— Volkswagen Touareg drain valves have caused a lawsuit that alleges water leaks into the air filters where the water is then ingested into the engines, causing sudden failures of the engines.
The proposed class-action lawsuit includes all consumers in the U.S. who purchased or leased a VW Touareg manufactured between December 2014 and November 2017.
Plaintiff Jodi Crandell leased a 2017 Touareg in New Jersey and in October 2017 the engine failed in her driveway. The plaintiff claims she experienced a knocking/banging sound followed by white exhaust then a complete loss of power.
This takes out the power steering and power brakes, something the plaintiff says is a serious safety hazard.
The Touareg was towed to the dealer and a week later the dealership allegedly reported no problems were found and the vehicle was returned to Crandell.
In July 2018, the engine allegedly suddenly failed for a second time while the plaintiff was driving in traffic. Following an inspection, the dealership informed her that water had leaked into the air filter. She claims technicians accused her of intentionally driving through a lake of water in order to damage her Touareg.
The service manager told her that it would cost “$649.00 + tax” to change the oil and air filter and to perform the diagnostic tests to learn if the engine was damaged.
The plaintiff complained about the treatment and Volkswagen sent an engineer to inspect the SUV and it was confirmed water entered the air filter and engine because “drain in air guide was clogged with debris.”
According to the lawsuit, the invoice further confirms VW allegedly “repaired” the Touareg by “clear[ing] and trimm[ing] [the defective] drain” valve and the “repairs [were] performed as a one time goodwill.”
The drain valves in the air intake allegedly don't allow water to drain properly from the engine compartment, causing water to collect in the bottom of the Touaregs’ air boxes and damaging the air filters.
But the engines will die once the water enters the engines, something the plaintiffs claim VW has known about since the beginning of 2018. That claim is based on a Chinese recall of 33,142 Touaregs manufactured between December 2014 and November 2017.
The lawsuit alleges the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine found the defective drain valves, causing Volkswagen to say, “We are sincerely regretful that the faulty drain valves in the Touareg SUVs have caused inconvenience to our Chinese customers.”
Court documents claim the Chinese recall is VW's admission that it knows about the defective drain valves but still hasn't warned Touareg drivers their SUVs could fail from clogged drains and waterlogged air filters.
In addition, the SUVs are allegedly worth less than they should be because of the drain valves and the automaker knows it is saving money by not ordering a recall to protect the engines.
The VW Touareg drain valve lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Jodi Crandell and Juan Ontiveros, et al., v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc, et al.
The plaintiffs are represented by Bursor & Fisher.