VW Transmission Class Action Settlement Reached
Although many consumers are drawn to Volkswagen vehicles for their sturdiness, performance, and affordability, these cars are not without flaws. In fact, a class action lawsuit was recently settled between the manufacturer and drivers to resolve claims that the carmaker sold vehicles with defective transmissions. Significantly, the settlement affects a class of more than 420,000 owners and lessees of 2019 Volkswagen Jetta and 2018-2020 Volkswagen Tiguan vehicles nationwide. But even if you don’t qualify to participate in the settlement, you may still have the right to assert a claim for a faulty transmission under California’s Lemon Law.
What Were the Transmission Issues in the Volkswagen Class Action Lawsuit?
In the lawsuit, owners of the affected VW Jetta and Tiguan vehicles complained about defects impacting the Aisin AWF8F35 8-speed automatic transmission in their cars. The class action alleged that defects in the torque converter caused the transmission to grate, scuff, scrape, and suddenly shift. Additionally, consumers have alleged that the 2019 VW Jetta can experience a rattling sound in connection with the transmission. Not only can these problems cause delayed acceleration, banging into gear, and oil leaks, but they can ultimately lead to transmission failure.
According to the terms of the settlement, owners of the 2019 VW Jetta may be entitled to software updates of the transmission control modules as well as damper weights installed on the driveshafts. However, the vehicle must have been diagnosed with making rattling sounds as a result of the transmission defect. The affected Jetta owners may also be eligible to receive reimbursement for expenses paid for repairs. In some cases, they may also receive a warranty extension and other reimbursements.
Consumers who purchased affected model years of the VW Tiguan may also be entitled to reimbursement for costs related to transmission repairs and a warranty extension.
Should You Join the VW Class Action Lawsuit?
Notice of the class action settlement will be sent to consumers by May 27, 2022. The deadline to opt out is June 27, 2022. By opting out of the Volkswagen class action lawsuit, you preserve your right to pursue an individual claim. Whether you opt out or remain part of the class action should be carefully considered, based on the facts and circumstances of your case. In some instances, you may be entitled to greater monetary recovery by filing a lemon law claim.
By filing a lemon law claim, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle, in addition to recovering:
- Out-of-pocket expenses for repairs
- Reimbursement for towing costs
- Rental car expenses
- Incidental damages
- Attorney fees and court costs
Critically, if you don’t opt out of a class action lawsuit, you will remain a member of the class and be included in any settlement. In other words, if you don’t act, you would be bound by the settlement terms and be barred from asserting an individual claim.
While remaining a member of a class generally requires minimal effort on the part of a consumer, the amount of recovery you may be able to obtain is usually nominal. If your economic losses were substantially more than that of other members in the class — and your vehicle qualifies for a remedy under the lemon law — it may be in your best interests to opt out. However, if your vehicle doesn’t meet the lemon law criteria, by remaining in the class, you can at least recover some of the repair costs you may have incurred.
Is Your Volkswagen a Lemon?
If your Volkswagen has persistent transmission issues or other problems that cannot be successfully repaired after several attempts, you might have a lemon. To assert a California lemon law claim, your vehicle must still be under the original manufacturer’s warranty and fail to conform to it. Specifically, it must have a substantial defect that impairs its value or safety. Importantly, if you think your car is a lemon, you must provide the manufacturer with several reasonable opportunities to make repairs.
Since a transmission issue could potentially be a safety hazard, usually only two repair attempts are needed before you can invoke the lemon law. You might also be able to file a claim if your car was in the repair shop for a total of 30 days or more. Additionally, there is a legal presumption in California that a car is a lemon if the defect occurred before the vehicle’s odometer reached 18,000 miles or within 18 months of delivery.
Contact an Experienced Southern California Lemon Law Attorney
If your Volkswagen has transmission problems or other issues that cannot be repaired, you may have purchased a lemon. It’s crucial to consult with a skilled lemon law attorney who can assess your case and advise you regarding your legal remedies. The lemon law attorneys at The Ledbetter Law Firm are dedicated to providing knowledgeable counsel and reliable representation to consumers who have been inconvenienced and burdened by cars that do not conform to their warranties.
The Ledbetter Law Firm works with clients throughout Southern California who have purchased lemons and assists them with obtaining the refund or replacement vehicle to which they are entitled from the manufacturer. With offices conveniently located in Torrance and San Diego, California, telephone and video conferencing options are also available. Call (310) 878-0067 to schedule a consultation with a California Lemon Law attorney today.