Jeni Rieger, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., et al.
Rieger v. Volkswagen Group of America
1:21-cv-10546-NLH-EAP

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • According to records, you have been identified as a current or past owner or lessee of a certain vehicle within the following models/model years, that was imported and distributed by Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (“VWGoA”) in the United States or Puerto Rico (hereinafter, collectively, “Settlement Class Vehicles”):

    Certain MY2012-2014 Audi A4*

    Certain MY2012-2014 Audi A5*

    Certain MY2012-2014 Audi A6*

    Certain MY2012-2014 Audi Q5*

    Certain MY2012-2014 and 2016-2017 Audi TT*

    Certain MY2015-2017 Audi A3*

    *Not every such model and model year vehicle is covered by this Settlement (i.e., a Settlement Class Vehicle).  The Settlement Class Vehicles are determined by specific Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs).  You can look up whether your vehicle is a Settlement Class Vehicle by typing your vehicle’s VIN, where indicated, in the VIN Lookup Portal.

    A Settlement Class Member is defined as a current or past owner or lessee of a Settlement Class Vehicle. 

    The Lawsuit claims that there was a defect in the pistons and/or piston rings that caused excessive oil consumption in some Settlement Class Vehicles, sometimes requiring repair.  VWGoA denies the claims and maintains that the engines in the Settlement Class Vehicles are not defective, function properly, were properly designed, manufactured, marketed and sold, and that no applicable warranties were breached nor any applicable statutes violated. The Court has not decided in favor of either party. Instead, the Lawsuit has been resolved through a Settlement under which eligible Settlement Class Members who qualify may obtain certain benefits. The available benefits are discussed in FAQ 5.

  • In a class action lawsuit, one or more persons, called Plaintiffs and Class Representatives, sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. All of these people are Class Members or Settlement Class Members. The companies they sued are called the Defendants. One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. 

    The Court has not decided in favor of the Plaintiffs or Defendant. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement with no decision or admission of who is right or wrong. That way, all parties avoid the risks and cost of a trial, and the people affected (the Settlement Class Members) will receive benefits quickly. The Class Representatives and the attorneys believe the Settlement is best for the Settlement Class.

  • The Court has conditionally approved the following definition of a Settlement Class Member: All persons or entities who purchased or leased a Settlement Class Vehicle in the United States of America and Puerto Rico.  (The Settlement Class Vehicle are discussed in FAQ 1 above).

    Excluded from the Settlement Class are (a) all Judges who have presided over the Action and their spouses; (b) all current employees, officers, directors, agents, and representatives of Defendant, and their family members; (c) any affiliate, parent, or subsidiary of Defendant and any entity in which Defendant has a controlling interest; (d) anyone acting as a used car dealer; (e) anyone who purchased a Settlement Class Vehicle for the purpose of commercial resale; (f) anyone who purchased a Settlement Class Vehicle with salvaged title and/or any insurance company who acquired a Settlement Class Vehicle as a result of a total loss; (g) any insurer of a Settlement Class Vehicle; (h) issuers of extended vehicle warranties and service contracts; (i) any Settlement Class Member who, prior to the date of final approval of the Settlement, settled with and released Defendant or any Released Parties from any Released Claims; and (j) any Settlement Class Member who files a timely and proper Request for Exclusion from the Settlement Class.

  • If you are still not sure whether you are included in this Settlement, you can enter your vehicle’s VIN in the VIN Lookup Portal to determine if it is a Settlement Class Vehicle. You can also call the Claim Administrator at 1-877-231-0648 for more information.

  • I. Warranty Extension for Current Owners or Lessees of Settlement Class Vehicles

    VWGoA has extended the New Vehicle Limited Warranties (NVLWs) to cover 75% of the cost of repair (parts and labor), by an authorized Audi dealer, of the following during a period of up to nine (9) years or ninety-thousand (90,000) miles (whichever occurs first) from the Settlement Class Vehicle’s In-Service Date:

    (1) for Audi A4, A5, A6, Q5 and Model Year 2012-2014 Audi TT Settlement Class Vehicles only – a diagnosed condition of excessive oil consumption by an authorized Audi dealer, as confirmed by an authorized Audi dealer’s oil consumption test*, or

    (2) for Audi A3 and Model Year 2016-2017 Audi TT Settlement Class Vehicles only – a diagnosed condition of a fractured piston by an authorized Audi dealer.

    As to all Settlement Class Vehicles, the Warranty Extension is conditioned upon the Settlement Class Member providing, to the dealer, Proof of Adherence to Maintenance Requirements.

    The Warranty Extension shall also cover a percentage (as set forth in the Sliding Scale below) of the cost of repair (parts and labor), by an authorized Audi dealer, of a diagnosed condition of engine damage which was directly caused by excessive oil consumption (for Audi A4, A5, A6, Q5, and Model Year 2012-2014 Audi TT Settlement Class Vehicles only), or a diagnosed condition of engine damage other than to a piston which was directly caused by a fractured piston (for Audi A3 and Model Year 2016-2017 Audi TT Settlement Class Vehicles only), during the aforesaid period of nine (9) years or ninety-thousand (90,000) miles (whichever occurs first) from the applicable Settlement Class Vehicle’s In-Service Date, subject to (i) the Proof of Adherence to Maintenance Requirements, and (ii) the following Sliding Scale percentages of coverage which are based upon the age and mileage of the Settlement Class Vehicle at the time of such repair:

     

    Time from In-Service Date Less than 50,000 Miles 50,001 - 60,000 Miles 60,001 - 70,000 Miles 70,001 - 90,000 Miles

    4 Years or Less

    100%

    70%

    60%

    50%

    4-5 Years

    70%

    60%

    50%

    40%

    5-6 Years

    60%

    50%

    40%

    35%

    6-7 Years

    50%

    40%

    35%

    30%

    7-9 Years**

    40%

    35%

    30%

    25%


    *If an oil consumption repair is performed under the warranty extension, then the cost of the oil consumption test that led to said repair shall likewise be covered at the same percentage (75%) as provided under the warranty extension.

    **For the Warranty Extension only, this includes “Timed-Out” vehicles until April 8, 2024.

    The Warranty Extension is subject to the same terms, conditions, and limitations set forth in the Settlement Class Vehicle’s original NVLW and Warranty Information Booklet, and shall be fully transferable to subsequent owners to the extent that its time and mileage limitation periods have not expired. The Warranty Extension shall not cover or apply , to excessive oil consumption, piston damage or breakage, or engine damage, resulting from abuse, modification or alteration of parts, absence/lack of sufficient oil maintenance (i.e., absence/lack of oil changes performed with the use of the correct Audi recommended oil and within a 10% variation of each time and mileage oil maintenance interval), a collision or crash, vandalism and/or other impact, damage from an outside source, and/or lack of or improper maintenance with respect to other items that caused or contributed to the damage or need for repair.

    If a Settlement Class Vehicle’s Warranty Extension time period from the In-Service Date has already expired as of January 29, 2024, then for that Settlement Class Vehicle only, the Warranty Extension time and mileage limitations shall be for a period of up to seventy (70) days after the Notice Date or ninety-thousand (90,000) miles from the Settlement Class Vehicle’s In-Service Date (whichever occurs first), subject to the same conditions and limitations set forth above.

    II. Reimbursement for a Percentage of Certain Past Paid (and Unreimbursed) Out-of-Pocket Expenses for a Repair to Address Excessive Oil Consumption or Fractured Piston(s) of a Settlement Class Vehicle

    If, prior to January 29, 2024 and within nine (9) years or ninety thousand (90,000) miles (whichever occurred first) from the vehicle’s In-Service Date, a Settlement Class Member paid for the following repair:

    (i) for Audi A4, A5, A6, Q5 and Model Year 2012-2014 Audi TT Settlement Class Vehicles only – a repair of a diagnosed condition of excessive oil consumption as confirmed by an authorized Audi dealer’s oil consumption test, or

    (ii) for Audi A3 and Model Year 2016-2017 Audi TT Settlement Class Vehicles only - a repair of a diagnosed condition of a fractured piston(s)

    then he/she/it may submit a Claim to receive a seventy-five percent (75%) reimbursement of the paid invoice amount for said repair (parts and labor), limited to one (1) repair per Settlement Class Vehicle, in accordance with the proof requirements and limitations in Sections IV and V below. However, if said repair or replacement was performed by a service center or facility that is not an authorized Audi dealer, then the paid invoice amount of the repair (parts and labor), from which the Settlement Class Member may receive a percentage of reimbursement, shall be limited to a maximum of $3,700.00 for a repair to address a condition of excessive oil consumption, and $9,000 for a repair to address a diagnosed fractured piston, as applicable to the particular Settlement Class Vehicle. So, for example, if a repair to address a diagnosed condition of excessive oil consumption was performed at a facility that is not an authorized Audi dealer, and the paid invoice amount is more than $3,700, the 75% reimbursement will be applied to $3,700 for a reimbursement amount of $2,775. The above relief is subject to certain limitations and proof requirements which are set forth below and in the Settlement Agreement.

    Reimbursement under this Section is subject to the Limitations, Conditions and Claim requirements which are set forth below and in the Settlement Agreement

    III: Reimbursement for a Percentage of Certain Past Paid (and Unreimbursed) Out-of-Pocket Expenses for Repair of Engine Damage of a Settlement Class Vehicle Directly Caused by Excessive Oil Consumption or Fractured Piston

    If, prior to January 29, 2024 and within nine (9) years or ninety thousand (90,000) miles (whichever occurred first) from the Settlement Class Vehicle’s In-Service Date, a Settlement Class Member paid for a repair of engine damage that was directly caused by excessive oil consumption or a fractured piston, he/she/it may submit a Claim to receive a percentage of reimbursement of a percentage of the paid invoice amount for the repair or replacement (parts and labor), limited to one (1) repair or replacement per Settlement Class Vehicle, in accordance with (i) the proof requirements and limitations in Sections IV and V below, and (ii) the percentage limits of coverage set forth in the Sliding Scale of percentages listed in Section I above.

    However, if the Settlement Class Vehicle’s engine was repaired or replaced by a service center or facility that is not an authorized Audi dealer, then the maximum paid invoice amount for the repair/replacement, to which the applicable sliding scale percentage of coverage above will be applied, shall be $12,000.00. Thus, for example, if the engine repair/replacement was not performed by an authorized Audi dealer, and the paid invoice amount for the engine repair exceeds $12,000, the applicable sliding scale percentage will be applied to $12,000.

    IV: Required Proof

    To qualify for reimbursement of past paid and unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses, Settlement Class Members must timely comply with the following requirements:

    1. In order to submit a valid Claim for Reimbursement under this Settlement, you must mail to the Claim Administrator, by first-class mail post-marked no later than April 15, 2024, a fully completed, signed and dated Claim Form, a copy of which is enclosed with the Notice, together with all required documentation listed below.
       
    2. An original or legible copy of a repair invoice(s) or record(s) documenting the repair covered under the Settlement and containing the claimant’s name, the make, model and vehicle identification number (“VIN”) of the Settlement Class Vehicle, the name and address of the authorized Audi dealer or non-dealer service center that performed the repair, the date of repair, the Settlement Class Vehicle’s mileage at the time of repair, a description of the repair work performed including the parts repaired/replaced and a breakdown of parts and labor costs, and the amount charged (parts and labor) for the repair covered under the Settlement. If reimbursement is sought for repair/replacement of a damaged or failed engine directly caused by excessive oil consumption or fractured piston under the terms of this Settlement, in addition to the proof requirements above, the Proof of Repair Expense must also show that the engine damage or failure that required repair/replacement was directly caused by an excessive oil consumption or piston fracture. If you opt to send an original document, please make and retain a copy for yourself. 
       
    3. Proof of the Settlement Class Member’s payment for the repair covered under the Settlement.
       
    4. Documents or records evidencing the Settlement Class Member’s adherence to those aspects of the Settlement documents or records evidencing the Settlement Class Member’s adherence to the oil maintenance aspects of the Settlement Class Vehicle’s maintenance schedule set forth in the Warranty and Maintenance Booklet during the time he/she/it owned and/or leased the vehicle up to the date/mileage of the repair or replacement, within a variance of ten percent (10%) of each scheduled time/mileage oil maintenance interval. If, however, the Settlement Class Member is unable to obtain said documents or records despite a good faith effort to obtain them, the Settlement Class Member may submit a Declaration, signed under penalty of perjury, detailing: (i) the good faith efforts that were made to obtain the records including why the records are not available, and (ii) attesting to adherence to the oil maintenance aspects of the vehicle’s maintenance schedule during the time he/she/it owned or leased the vehicle, up to the date/mileage of the replacement/repair, within the ten percent (10%) variance set forth above.
       
    5. If the claimant is not a person to whom the Claim Form was addressed, and/or the vehicle with respect to which a Claim is made is not the vehicle identified by VIN number on the mailed Claim Form, the Claim shall contain proof that the claimant is a Settlement Class Member and that the vehicle is a Settlement Class Vehicle.
       

    V: Limitations

    1. Any reimbursement pursuant to this Settlement shall be reduced by the amount of any payment, concession, goodwill accommodation, or discount(s) already received from any source (including Volkswagen, an Audi dealer, an insurer, service contract provider, or extended warranty provider, or any other person or entity) for all or part of the amount of the repair that is the subject of the Claim for Reimbursement.
       
    2. If, within the Settlement Class Vehicle’s original NVLW time and mileage period, the past paid repair for which reimbursement is sought was performed by a service entity or facility that is not an authorized Audi dealer, then the Settlement Class Member must also submit with his/her/its Claim, in addition to the Proof of Repair Expense and Proof of Adherence to Maintenance Requirements, documentation (such as a written estimate or invoice), or if documents are not available after a good-faith effort to obtain them, a Declaration signed under penalty of perjury, confirming that the Settlement Class Member first attempted to have the said repair performed by an authorized Audi dealer, but the dealer declined or was unable to perform the repair free of charge pursuant to the NVLW.
       
    3. Any repair that was due to misuse, abuse, accident, crash, racing, improper operation, lack of or improper maintenance, and/or damage from an external source, does not qualify for reimbursement.
       
    4. VWGoA will not be responsible for, and shall not warrant, repair or replacement work performed at an independent service center.
       
    5. Any replacement parts will be subject to the warranty terms and conditions accompanying replacement parts. The Settlement does not modify the terms, conditions, restrictions, or limitations of that warranty.
       
  • Any United States or Puerto Rico resident who purchased or leased a Settlement Class Vehicle can send in a timely Claim for Reimbursement if the Claim satisfies the parameters, criteria and proof required for reimbursement described in FAQ 1.

  • To submit a Claim for Reimbursement, you must do the following before the April 15, 2024 deadline:

    1. Complete, sign under penalty of perjury, and date a Claim Form (there is one enclosed with the Class Notice). It is recommended that you keep a copy of the completed Claim Form; and
       
    2. Mail the completed, signed, and dated Claim Form, together with your supporting documentation (i.e., repair record[s], receipts, proof of payment, etc.) by first-class mail to the Settlement Claim Administrator, at the address provided on the Claim Form, postmarked no later than April 15, 2024. The information that must be reflected in your records is described on the Claim Form. It is recommended that you keep a copy of your records and receipts.  Please note that we do not accept electronically submitted Claim Forms.

     

    If you are eligible for reimbursement benefits under the Settlement but fail to submit the completed Claim Form and supporting documents by the required deadline, you will not receive a reimbursement.

     

  • If the Settlement Claim Administrator determines your Claim is valid, your reimbursement will be mailed to you within one hundred (150) days of either the date of receipt of the completed Claim (with all required proof), or the date that the Settlement becomes final (the “Effective Date”), whichever is later. The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing on to decide whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Final Fairness Hearing has been adjourned and the new date is to be determined.


    If the Claim Administrator determines your Claim should not be paid, you will be mailed a letter telling you this. If the reason for rejecting your Claim is due to a deficiency in your Claim Form and/or supporting proof, the letter will notify you of the deficiency in your Claim, and what needs to be submitted, and by when, to correct the deficiency. To check on the status of your Claim, you can call 1-877-231-0648.
     

  • Unless you excluded yourself by taking the steps described in FAQ 10 below, you are staying in the Class, and that means that you may receive any Settlement benefits to which you are eligible, and will be bound by the release of claims and cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit about the same matters, claims, and legal issues that were or could have been asserted in this case, and the Released Claims set forth in the Settlement Agreement. It also means that all of the Court’s orders and judgments will apply to you and legally bind you.  The specific claims and parties you will be releasing are set forth in sections I.T and I.U of the Settlement Agreement.

  • The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement passed on February 28, 2024.  If you excluded yourself, you won't receive any reimbursement or extended warranty coverage, but you will retain any rights you currently have to sue the Defendants about the claims in this case. 

  • No, not for the same matters and legal claims that were or could have been asserted in the Action or any of the Released Claims in the Settlement Agreement, unless your claim is for personal injury or property damage (other than damage to the Settlement Class Vehicle itself).

  • No, if you excluded yourself from the Settlement Class, you won't receive any money or benefits from this Settlement, and you should not submit a Claim Form.

  • The Court has appointed the law firms of Berger Montague PC, Capstone APC and the Ladah Law Firm as “Class Counsel” to represent Settlement Class Members.

  • You do not need to hire your own lawyer to participate in the Settlement because Class Counsel will be representing you and the Settlement Class. But, if you want your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own cost.

  • Class Counsel have prosecuted this case on a contingency basis. They have not received any fees or reimbursement for costs and expenses associated with this case. Class Counsel will file an application with the Court requesting an award of reasonable attorney fees and reasonable costs and expenses (“Fees and Expenses”) in an amount not exceeding a collective combined total sum of $2,200,000.00. Defendant has agreed not to oppose Class Counsel’s application for Fees and Expenses to the extent not exceeding that combined total sum, and Class Counsel have agreed not to accept any Fees and Expenses in excess of that combined total sum. 

    Class Counsel will also apply to the Court for service awards, in the amount of $5,000 each, to the Settlement Class Representatives Tom Garden, Carrie Vassel, Karen Burnaugh, Grant Bradley, Clydiene Francis, Ada and Angeli Gozon (who will collectively receive a single $5,000 service award), Peter Lowegard, and Patricia Hensley, for their efforts in pursuing this litigation for the benefit of the Settlement Class.

    Any award for Class Counsel Fees and Expenses, and any service awards to Settlement Class Representatives, will be paid separately by Defendant and will not reduce any benefits available to you or the rest of the Settlement Class under the Settlement. You won’t have to pay these Fees and Expenses.

    Class Counsel’s motion for fees and expenses and Settlement Class Representative service awards will be filed by February 21, 2024, and a copy will be made available for review under Important Documents.

  • The deadline to object to the Settlement passed on February 28, 2024.

  • Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You could have objected only if you stayed in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class and the Settlement. If you excluded yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

  • The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing to determine whether the Settlement should be granted final approval. At this Final Fairness Hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will also consider Class Counsel’s application for Fees and Expenses and service awards to the Settlement Class Representatives.  The Final Fairness Hearing has been adjourned and the new date is to be determined.

  • No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. The deadline to ask to speak at the Fairness Hearing passed on February 28, 2024

  • The deadline to ask to speak at the Fairness Hearing passed on February 28, 2024

  • If you do nothing, you will be bound by the Settlement if the Court approves it, including all orders, judgements and the release of claims set forth in the Settlement.

  • You may call the Claim Administrator at 1-877-231-0648

For More Information

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Mail
Rieger v Volkswagen Group of America
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91369
Seattle, WA 98111