Court Order Grants $8M Volkswagen Settlement
in Sunroof Class Action Suit
August 10, 2012
by Casey Neeley, firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz has signed an order granting
an $8 million settlement in a class action suit filed against Volkswagen
(VW) alleging damages caused by defective sunroof drains. The order
was signed on August 3 in the U.S. District Court for the District
of New Jersey.
The consolidated class-action suit, filed by plaintiffs John M.
Dewey, Patrick DeMartino and Patricia Romeo, all of whom own VW
models listed in the complaint, argued that VW violated New Jersey's
consumer fraud law by creating and distributing the models, including
the allegedly defective sunroofs, despite knowledge of the malfunction.
According to the complaint, "Despite their longstanding knowledge
of the problems, defendants failed to warn and disclose to the consumers
that the vehicles were predisposed to flooding that would lead to
serious and dangerous damage to the major electrical components
which caused the motor to either nonfunction or malfunction."
Plaintiffs further stated in the complaint that the, "use and
enjoyment of their vehicles [was] impaired due to defendants' failure
to warn of the design defects and defendants' failure to properly
and adequately set forth proper maintenance guidelines."
According to the complaint, the defects include a too-small pollen
filter as well as a narrow sunroof drain. Both of these defects
allegedly caused the backup and improper drainage of water. This
improper drainage made the transmission control module prone to
corrosion. Car interiors were often damaged, mildewed, and difficult
to clean properly, according to court documents.
Models affected include the 2001-2007 VW New Beetle, 2001-2005 VW
Jetta Wagon A4, 2001-2006 Golf A4, 2005-2007 VW Jetta A5, 2006-2007
VW Golf and GTI A5, 1999-2005 VW Passat B5, 1997-2006 Audi A4 B5
and B6, and 1998-2005 Audi A6 C5. The complaint does not identify
the manufacturer of the sunroof utilized in the vehicles.
The suit, filed May 11, 2007, initially reached settlement two years
ago, but had been delayed through appeals. Shwartz approved the
order on a preliminary basis via telephone conference on August
1, and set the final approval hearing for November 9, 2012.
Neither party had responded to requests for comment at press time.
This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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