Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated owners and lessees within the United States of model year 2003-2007 Volkswagen New Beetle automobiles equipped with a Tiptronic automatic transmission to seek monetary, declaratory, and equitable relief for their claims arising out of a defect in the design and/or manufacture of the automatic transmission of the subject vehicles. The defect causes the transmission to malfunction and require replacement, thereby forcing vehicle owners to sustain monetary damages, and leaving them with a malfunctioning vehicle. Defendant Volkswagen Group of America (“Volkswagen” or “Defendant”) has been aware of the defect, but at first chose to ignore it, and shirked all responsibility.
According to the complaint, when the clamor of affected vehicle owners grew, Volkswagen eventually agreed to extend the warranty but only for the valve body of the transmission for the subject vehicles. This warranty extension, however, is of little use because it does not cover any damage to the vehicle’s transmission which, as a direct result of the defective transmission valve body, fails and needs replacement at a cost of several thousands of dollars. In effect, Volkswagen’s offer to extend the warranty but to limit that extended coverage only to the transmission’s valve body while washing its hands of any liability for the resultant damage to the transmission itself, is tantamount to relying on the proverbial “finger in the dike” approach to dealing (or refusing to deal) with the defects prevalent in VW’s transmission.
The complaint against Volkswagen was brought on behalf of Florida residents who purchased and/or leased a Volkswagen vehicle for personal,family or household use, which vehicle had or currently has a defective fuse box/alternator cable electrical system that melted or burned, or is at risk of melting or burning, thereby causing or threatening to cause the vehicle to lose power while underway in traffic or to catch fire.
The vehicles affected include (a) the 2003-2005 New Beetle Convertible, nd the 1999-2005 New Beetle (the “Vehicles”)
As alleged in the complaint, the failure of the fuse box/alternator cable assemblies is not a result of normal wear and tear or a reasonably expected failure rate for new parts, but is a basic design defect that existed at the time of manufacture of each vehicle and is believed to be related to the current carrying capacity of one or more components of the assemblies.
By complaints of its customers, both directly and through its dealers, Volkswagen was on notice that the fuse box/alternator cable assemblies were defective and not fit for their intended purpose of properly and effectively distributing electrical charge to the battery and power to other systems Volkswagen actively concealed and/or failed to notify the public of the existence and nature of said defects or of the possible safety issues presented by the defects Volkswagen has not recalled the Vehicles to repair the defects, it has not offered to repair the defects to its customers free of charge, and it has not offered to reimburse owners, present or past, who incurred costs relating to system repairs.
Plaintiffs allege that Volkswagen is responsible and liable for the costs of inspecting and replacing the defective fuse box/alternator cable assemblies.
Volkswagen is recalling certain model year 2012 beetle vehicles. Some vehicles may be equipped with summer tires that fail to comply with federal motor vehicle safety standards 110 “tire selection and rims” and 139 “new pneumatic tires for light vehicles.”
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, improper tires may lead to the tires being over-loaded and/or under-inflated, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.
Per terms of the recall, Volkswagen will notify owners, and replace the noncompliant tires, free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin in September 2012. Owners may contact Volkswagen at 1-800-822-8987.