What is a Class Action?
A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more person on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.
What does “certification” mean?
Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).
Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?
Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.
Who is affected by the German Automakers class action?
You are affected by the class action and are a “member” of the class if you are a person in Canada who between January 1, 1996 and July 30, 2017 purchased and/or leased a new vehicle in Canada sold under the following brand names: Audi, BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.
Can I join the class action?
There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action unless you “opt out” (exclude yourself from the class action).
Can I exclude myself from the class action?
Yes. After the class action is certified, you will be given an opportunity to opt out (exclude yourself from the class action). If you opt out, you will not be able to participate in any settlement or court award achieved in the class action, but you may be able to pursue your claim on an individual basis. Generally speaking, you would only want to opt out of a class action if you intend to bring individual litigation. In most circumstances, it is more cost effective to participate in a class action because the legal costs are spread over a large number of people, making it more economic for any individual class member to obtain relief.
What should I do to protect my rights?
To protect your rights, you should:
- Keep records of any purchases or leases of new vehicles from 1996 onwards.
- Register above to receive updates about the class action.
I still have a question. Who should I contact?
If you have a question, please use the contact form provided on this page.