VW fails to get timing chain lawsuit dismissed that alleges defects cause engine failure.

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VW fails to get timing chain lawsuit dismissed that alleges defects cause engine failure.

— A Volkswagen timing chain lawsuit will continue after a New Jersey federal judge refused to dismiss the complaint that alleges VW and Audi timing chain systems have defects that cause engine failure.

According to the class-action lawsuit, VW and Audi vehicles equipped with the allegedly defective timing chain systems go back to 2008 models.

  • 2008-2010 and 2012 Volkswagen Beetle
  • 2009-2013 Volkswagen CC
  • 2008 -2012 Volkswagen EOS
  • 2008-2012 Volkswagen Golf
  • 2008-2012 Volkswagen GTI
  • 2008-2012 Volkswagen Jetta
  • 2008-2012 Volkswagen Passat
  • 2008-2011 Volkswagen R32
  • 2008-2010 Volkswagen Rabbit
  • 2009-2012 Volkswagen Routan
  • 2008-2012 Volkswagen Tiguan
  • 2008-2013 Volkswagen Touareg
  • 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
  • 2008-2012 Audi A3
  • 2008-2012 Audi A4
  • 2008-2012 Audi A5
  • 2010-2012 Audi A6
  • 2012 Audi A7
  • 2008-2012 Audi TT
  • 2010-2012 Audi Q3
  • 2009-2012 Audi Q5
  • 2012 Audi Q7

Lead plaintiff David Zimand filed the timing chain lawsuit after his 2009 Volkswagen Jetta allegedly experienced engine failure in 2014. The failure was blamed on the timing chain system and required Zimand to pay for all the repairs, including replacing the timing chain tensioner and chain, valves, camshaft and many other components.

Zimand says the vehicles are equipped with EA888 engines and all use the same timing chain tensioning system. According to the lawsuit, the timing chain should last about 120,000 miles before repairs are required and the owner's manuals don't even go into maintenance schedules for the systems.

Owners say they are left with either parking the vehicles or paying thousands of dollars to fix the vehicles, all because VW concealed known defects. Going back to 2010, the automaker sent multiple technical service bulletins to dealerships informing them what to do if customers complained about the timing chains.

Although the lawsuit may sound good to attorneys and owners, Volkswagen wasn't too pleased and filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.

VW says owners and lessees signed agreements when they bought and leased the vehicles and the agreements specifically say any problems must be taken into arbitration and not in front of a jury. However, the judge refused that argument because owner agreements were signed between dealerships and owners, not Volkswagen and owners.

The judge said as the manufacturer, VW wasn't part of the agreements that included the arbitration clauses and "since the parties never personally entered into an agreement with each other, no privity of contract between plaintiffs and defendant can be established.”

That blow to VW's motion to dismiss was followed by other parts of the lawsuit the judge allowed to continue, including state law claims the automaker said were too vague, an argument rejected by the court.

More bad news for Volkswagen came when the judge refused to dismiss breach of warranty claims and charges of fraud, unjust enrichment and claims the automaker violated the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

The judge did dismiss a few claims but considering Volkswagen wanted the lawsuit dismissed entirely, the automaker didn't hear much good news in court.

The case is a combination of two separate timing chain lawsuits filed in New Jersey, one called David Zimand, et al v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and Audi of America, Inc., and the other Stockalper, et al., vs. Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, et al.

The lawsuit is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

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