VW Turbocharger Defect Lawsuit Partially Survives Dismissal

VW Turbocharger Defect Lawsuit Partially Survives Dismissal

A court partially granted Volkswagen's motion to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit claiming certain VW and Audi vehicles have a defective turbocharger.
  • By: Staff Writer
  • Published September 10, 2023

A court partially granted Volkswagen’s motion to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit claiming certain VW and Audi vehicles have a defective turbocharger.

Alleged Defect

As summarized in the order, this proposed class action claims a defect exists in the turbocharger of certain VW models that is “substantially certain” to cause premature turbocharger failure. The alleged defect is “exhaust gas pulsations and vibrations within the turbocharger housing, wastegate linkage geometry and absence of adequate bushings, utilization of inadequate wastegate linkage fabrication materials including but not limited to dimensional construction and heat treatment.”

The class vehicles include:

  • VW Beetle model years 2012-2014
  • VW CC model years 2009-2012
  • VW Eos model years 2009-2012
  • VW GTI model years 2008-2012
  • VW Jetta model years 2008-2014
  • VW Passat model years 2008-2010
  • VW Tiguan model years 2009-2014
  • Audi A3 model years 2008-2012
  • Audi A4 model years 2009-2013
  • Audi A5 model years 2009-2013
  • Audi A6 model year 2012
  • Audi TT model years 2009-2012
  • Audi Q5 model years 2011-2012

The lead Plaintiff and California resident Julie Kimball alleged she leased, then bought, a 2010 Audi A4 that experienced the alleged turbocharger defect.  She claims she had to pay about $3,000 to diagnose and replace the turbocharger.

Partial Dismissal of Kimball’s Claims

The court agreed to dismiss Kimball’s three fraud-based claims, finding her amended complaint did not sufficiently plead sufficient facts for those claims. He reasoned, for instance, Kimball did not adequately detail how VW’s alleged misrepresentations as to the standard and quality of the class vehicles were a “substantial factor” in her decision-making process leading to her vehicle purchase.

The court also dismissed Kimball’s breach of express warranty claim, noting she discovered the alleged defect at 63,683 miles and about seven years after she purchased the vehicle. This was outside any applicable express warranty period, the court observed.

However, the court denied VW’s motion to dismiss Kimball’s negligent misrepresentation claim. Moreover, the order gives Kimball 30 days to file an amended complaint that cures the deficiencies in her complaint noted by the court.

The case is Julie Kimball v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., et al., case number 2:22-cv-04163, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

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