A class action settlement in Gioffe, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-00193 (“the action”), was granted preliminary approval in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on October 24, 2022.
In the action, Plaintiffs, individually and as the proposed representatives of a nationwide class, assert claims that certain model year 2018 through 2022 Audi Q5, SQ5, Q5 Sportback, SQ5 Sportback, A6, A7, S6, S7, A6 Allroad, RS 6 Avant or RS 7 vehicles contain an alleged defect that could result in water or liquid ingress into the vehicles’ Gateway Control Modules (“GCMs”), causing GCM malfunctions. Defendant Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (“VWGoA”) has denied the claims and maintains that the vehicles are not defective, are properly designed, manufactured and sold, and that no warranties were breached nor were any applicable statutes violated. The Court has not decided in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendant. Instead, both sides have agreed to a class settlement with no admission of who is right or wrong.
Settlement Class Vehicles and Settlement Class
The vehicles involved in the Settlement – called “Settlement Class Vehicles” – are any of the following vehicles that were imported and distributed by Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. for sale or lease in the United States or Puerto Rico:
- any model year 2018 through 2021 Audi Q5 or SQ5;
- any model year 2021 Audi Q5 Sportback or SQ5 Sportback;
- certain specified model year 2022 Audi Q5, SQ5, Q5 Sportback, or SQ5 Sportback;
- certain specified model year 2021 or 2022 Audi RS 6 Avant or RS 7; and
- certain specified model year 2019 through 2022 Audi A6 or A7 vehicles.
The Settlement Class includes:
All persons or entities who purchased or leased a Settlement Class Vehicle in the United States or Puerto Rico that was imported and distributed by Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. for sale or lease in the United States of America and Puerto Rico.
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 Volkswagen Group Companies, and their family members; (c) any affiliate, parent, or subsidiary of Defendant and any entity in which Defendant have 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, settles with and releases Defendant or any Released Parties from any Released Claims; and (j) any Settlement Class Member that files a timely and proper Request for Exclusion from the Settlement Class.
If you fall within the Settlement Class, then, subject to the above exceptions, you are a Settlement Class Member.
To determine whether your vehicle is a Settlement Class Vehicle, please use our VIN Lookup Tool
Settlement Class Members' Legal Rights and Options
If you do nothing, if your vehicle is included in the Settlement Class, you will be a Settlement Class Member, and may be eligible to obtain the benefits of the Settlement. For details of the eligible benefits, and their requirements, please refer to the Class Notice. You will be bound by the terms of the Settlement if the Court approves it.
|SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT
If you are eligible, you may have the right to reimbursement for certain past paid and unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses. In order to be eligible for reimbursement under the Settlement’s terms, Settlement Class Members must mail a fully completed, signed and dated Claim Form, together with all required documentation and Declaration(s), to the Claim Administrator by first class mail post-marked no later than June 14, 2023.
|EXCLUDE YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT
You have a right, if you so desire, to exclude yourself from this Settlement. To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a written Request for Exclusion to the Claim Administrator and all counsel by U.S. mail post-marked no later than April 20, 2023, stating clearly that you want to be excluded from the Settlement. For further details regarding the requirements for a valid Request for Exclusion, please refer to the Class Notice available on the Important Documents page.
|OBJECT OR COMMENT
You may object to or comment on the Settlement. To do so, you must submit your written objection or comment together with any supporting materials (“objection or comment”) to the Court by either (1) filing your objection or comment with the Court, either in-person or by using the Court’s electronic filing system, by April 20, 2023, or by mailing your objection to the Court and all Counsel by first-class mail post-marked no later than April 20, 2023. For further details regarding the requirements for a valid objection or comment, please refer to the Class Notice available on the Important Documents page.
|FINAL FAIRNESS HEARING
The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing on June 20, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. to decide whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate. You are not required to attend the Final Fairness Hearing. If you would like to attend, you may request permission to appear by filing a Notice of Intention to Appear no later than April 20, 2023. Information about the progress of the case will be available on this website.