have this case certified as a class action. The date for the certification motion has not yet been set by the court.

US: Lawyers move to consolidate VW lawsuits