A class action lawsuit has been filed against Volkswagen (VW) alleging that the company willfully covered up a defect with vehicle headlights. Consumer Affairs reports that the lawsuit is demanding that VW pay owners of the affected vehicles for all attempts made to repair the problem.
The lawsuit alleges that although the headlights appear to function normally when first turned on, they sporadically shut off. The defect poses a potential safety hazard. The lawsuit accuses VW of being aware of the issue since 2004 but not disclosing it. According to the article, car owners were told this was an “isolated issue,” or that the defect “did not manifest [itself] during repair visits." Consumers were told that headlight repairs were not covered under warranty. Consumer reports wrote that dealers would often use faulty headlights as a replacement, forcing consumers to return for further repairs.
In support of the claim that VW was previously aware of the issue, the lawsuit cites two secret technical service bulletins (TSBs) dating back to May 2006, informing VW dealerships of the headlight defect. The suit also alleges that VW instituted a “clandestine program” to reimburse the most vocal affected car owners in order to keep the defect under wraps. Such a policy would be in direct conflict with California's Secret Warranty Act, which prohibits dealers from making warranty repairs on a case-by-case basis.
Purchasing a new vehicle can be risky. California law protects consumers from dealer or manufacturer fraud. If you believe you have been defrauded or sold a defective car, contact skilled attorney Howard D. Silver for a free consultation about your case. Call (855) 341-2611 today.