October 26, 2023 – Audi Oil Burning Lawsuit Settled With Warranty Extensions, Repair Reimbursements
A federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a settlement that resolves the proposed Audi oil consumption class action detailed on this page and several lawsuits with which it was consolidated, offering eligible drivers warranty extensions and reimbursements for past repairs.
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The deal, which received preliminary approval from United States District Judge Noel Hillman on October 19, 2023, covers all persons and entities who bought or leased in the U.S. or Puerto Rico certain model year 2012, 2013 and 2014 Audi A4, A5, A6 and Q5 vehicles; certain model year 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 Audi TT vehicles; and certain model year 2015, 2016 and 2017 Audi A3 vehicles, specifically those with certain designated vehicle identification numbers (VINs).
Consumers will be able to look up whether their Audi vehicle is covered by the settlement via the official settlement website’s VIN lookup tool when the website is launched. ClassAction.org will update this page when the official Audi oil burning settlement website goes live.
According to court documents, the settlement provides eligible Audi drivers with warranty extensions and reimbursement for certain past repair expenses paid for out of pocket.
In particular, the settlement will extend covered Audi vehicles’ new vehicle limited warranties to cover 75 percent of the cost of parts-and-labor repairs, performed by an authorized Audi dealer, for up to nine years or 90,000 miles.
For 2012-2014 Audi A4, A5, A6, Q5 and TT vehicles, warranty extensions will be offered to cover repairs for “a diagnosed condition of excessive oil consumption by an authorized Audi dealer,” as confirmed by the dealer’s oil consumption test. Warranty extensions will also be offered for Audi A3 and 2016-2017 Audi TT vehicles for “a diagnosed condition of a fractured piston” by an authorized dealer.
Court documents also state that warranty extensions from the settlement will cover a percentage, based on a vehicle’s age and mileage, of the parts-and-labor costs of repairs by an authorized dealer for a “diagnosed condition of engine damage” directly caused by excessive oil consumption for Audi A4, A5, A6, Q5 and 2012-2014 Audi TT vehicles only, or, for Audi A3 and 2016-2017 Audi TT models, a “diagnosed condition of engine damage other than to a piston” and directly caused by a fractured piston, for nine years or 90,000 miles.
Court documents stress that consumers seeking repairs under these warranty extensions must provide proof that they adhered to their vehicle’s maintenance requirements.
Per court documents, Audi drivers who timely submit to the settlement administrator a claim for reimbursement will be eligible to receive 75 percent of the paid parts-and-labor costs for one past repair that was performed on a covered vehicle within nine years or 90,000 miles from the car’s in-service date. These reimbursements will be for repairs that addressed, depending on the vehicle, a diagnosed condition of excessive oil consumption or diagnosed condition of a fractured piston.
Reimbursement will also be available for up to 100 percent, depending on a vehicle’s age and mileage, of the cost of one past repair of engine damage caused by excessive oil consumption or a fractured piston.
Court documents also note that if covered past repairs were not performed by an authorized Audi dealer, owners and lessees may still seek reimbursement up to certain maximum amounts.
It is not yet available to file a claim for compensation under the settlement. Those covered by the deal should expect to receive a notice in the mail with more information by around January 29, 2024.
A final approval hearing is scheduled for April 22, 2024. It is typically after a settlement receives final approval from the court, and any appeals or objections are resolved, that benefits begin to be made available to class members.
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A proposed class action alleges certain 2012-2017 model year Audi vehicles with 2.0-liter turbocharged engines are plagued by a potentially catastrophic piston ring defect.
The 91-page lawsuit against Audi and parent Volkswagen claims the automakers have “wrongfully and intentionally” concealed the apparent defect, which can allegedly cause the piston rings in affected four-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged engines to not seat properly in the grooves of the piston head. The case claims the defect can also cause shrapnel from fragments of the piston rings and/or tiny pieces of the piston head to circulate throughout the engine and damage other components.
According to the complaint, the piston defect can cause the pistons and the engine itself to fail at any time and might also cause an engine to consume an excessive amount of oil given its combustion chamber is not properly sealed.
The Audi models alleged to be affected by the piston ring problem include 2012-2017 model year TT, A3, A4, A5, A6, Q3 and Q5 vehicles, the lawsuit states. Due to the allegedly defective Audi engines, drivers have incurred significant out-of-pocket costs to repair or replace certain engine parts or, in some cases, the entire engine, with piston ring repair bills costing thousands of dollars, the filing says.
The lawsuit goes on to allege that the defect presents significant safety risks given the sudden failure of a piston or pistons can cause an immediate loss of power to the engine.
“It goes without saying that a sudden loss of power poses a clear-cut safety risk—it can prevent the driver from accelerating, maintaining speed, and even adequately controlling the steering wheel, engaging the brakes, all of which drastically increase the risk of collisions,” the complaint reads.
In an internal combustion engine, a piston is a fast-moving metal component within a cylinder, made up of both a piston ring and piston head, the case explains. The piston is supposed to transfer force from expanding gas in the cylinder to a vehicle’s crankshaft, and in most mass-produced cars, the intake, compression, combustion and exhaust process take place above the piston in the cylinder head, forcing the piston up and down and the crankshaft to turn. Pistons are subject to tremendous forces and heat amid normal engine operation, the suit stresses.
In the Audi models at issue, the pistons and/or piston heads in the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine are defective in a way that can allow for excessive oil consumption and cause cracking, fracturing or splintering at the point of contact, the complaint claims. Damage to the pistons causes immediate loss of compression within the engine cylinder, the lawsuit states, and remnants of the piston can be disbursed through the fuel system of a vehicle.
According to the case, the Audi piston defect can manifest before an engine reaches 75,000 miles, well short of an engine’s expected lifespan and “the industry standard for similar engines.”
The suit relays that Volkswagen’s “history of trouble” with the 2.0-liter engine is extensive as it’s been at the center of other class action cases over excessive oil consumption, specifically for 2009-2011 model years, and for defective timing chain problems in 2008-2013 and 2012-2019 model year vehicles. As a result of the litigation, Volkswagen ultimately extended its warranty periods for affected vehicles and reimbursed drivers for costs related to 2.0-liter engine repairs, the complaint says.
Included in the complaint is the following image purporting to show the four pistons removed from the plaintiff’s 2015 Audi Q5, which allegedly manifested the engine defect and began consuming excessive amounts of oil at only 26,000 miles:
With regard to the alleged Audi piston defect at issue, the lawsuit alleges Volkswagen was sufficiently aware of the problem yet failed to disclose it to customers, who the suit contends “would not have purchased the Class Vehicles or would have paid less for them.”
The case looks to cover all individuals in New Jersey who bought or leased any 2012-2017 model year Audi vehicle equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
Initially filed in Mercer County Superior Court on August 5, the lawsuit was removed to New Jersey District Court on August 9.
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