|June 26, 2000
Audi A6 Quattro Owners Left Stranded on the Road; Suit Filed
Class Action Suit Filed By Kimmel & Silverman, P.C. and Monheit, Monheit, Silverman & Fodera, P.C.
PHILADELPHIA - The law firms of Kimmel & Silverman, P.C. and Monheit, Monheit, Silverman & Fodera, P.C. have filed a class action suit against Audi of America, Inc. and its parent company, Volkswagen of America, Inc., alleging fuel gauge malfunctions in certain 1998, 1999, and 2000 Audi Quattro models.
According to court papers filed in the Court of Common Pleas, Montgomery County, many Audi Quattro owners have found their cars running out of gas despite the fact that their fuel gauge reads at least half full. According to an Audi corporate representative and certified mechanic, the fuel tank sensors are the culprit and admittedly no repair has yet been devised to effectively resolve the problem.
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania resident Andrew Fox is the lead class representative; court documents show his vehicle has been subject to repair several times, without resolution. It is estimated that the problem affects several thousand people in Pennsylvania and many more nationally.
"I'm fed up," says Fox, a contractor from Villanova. "I hope Volkswagen realizes how potentially dangerous this problem can be. The gauge will go from full to empty and back to full within ten minutes." Fox has had his gauge replaced four times in less than a year. "This is completely unacceptable for a car worth over $40,000."
Court papers further allege that Audi officials have known about this defect for years, by citing testimony taken under oath in a previous case that "the amount of fuel in the tank is not actually reflected by the position of the fuel gauge." Audi suggests drivers measure the distance driven in their Quattros rather than rely on their gas gauge until the problem can be corrected, a measure consumers are finding unacceptable. Audi believes the problem is limited to Quattro vehicles which have different fuel tank designs than other models, due to the all-wheel drive powertrain configuration which takes up additional space where the fuel tank normally resides. Audi has not however notified all owners of the concern.
"This is a serious problem that has left unsuspecting people stranded on the road, at all times of day and under frequently dangerous circumstances," says consumer attorney and advocate Craig Thor Kimmel of Kimmel & Silverman, P.C. "The fact that Audi officials have known about the problem and have been unable to resolve it in over 20 months is outrageous to anyone, let alone those who spend the money for a luxury vehicle."
"The fuel gauge defect in these automobiles threatens the safety of all Audi Quattro drivers," says Peter Kohn, co-counsel from the law firm of Monheit, Monheit, Silverman and Fodera, P.C. "That this situation hasn't been solved or disclosed to consumers is ludicrous and unacceptable."
Since 1991 the Ambler, PA and Haddonfield, NJ firm of Kimmel & Silverman has grown to become the nation's largest lemon law firm, handling approximately one in four cases filed across the nation. To date, Kimmel & Silverman has represented more than 12,000 individual consumer claims, exclusive of class actions, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, making the firm the largest practice of its sort in the United States. Each of the nine attorneys employed at the firm share the partners' drive and determination to achieve the best results for their clients and expand the rights of consumers.
The Philadelphia-based law firm of Monheit, Monheit Silverman and Fodera is known for its class action work in dangerous lead paint cases, consumer claims and core personal injury practice.