A federal district court has granted preliminary approval of a class action settlement of a lawsuit alleging defective water pumps in certain Audi and VW vehicle models. A final approval hearing is scheduled for August 30, 2022. The class notice is to be mailed by June 10, 2022, with objections/exclusions due by July 25, 2022.
With some exclusions, the settlement class is:
All persons and entities who purchased or leased, in the United States or Puerto Rico, specific model year 2014 through 2021 Volkswagen and Audi brand vehicles that are designated individually by Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in Exhibit 4 to the Settlement Agreement, which were imported and distributed by Defendant Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. for sale or lease in the United States and Puerto Rico . . . .
As alleged in their 2021 complaint, the Defendant—Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., d/b/a Volkswagen of America, Inc., Audi of America, Inc., Volkswagen AG, and/or Audi AG—knew of a defectively manufactured thermoplastic water pump module in some of its vehicles since at least June 28, 2016, that caused premature failure of the module, but did not disclose this information to consumers. This defect could allegedly cause the engine to overheat, which would then result in “sudden and catastrophic engine failure.” According to the Plaintiffs, Defendant had failed or refused to remedy the alleged defect or taken any action to correct it if it manifested outside the warranty period. The lawsuit raises claims including violation of California consumer laws, breach of warranty, fraud, and unjust enrichment.
The settlement agreement, attached to the Plaintiffs’ February 2022 motion for preliminary approval of the class action settlement, provides that Defendant deny Plaintiffs’ allegations and claims and maintain that the class vehicles’ primary engine water pumps are not defective.
The case is Michael Zhao, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., et al., case number 2:21-cv-11251-MCA-LDW, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
The Court's order is here: