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Goldenberg Schneider Requests Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement in Volkswagen Atlas Wiring Harness Defect Litigation

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Firm News |

On March 18, 2022, Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, along with co-counsel, filed a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and other Volkswagen-related entities (the “Defendants”), alleging the Defendants sold and leased thousands of vehicles containing defective front door wiring harnesses. A wiring harness is a combination of electrical cables and electronic components in a vehicle, such as sensors, electronic control units and actuators, and is a critical vehicle component. Plaintiffs alleged that a defect in the front door wire harness of the vehicles caused, among other issues, erratic electrical malfunctions such as parking brake systems to engage for no reason, windows to open or close on their own, or error messages to illuminate (the “Defect”). Plaintiffs also alleged that the Defect impacted the deployment of the side airbag in the vehicles, increasing the risk of injury to vehicle occupants. After plaintiffs filed suit, Defendants issued a recall for the vehicles, stating that the wiring harnesses were affected by “excessive micromovement leading to fretting corrosion of the door wiring harness terminal contacts” which could cause the front side airbag to “deploy later than designed in a side crash situation.”
After two years of vigorous litigation, the parties have reached a proposed Class Settlement to resolve the plaintiffs’ and class members’ claims. Under the proposed settlement, all settlement class members will receive a warranty extension and the ability to claim reimbursement of certain out-of-pocket repair costs. Volkswagen will extend the New Vehicle Limited Warranty (“NVLW”) for all settlement class vehicles to cover 100% of repair or replacement costs, by an authorized Volkswagen dealer, of a failed front door wiring harness that was modified and/or installed in the vehicle pursuant to the recall, during a period of up to 5 years or 60,000 miles (whichever occurs first) from the date that the recall repair was performed on the vehicle. The Warranty Extension applies to all wiring harness-related repairs performed pursuant to the recall, whether or not involving replacement of the wiring harness itself and will include any other necessary repair/adjustment to address any warning lights or fault codes resulting from or attendant to a failure. Further, settlement class members would be eligible to file a claim for 100% reimbursement of the past paid cost (parts and labor) for repair or replacement of a failed part (and any associated diagnostic costs) performed by an authorized Volkswagen dealer prior to the Notice Date and within 7 years or 100,000 miles from the vehicle’s In-Service Date. For repairs performed at non-authorized Volkswagen dealers, settlement class members can be reimbursed up to $490.62 for repair of one wiring harness and $672.16 for repair of both. Plaintiffs motion for preliminary approval of the proposed class settlement was filed on May 23, 2024 and is currently pending before Judge Evelyn Padin, United States District Court Judge for the District of New Jersey.

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