Product Liability

Volkswagen Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Alleged Airbag Defect

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Volkswagen Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Alleged Airbag Defect

Five plaintiffs, Brandy Knapp, Eniko Gedo, Eva Jacinto, Patricia Jones, and Francine Lewis, have filed a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Audi Aktiengesellschaft, Audi of America, LLC, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., doing business as Audi of America, Inc. The case is being heard in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division.

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants sold vehicles equipped with defective airbag inflators produced by ARC Automotive, Inc. These inflators, as per the lawsuit, have a dangerous propensity to rupture and eject metal shrapnel, posing a severe risk of harm to occupants. The defect is attributed to loose weld 'slag' or 'flash' in the interior of the inflators, which can become dislodged during a crash and block the ventilation port, causing the inflator to rupture.

According to the lawsuit, 'The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) informed ARC Automotive, Inc. that there is a defect in their frontal driver and passenger airbag inflators.' However, ARC rejected NHTSA's demand for a recall and disagreed with their findings. NHTSA concluded that the Defective Inflators pose an unreasonable risk of death or injury.

The lawsuit further alleges that ARC has not taken any measures to notify customers or take action to protect the driving public. It states, 'ARC has not taken any measures to notify customers or take action to protect the driving public.' There have been at least 10 known ruptures of the Defective Inflators, resulting in injuries and fatalities.

The plaintiffs accuse the defendants of fraudulent concealment and non-disclosure of the Inflator Defect in the Class Vehicles, which poses a severe risk of harm to occupants. They argue that the defendants had a duty to disclose the material facts about the Defective Inflators but failed to do so, leading Plaintiffs and Class Members to purchase or lease the Class Vehicles under false pretenses.

The plaintiffs are seeking certification of a class action, damages, injunctive relief, and other appropriate remedies. They demand a jury trial for all issues triable by a jury.

The lawsuit also alleges that the defendants violated various state laws, including the Florida Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. They argue that the defendants' conduct constitutes unfair methods of competition, deceptive acts or practices, and breaches of express and implied warranties.

Case Facts

  • Status:
    Lawsuit Filed
  • Case Number:
    1:23-cv-03431
  • Filing Date:
    August 2, 2023
  • Jurisdiction:
    U.S. District Courts
  • State:
    Virginia
  • Court:
    Virginia Eastern District
  • Plaintiff:
    Brandy Knapp
  • Defendant:
    Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft
  • Plaintiff Firm:
    Webster Book LLP
  • Defendant Firm:
  • Claims Administrator:
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Will Gendron
Will Gendron
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