— A Volkswagen Touareg class action lawsuit settlement has been reached over drain valves that clog and cause water to damage the air filters and engines.
The VW class action lawsuit includes:
"All persons and entities that purchased or leased any model year 2015-2017 Volkswagen Touareg vehicle imported and distributed by Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. in the United States and Puerto Rico."
The two Touareg owners who initially filed the lawsuit allege 2015-2017 Volkswagen Touareg drain valves don't allow water to properly drain from the engine compartments.
This causes water to collect in the air box bottoms damaging the air filters and in some cases being ingested into the engines. This can also allegedly cause sudden engine failure, a problem which allegedly requires that VW repair or replace the engines under the terms of the warranties.
According to the plaintiffs, the drain valve problems can cause damage to the “[c]ylinder block[s] and all internal parts” and their “cylinder head[s] and all internal parts.”
Although Volkswagen agreed to settle the class action lawsuit, the automaker denies the existence of any defects with the vehicles or the drain valves.
The lawsuit argues Volkswagen should offer a comprehensive program to repair or replace the drain valves and/or engines in all Class Vehicles, and/or buyback all Class Vehicles, and to fully reimburse and make whole all Class and Subclass members for all costs and economic losses."
VW Touareg Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Terms
Nothing is official until the judge grants final approval, but the settlement doesn't provide buybacks, engine replacements or full reimbursements, but the drain valves can be removed if an owner wants it.
According to the settlement, a service action will be available for affected Touareg customers to have the drain valves removed by dealerships. Additionally, a dealer will install a new air filter, but only if the filter is wet or shows signs of water damage.
VW Touareg customers will have a year from the class action notice date or the first date the service action becomes available, whichever is later.
VW Touareg Drain Valve Partial Reimbursement Program
The class action lawsuit settlement includes a partial reimbursement program for customers who spent money for expenses for repairs of water damage to the "air intake system, air filter, engine, turbocharger, or intercooler of a Settlement Class Vehicle that was caused by a clogged Drain Valve."
A customer may be eligible for reimbursement of 75% of the expenses paid for repairs related to the drain valves.
However, the partial reimbursement program has limitations.
The settlement says partial reimbursement is limited to expenses that have not already been "reimbursed by Defendants, an authorized Volkswagen dealer, an insurer, providers of extended warranties, or any other third-party entity who paid for all or some of the expenses."
If engine damage repairs were performed by a non-Volkswagen dealership, the customer is entitled to receive 75% reimbursement up to a maximum of $9,909.
"Thus, for example, if the amount of the repair invoice exceeds $9,909, the Settlement Class Member shall be entitled to receive a reimbursement of seventy-five percent (75%) of $9,909." — VW Touareg lawsuit settlement
Volkswagen also won't be responsible for work performed by a non-VW dealership, and there will be no reimbursement for "damages resulting from abuse, altercation or modification, a collision or crash, vandalism, and/or other extraneous causes."
VW Touareg customers will be required to submit valid forms and the required proof of repairs and expenses.
The Touareg owners who filed the lawsuit will receive $5,000 each, and the attorneys representing them are expected to receive $775,000.
The VW Touareg class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey: Crandell, et al., v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc, et al.
The plaintiffs are represented by Bursor & Fisher.