Federal Judge Approves Class Action Settlment Against Audi for CVT Issues

By Jacob Brown | March 20, 2013
A federal judge has given a tentative seal of approval on a class action settlement that affects 64,000 2002 to 2006 Audi A4 and A6 models equipped with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The transmissions had a tendency to fail, as they weren't designed to handle the engine torque loads they were ultimately burdened with. Judge A. Howard Matz of the Central District Court of California presided over the hearings and has scheduled an additional session in September to hear complaints with the settlement. According to the lawsuit, per the New York Times, there was a manufacturing defect that Volkswagen, Audi's parent company, knowingly covered up. Audi denied this, but the automaker felt that a settlement with the aggrieved customers was the best way to handle the situation. Here are some of the highlights from the settlement:
  • Audi will reimburse customers for transmission repairs made within the first 10 years or 100,000 miles. This is an extension from the original four years and 50,000 miles. Valve bodies and transmission control units are covered, but their coverage varies from model to model.
  • There's a trade-in reimbursement for 2002 to 2004 Audi models that needed their transmissions completely replaced. There is no explanation why 2005 and 2006 models aren't covered.
  • The lawyers involved will receive $2.375 million among the two of them. This is relatively little compared to other automotive class action suits.
Audi has offered CVTs in A4 and A6 models for some years and still offers them in front-wheel-drive A4s. Other automakers like Saturn and Nissan have previously experienced CVT issues with their cars, but most recent efforts are considerably better than they were in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.
Source: New York Times