— A VW sunroof class action lawsuit alleges California customers must cope with leaking sunroofs that cause water damage to carpets, audio systems, electronics and multiple parts of the interiors.
The Volkswagen sunroof class action includes all consumers "who during the maximum time period allowed by law, purchased or leased VW vehicles with sunroofs in the state of California."
- 2016-present Audi A1
- 2016-present Audi A3
- 2016-present Audi TT
- 2016-present Audi Q2
- 2016-present Audi Q3
- 2016-present Volkswagen Arteon
- 2016-present Volkswagen Atlas/Teramont
- 2016-present Volkswagen Golf
- 2016-present Volkswagen Jetta
- 2016-present Volkswagen Passat
- 2016-present Volkswagen Polo
- 2016-present Volkswagen Tiguan
- 2016-present Volkswagen Touran
The lawsuit says internal documents sent from VW to its dealers reveal the automaker has long been aware of the alleged sunroof problems but has actively concealed it from consumers.
According to the two plaintiffs who sued, Volkswagen either refuses to or is unable to correctly repair the leaking sunroofs even when the vehicles are under warranties.
The alleged problems relate to the sunroof drainage systems, seals and a "difference in the expansion rate between the plastic water channel and steel reinforcement plates [that] may cause stress cracks to occur at the edges of the reinforcement plates.”
VW has allegedly known about the sunroof leaks since at least 2016 and issued at least 12 technical service bulletins (TSBs) to dealerships concerning leaking sunroofs. The automaker has also issued "tech tips" to dealerships, and according to the lawsuit, VW says tech tips are not associated with warranty claims, while TSBs are.
"Though Tech Tips are not based on warranty claims, they are only issued after VW has discovered a problem, investigated it, strategized how to “fix” the problem, and determined how the problem and 'fix' should be communicated to dealers and/or consumers." - VW sunroof class action
In addition to at least 12 TSBs and three sunroof tech tips, the automaker has allegedly issued three official "service actions" related to sunroofs in the vehicles. VW has also allegedly issued one "special notice" and one "important notice" related to the sunroofs.
One of those service actions was issued in December 2019 for 2018-2019 Volkswagen Tiguan sunroofs (VW action code 60E5). Tiguan owners were told the front sunroof drains could become blocked with moist debris, allowing water to leak into the passenger compartments.
Dealers were told to clean and modify the front sunroof drains.
The sunroof class action mentions that specific Tiguan service action, but the plaintiffs say letters they received in March 2020 expands the model years to 2015-2019 Tiguans.
According to the plaintiffs, the model years were expanded only because of a similar VW sunroof class action that was filed toward the end of December 2019.
Even with this latest action from Volkswagen, the lawsuit alleges nothing rights the wrongs the automaker has committed and only a limited number of owners will read the letters by the December 31, 2021, deadline.
The cleaning and modifications of the front sunroof drains allegedly are not permanent repairs for the leaking sunroofs, but all the TSBs and other actions allegedly prove Volkswagen has long known about the sunroof leaks.
According to the plaintiffs, leaking sunroofs cause safety dangers as well as dangers to health. Water that enters the passenger cabins causes mold and water that enters electronics can cause the vehicles to malfunction.
VW drivers have complained about sensors that malfunctioned and caused the vehicles to brake and stop while traveling highway speeds.
The lawsuit says owners are still stuck with repair bills due to water leaks even after the multiple actions announced by Volkswagen.
The VW sunroof class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division: Cole, et al., v. Volkswagen Group of America, et al.
The plaintiffs are represented by Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC, Greg Coleman Law PC, Bryant Law Center PSC, and Berger Montague PC.
CarComplaints.com has owner-reported complaints about the vehicles named in the sunroof lawsuit.