Volkswagen Transmission Defect Suit

Volkswagen Transmission Defect Suit

Lawsuit Alleges Defective Transmissions in Volkswagen
  • By: Staff Writer
  • Published January 14, 2021

A class action has been filed alleging that a transmission defect in certain Volkswagen models is causing the transmission to fail.

The class action lawsuit is alleging that Volkswagen “calibrated the Transmission’s software to engage higher gears at insufficient speeds and insufficient revolutions per minute (‘RPMS’) and likewise programmed the torque converter to lock up at insufficient speeds and at insufficient RPMS.”  As a result, the suit claims, the Transmissions grate, scuff, scrape, and grind, and ultimately suffer broken seals and oil leaks that result in catastrophic failure. 

The complaint alleges:

  • A California man delivered his 2019 Volkswagen Jetta to Norm Reeves Volkswagen complaining of a “coffee grinder noise from [the] engine or transmission.”  However, a technician drove the vehicle and determined it was “normal as designed” and returned the vehicle to him without performing any repairs.  Thereafter, his vehicle continued to exhibit the transmission defect, including continuing to grind.
  • A Pennsylvania man took his 2019 Volkswagen Jetta to Ciocca Volkswagen complaining of a “growl noise heard when driving less than 25 MPH.”  A technician confirmed noise, but found no faults in the system and determined the noise is normal and no repair was needed.  He took the vehicle to two other Volkswagen dealerships, that similarly determined no repair was needed. 
  • A Utah woman took her Volkswagen Tiguan to Volkswagen Southtowne for an oil change.  During her visit, she complained that her transmission was having “issues” and dealership personnel took her vehicle for a test drive, but informed her that transmission malfunction may be from using improper fuel in her vehicle.  She responded that she only used the recommended fuel.  She received her vehicle back without any repair performed.   She again returned her vehicle to Volkswagen Southtowne complaining of a delay in acceleration “when at a redlight or stop sign and you hit the pedal.”  She stated the issue happened more when it was hotter outside.  The dealership performed a software update and returned the vehicle to her.  But her vehicle continues to exhibit the defect, with delay in shifting and hesitation. 

Legal claims

The plaintiffs assert claims under California, Pennsylvania, and Utah consumer protection statues.  They also allege unjust enrichment and bring claims for breach of express and implied warranties.  

On May 7, 2020, Judge Dale S. Fischer granted in part and denied in part Volkswagen’s motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs filed a fourth amended complaint on June 17, 2020, and Volkswagen filed its answer on June 17, 2020.  Thus, the case remains pending. The case is Parrish et al v. Volkswagen Group of America, 8:19-cv-01148, in the Central District of California.

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