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A federal judge has given preliminary approval to settling a class-action suit over transmission problems on about 64,000 of Audi’s most popular models.
The settlement covers anyone in the United States who leased or bought from Audi a 2002-6 A4 or A6 model with a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The preliminary approval was given March 11 by Judge A. Howard Matz of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He scheduled a hearing for September when any complaints about the settlement would be considered and final approval could be given.
The suit – Anna Sadowska and Yanick Godbout v. Volkswagen Group of America – was filed in January 2011.
It contends that the continuously variable transmissions had manufacturing and design flaws that caused them to fail, leaving owners facing thousands of dollars in repair bills.
It further asserts that Audi knew about these problems and concealed them from consumers.
In the settlement, Audi denied the transmissions were defective and said it “acted properly and in compliance with applicable laws and rules.” The automaker also said it was “also mindful of the fact that future protracted litigation, with the burdens and uncertainties it creates, may not be in the best interests of their customers.” So, the automaker agreed to the settlement.
Among the basic elements of the settlement:
• Reimbursement “for certain C.V.T. transmission repairs” that occurred or will occur within 10 years or 100,000 miles of the original sale or lease of the vehicle. The original powertrain coverage was four years or 50,000 miles. The parts for which the owner will be reimbursed vary depending on model year.
The transmission control module is covered for 2003, 2004, 2005 or 2006 model year A4s and A6s. The valve body is covered for 2003-4 model A4 and A6. Replacement of the transmission without the valve body and transmission control module “is covered for the 2002, 2003 or 2004 model year Audi A4 or Audi A6.
The settlement does not indicate whether the owner would be reimbursed if another transmission part failed or if the entire transmission needed to be replaced.
Some of the 2002 and 2003 models are probably beyond that extended warranty, but the owners can still be reimbursed for the specified repair if it occurred within 100,000 miles or 10 years, according to the settlement.
• There is also a “trade-in reimbursement cost” for lost value of a 2002, 2003 or 2004 A4 or A6 that needed “a complete replacement of a C.V.T. transmission” after the normal warranty expired but the vehicle was sold or traded without the repair.
The settlement does not say whether owners who had only a major component fail instead of a complete replacement are eligible for reimbursement.
It was also not clear why the 2005-6 model years were not covered in this part of the settlement.
• Under the settlement the plaintiff’s lawyers will receive $2.375 million for fees and expenses.
Those lawyers, Payam Shahian of Los Angeles and Robert Starr of Woodland Hills, Calif., did not respond to a request for clarifications of the basic elements of the settlement.
Source : https://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/19/settlement-of-class-action-against-audi-gets-preliminary-approval/
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