Preliminary Settlement Reached in Volkswagen Sunroof Class Action
by Brian Eckert
A New York federal court has granted preliminary approval to a settlement reached in a group of consolidated Volkswagen sunroof class action lawsuits. The lawsuits claim that sunroofs in multiple Audi and Volkswagen vehicles are prone to leakage that can result in water damage. Milberg is serving as Class Counsel for the plaintiffs.
What is the Lawsuit About?
Between December 2019 and May 2020, plaintiffs filed six separate class actions against Volkswagen of America. Each of the class actions similarly alleged that defects in certain vehicles manufactured by VW could result in potentially damaging water leaks. Plaintiffs said that water ingress caused damage to electrical systems, audio systems, seat upholstery, carpets, and roof headliners in their vehicles.
Class Counsel have had extensive experience and success in litigating product liability class actions across the country.
Milberg Senior Partner Greg Coleman filed one of the six lawsuits, which were eventually merged into a consolidated action in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Has the Lawsuit Been Settled?
On April 25, 2023, following around nine months of settlement negotiations, a preliminary deal was reached to provide warranty extension benefits, repair reimbursements, and other benefits to class members. Final approval is pending a fairness hearing scheduled for November 11, 2023.
Who Is Eligible to Participate in the Settlement?
According to the court order granting preliminary settlement approval, anyone who purchased or leased any of the following model year vehicles in the U.S. or Puerto Rico is an eligible class member:
- 2020 – 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
- 2015 – 2018 VW Golf and VW Golf GTI
- 2015 – 2019 VW Golf SportWagen
- 2017 – 2019 VW Golf Alltrack
- 2018 – 2021 VW Tiguan
- 2019 – 2021 Audi Q3
- 2019 – 2021 Audi Q8
- 2019 – 2021 Audi e-tron
In total, the settlement involves approximately 707,188 vehicles.
What Does the Settlement Provide?
If the settlement is approved, Volkswagen will provide benefits to class members that include:
- Warranty extension benefits covering a percentage of the cost to repair or replace a leaking sunroof based on the vehicle’s age and mileage.
- Reimbursement for some out-of-pocket expenses incurred to repair or replace a leaking sunroof.
- Extension of previously-released sunroof related service actions (Service Action 60E2 and Service Action 60E5).
- Updated sunroof maintenance recommendation and schedule for some of the class vehicles.
Do Class Members Have to Do Anything?
The court has set a schedule for remaining actions in the Volkswagen sunroof class action, with these deadlines:
- 8/22/23: Settlement notice mailed to class members
- 9/21/23: File or mail objections to the settlement
- 9/21/23: Mail requests to be excluded from the settlement
- 9/21/23: Last day for plaintiffs to file court motion to approve the settlement
- 10/21/23: Last day for VW to file submissions concerning final approval of the settlement
- 10/26: Submission to the court of all persons requesting exclusion from the settlement
- 11/14/23: Final fairness hearing
Class members do not have to do anything at this time. They should receive a notice explaining the settlement terms and their rights in the coming months.
Upon receiving a settlement notice, they may submit a request to be excluded from the settlement. Exclusion allows class member to file their own lawsuit against VW over the leaking sunroof issues raised in the class action.
Class members that do not exclude themselves by the applicable deadline are automatically included in the settlement and give up the right to file a VW leaking sunroof lawsuit.
What Role Does Milberg Have in the Volkswagen Sunroof Lawsuit?
The court appointed Milberg to serve as Class Counsel in the Volkswagen class action. Milberg’s role as Class Counsel is to represent the interests of the plaintiffs and class members.
In its preliminary settlement approval order, the court stated that Milberg attorneys are “qualified, experienced, and fully capable of prosecuting this litigation on behalf of the Class. Class Counsel have had extensive experience and success in litigating product liability class actions across the country.”
Milberg pioneered federal class action lawsuits and remains a national leader in the area. Since 1965, we have filed thousands of class action lawsuits and recovered billions of dollars for our clients.
Mr. Coleman leads the firm’s Knoxville, TN office. He has tried hundreds of jury trials and countless other bench trials during his career, served in numerous leadership roles in complex product liability litigation, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America.