Audi, known for its production of luxury vehicles, has been sued for selling cars with one major defect attached to them. But it’s not just any old malfunctioning piece of equipment in these Audi vehicles. It’s one that could cause some serious accidents if not resolved.
A lawsuit showed up recently alleging that Audi’s start-stop feature is defective and causing some scary problems on the road. Car Complaints explains what the lawsuit is about and what owners want to get from it.
What is the start-stop feature, and what’s the problem Audi owners are having with it?
When working properly, the start-stop feature will reduce carbon emissions and improve fuel economy. It does this by shutting the engine down when you come to a complete stop at an intersection or stoplight.
When you move forward to resume driving, the engine will restart after your foot comes off the brake, but before you hit the gas pedal. It’s meant to eliminate fuel loss while the vehicle idles during a stop.
Some Audi owners found that this feature wasn’t working like it was meant to. Drivers reported a few had to restart the motor after stopping at a light, or it shuts off before they actually would come to a complete stop.
They reported these problems for the 2017-2020 models of Audi A-series vehicles including the A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, and A8. It also affects the 2017-2020 models of the S3, S4, S6, and S8. The Audi TT and TTS as well as the SQ5 also have the same issues. Finally, the Audi Q5, Q7, and Q8 are also on the list for the same model years.
What the lawsuit is all about
The plaintiff in the most recent case against Audi alleges that the 2018 Audi A6 he purchased in 2019 loses power before he even comes to a complete stop. Without the engine running, the power steering doesn’t work and the brakes aren’t as efficient as they should be.
Also, when stepping on the gas to resume driving, the steering and acceleration are delayed a bit. When power catches up to the gas pedal, the vehicle lunges forward, but the power steering hasn’t quite engaged, making it difficult to maneuver the car as needed.
That poses a dangerous situation. The driver could hit a vehicle in front of them if the brakes aren’t working as they should. By the same token, they could get hit from behind while they’re dealing with the malfunctioning steering and gas pedal. In fact, the plaintiff claims that the defective start-stop feature almost caused him to have an accident on one occasion.
The lawsuit also claims that Audi knew about this problem because they sent out a service bulletin back in 2017 that explained what owners were complaining about. However, Audi ignored them and refused to acknowledge that it was an issue they would repair, nor did the automaker honor any driver’s warranties.
Instead, Audi told dealerships that many customers might mistake a normal operation of this feature with a malfunctioning one, which is what the plaintiff was told when he brought his vehicle in after his near-accident.
Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the only time Audi faced a lawsuit for the start-stop feature, according to The Margarian Law Firm. In 2017, another owner sued them for selling a vehicle they knew had a defect where the car would unintentionally roll in certain circumstances while using the same start-stop feature for the 2013-2017 models. However, that lawsuit was dropped later on.
What do Audi owners want to get out of the lawsuit?
The lawsuit is more than just trying to get millions out of a big automotive company. Owners of these Audi cars want to be heard and to get some kind of resolution for all the trouble they’ve faced with this problem.
Owners feel that they have the right to receive a refund of the money they spent to purchase the defective vehicle. They want compensation for spending more than they should have for their Audi vehicles and for losing value with the car they bought.
They also want reimbursement for all the expenses they had to incur because of the malfunctioning start-stop feature. Lastly, they feel there should be a recall on it to fix the problem seen with all the affected Audi vehicles.
Will Audi finally step up and take responsibility for the problem and give owners what they feel entitled to? Only time will tell what the automaker will do to resolve this one.