In Re Volkswagen Timing Chain Product Liability Litigation, Civil Action No. 16-2765 (JLL)(JAD)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the lawsuit about?

    A lawsuit called In Re Volkswagen Timing Chain Product Liability Litigation, Civil Action No. 16-2765 (JLL)(JAD) (“the Action”), was filed against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (“VWGoA”), Volkswagen AG (“VWAG”), and Audi AG (“Audi AG”) (collectively, “Defendants”). Plaintiffs filed the Action as a putative class action against Defendants, claiming timing chain or timing chain tensioner defects in Settlement Class Vehicles.

    Defendants have and continue to dispute all of Plaintiffs’ claims. Defendants maintain that the Settlement Class Vehicles are not defective, that no applicable warranties were breached nor applicable statutes violated, that the Settlement Class Vehicles were properly designed, manufactured, distributed, marketed, advertised, warranted, and sold, and that Defendants have not engaged in any wrongdoing.

    To resolve this dispute, the parties have agreed to compromise and settle all issues and claims that were or could have been brought by or on behalf of Plaintiffs and members of the Settlement Class.

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  2. Why is the lawsuit a class action?

    In a class action lawsuit, one or more persons, called Class Representatives, sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. All of these people are Class Members. The Class Representatives and all Settlement Class Members are called the Plaintiffs and the companies they sued are called the Defendants. One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares is in charge of this class Action.

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  3. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Court has not decided in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement with no decision or admission of who is right or wrong. That way, all parties avoid the risks and cost of a trial, and the people affected (the Settlement Class Members) will get compensation quickly. The Class Representatives and the attorneys believe that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and serves the best interests of the Settlement Class.

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  4. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

    To determine if your vehicle is included in the Volkswagen Timing Chain Settlement, you may check your VIN using the VIN Lookup Tool to verify if your vehicle is included as a Settlement Class Vehicle in the case database.

    You are a Settlement Class Member and part of the Settlement if you purchased or leased a Settlement Class Vehicle in the United States or Puerto Rico and your vehicle’s VIN is included in the VIN database, unless excluded as set forth below.

    Excluded from the Settlement Class are:

    1. Anyone claiming personal injury, property damage, and/or subrogation;
    2. All Judges who have presided over the Actions, and their spouses;
    3. All current employees, officers, directors, agents, and representatives of Defendants, and their family members;
    4. Any affiliate, parent, or subsidiary of Defendants and any entity in which Defendants have a controlling interest;
    5. Anyone acting as a used car dealer;
    6. Anyone who purchased a Settlement Class Vehicle for the purpose of commercial resale;
    7. Anyone who purchased a Settlement Class Vehicle with a salvaged title and/or any insurance company who acquired a Settlement Class Vehicle as a result of a total loss;
    8. Any insurer of a Settlement Class Vehicle;
    9. Issuers of extended vehicle warranties and service contracts;
    10. Any Settlement Class Member who, prior to the date of the Settlement Agreement, settled with and released Defendants or any Released Parties from any Released Claims; and
    11. Any Settlement Class Member that filed a timely and proper Request for Exclusion from the Settlement Class.
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  5. What are the possible benefits of this Settlement?

    I. Warranty Extension:

    VWGoA’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty will be extended to cover repair or replacement, by an authorized Volkswagen or Audi dealer, of failed timing chains and/or timing chain tensioners of Settlement Class Vehicles during a period of ten (10) years or one hundred thousand (100,000) miles from the “In-Service Date,” whichever comes first. The “In-Service Date” is the date on which the Class Vehicle was delivered to either the original purchaser or the original lessee; or if the vehicle was first placed in-service as a “demonstrator” or “company” car, on the date such vehicle was first placed in service.

    The Warranty Extension will be subject to sliding scale percentages (below) based upon the time from In-Service Date and mileage of the particular vehicle. The scope of the Warranty Extension will also cover a percentage of the cost of repair or replacement (parts and labor), by an authorized VW or Audi dealer, of a damaged or failed engine of a Settlement Class Vehicle that is determined to have been directly caused by the failure of the vehicle's Timing Chain and/or Timing Chain Tensioner, within the same above 10-year or 100,000 mile (whichever occurs first) Extended Warranty period from the In-Service Date of the vehicle, and subject to the following time/mileage percentage limits:

    Time from In-Service date < 60,000 miles 60,001 - 75,000 miles 75,001 - 85,000 miles 85,001 - 100,000 miles
    5 years or less100%70%60%45%
    5-7 years70%60%50%35%
    7-10 years60%50%40%25%

    All other terms, conditions and limitations of the Warranty Extension, as set forth in the Settlement Agreement, Section II.A., remain the same and apply in all respects to the added relief described above. This includes, but is not limited to, the requirements that: (a) the repair must be performed by an authorized VW dealer (for VW Settlement Class Vehicles) or Audi dealer (for Audi Settlement Class Vehicles), (b) the Settlement Class member submits, to the dealer, Proof of Adherence to the Vehicle's Maintenance Schedule, and (c) if the Timing Chain and/or Timing Chain Tensioner failure occurs more than thirty (30) days after the Notice Date and within 10 years or 100,000 miles (whichever occurs first) from the In-Service Date of the Settlement Class Vehicle, the Settlement Class Member must take the vehicle to an authorized VW or Audi dealer for repair/replacement, pursuant to the terms of the Extended Warranty, regardless of whether the repair or replacement is to the Timing Chain, Timing Chain Tensioner and/or a damaged or failed engine determined to be directly caused by a failed Timing Chain and/or Timing Chain Tensioner.

    The warranty, as extended, is fully transferable to subsequent owners. Repair or replacement under this extended warranty must be performed by an authorized Volkswagen or Audi dealer, unless repaired prior to the Effective Date.

    If your vehicle was previously repaired, see II B.


    II. Reimbursement of Out-of-Pocket Expenses for Repair or Replacement of Timing Chain and/or Timing Chain Tensioner:

    The deadline to submit a claim for out-of-pocket expenses for repair or replacement of timing chain and/or timing chain tensioner was January 25, 2019. Late claims are not eligible for Settlement benefits.

    Settlement Class Members may be entitled to reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred for repair or replacement of failed timing chains and/or timing chain tensioners of Settlement Class Vehicles during the period of ten (10) years or one hundred thousand (100,000) miles from the date the vehicle was first placed into service, whichever occurs first, as follows:

    1. Timing Chain Tensioner Repair/Replacement:

      If the timing chain tensioner was repaired or replaced at an authorized Audi (for Audi vehicles) or Volkswagen (for Volkswagen vehicles) dealer, the Settlement Class Member will receive a one-hundred-percent (100%) refund of the paid dealer invoice amount for the covered part(s) and labor.

      If the timing chain tensioner was repaired or replaced at an independent service center and not an authorized Audi or Volkswagen dealer, the Settlement Class Member will receive a refund of the paid invoice for the covered parts and labor, but no more than $1,100.00.

    2. Timing Chain Repair/Replacement:

      If the timing chain was repaired or replaced at an authorized Audi (for Audi vehicles) or Volkswagen (for Volkswagen vehicles) dealer, the Settlement Class Member will receive a one-hundred-percent (100%) refund of the paid dealer invoice amount for the covered part(s) and labor.

      If the timing chain was repaired or replaced at an independent service center and not an authorized Audi or Volkswagen dealer, the Settlement Class Member will receive a refund of the paid invoice amount for the covered parts and labor, but no more than $1,500.00.

      When the timing chain is replaced, the warranty coverage includes oil change, oil filter, and cleaning of oil pan, which includes reimbursement to Settlement Class Members for payments previously made for these items in connection with a timing chain repair or replacement.

      The above relief is subject to certain limitations and proof requirements which are set forth in FAQ 6 and FAQ 7.

    3. Simultaneous Timing Chain and Timing Chain Tensioner Repair/Replacement:

      If the timing chain and timing chain tensioner were both simultaneously repaired or replaced at an authorized Audi or Volkswagen dealer, the Settlement Class Member will receive a one-hundred-percent (100%) refund of the dealer invoice amount for the covered part(s) and labor.

      If the timing chain and timing chain tensioner were both simultaneously repaired or replaced at an independent service center and not an authorized Audi or Volkswagen dealer, the Settlement Class Member will receive a refund of the invoice for the covered parts and labor, but no more than $2,000.00.

      The above relief is subject to certain limitations and proof requirements which are set forth in FAQ 6 and FAQ 7.


    III. Reimbursement of Out-of-Pocket Expenses to Repair or Replace Damaged or Failed Engine Due to Failure of the Timing Chain Tensioner and/or Timing Chain:

    The deadline to submit a claim for out-of-pocket expenses to repair or replace a damaged or failed engine due to failure of the timing chain tensioner and/or timing chain was January 25, 2019. Late claims are not eligible for Settlement benefits.

    In addition to the reimbursements and warranty extension set forth above, Settlement Class Members may be entitled to reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses incurred to repair or replace a failed or damaged engine due to the failure of the timing chain tensioner and/or timing chain within ten (10) years or one hundred thousand (100,000) miles from the date the Settlement Class Vehicle was placed into service, whichever occurs first, as follows:

    • If the engine was repaired or replaced at an authorized Audi (for Audi vehicles) or Volkswagen (for Volkswagen vehicles) dealer, a refund of the paid dealer invoice amount subject to the time/mileage parameters in the table below.
    • If the engine was repaired or replaced at an independent service center and not an authorized Audi or Volkswagen dealer, the maximum reimbursement amount is $6,500.00, subject to the time/mileage parameters in the table below.

    Table for Reimbursement for Out-Of-Pocket Expenses for Damaged or Failed Engine Due to Timing Chain Tensioner/Timing Chain Failure

    Time from In-Service date < 60,000 miles 60,001 - 75,000 miles 75,001 - 85,000 miles 85,001 - 100,000 miles
    5 years or less100%70%60%45%
    5-7 years70%60%50%35%
    7-10 years60%50%40%25%
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  6. What are the limitations on reimbursement claims?

    Any reimbursement will be reduced by goodwill or other concession paid by an authorized Volkswagen or Audi dealer or any other entity (including insurers and providers of extended warranties).

    VWGoA will not be responsible for, and will not warrant, repair or replacement work performed at an independent service center and not an Audi or Volkswagen dealer. If the Volkswagen or Audi replacement covered part(s), purchased by the Settlement Class Member or the independent service center from an authorized Volkswagen or Audi dealer, fails within one (1) year or 12,000 miles (whichever occurs first) of installation, VWGoA will provide a free replacement of the covered part(s) only.

    Any replacement engine will be subject to the replacement part warranty terms and conditions accompanying that replacement engine. This Settlement does not modify the terms, conditions, restrictions, or limitations of that warranty.

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  7. What proof do I need to provide in order to get a reimbursement?

    In order to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses, you must have provided documentation sufficient for the Claim Administrator to process the Claim. This includes originals or legible copies of repair invoices, receipts, business cards, letterheads, credit card receipts, copies of checks, and/or other records, showing the following::

    1. The Settlement Class Member's name, and the make, model year, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the Settlement Class Vehicle (this will frequently be on the repair invoice);
    2. Name and address of authorized Volkswagen/Audi dealer or servicing center that performed the repair (this will frequently be on the repair invoice);
    3. Date of repair, description of repair work performed, mileage at repair, and part(s) replaced (this will frequently be on the repair invoice);
    4. Proof of ownership or lease of the vehicle;
    5. That the repair or replacement was due to the failure of the timing chain tensioner and/or timing chain within the time/mileage parameters of the Settlement;
    6. The cost (parts and labor) of repair/replacement and proof of payment of same or such other proof sufficient to establish the repair and payment (this can be a copy of the check, credit card statement, or if paid in cash, a stamped “paid” invoice); and/or
    7. Documents evidencing the Settlement Class Member's good-faith adherence to the relevant aspects of the vehicle maintenance schedule during the time he/she owned the Settlement Class Vehicle, in particular, scheduled oil changes, up to the date/mileage of repair/replacement, within a variance of 10% of the scheduled time/maintenance requirements (e.g. if oil changes are required for your vehicle every 5,000 miles, you must have had the oil change no later than 500 miles past the recommended oil change requirement). However, in the event maintenance records cannot be obtained despite a good-faith effort to obtain them, the Settlement Class Member may submit a sworn declaration, under penalty of perjury, detailing what efforts were made to obtain the records, why the records are not available, and attesting to adherence to the vehicle maintenance schedule and, in particular, scheduled oil changes, up to the date/mileage of replacement/repair, within the variance set forth above.
      • If needed, you can download and print a template Vehicle Maintenance Declaration document here. If you choose to submit a declaration, in lieu of documents attesting to adherence to the vehicle maintenance schedule, the Claim Administrator recommends utilizing the template Vehicle Maintenance Declaration, or a declaration, under penalty of perjury, of substantially similar format and content.

    Failure to submit a Claim with supporting documents within the specified time frame will result in denial of your Claim.

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  8. Am I giving anything up in return for my benefit?

    Unless you excluded yourself, you are staying in the Settlement Class, and that means that you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit about the same matters and legal issues in this case (except for claims of personal injury or property damage). It also means that all of the Court’s orders apply to you and legally bind you.

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  9. What do I need to do to get a reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses under the benefits of this Settlement?

    To get a reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses for repairs and/or replacement, as provided for in the Settlement, you needed to complete and timely submit a Claim Form before the January 25, 2019 deadline. Late claims are not eligible for Settlement benefits.

    If the Claim Administrator determines your Claim should not be paid, you will be mailed a letter detailing the reason for denial. If the reason for rejecting your Claim is due to a deficiency in your Claim Form and/or supporting proof, the letter will notify you of the deficiency in your Claim and what needs to be submitted to correct the deficiency.

    To check on the status of your Claim, you can call 1-855-206-9873.

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  10. Can I get out of the Settlement?

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was October 12, 2018. The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was December 3, 2018, for owners of Settlement Class Vehicles registered in New Hampshire.

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  11. How can I exclude myself from the Settlement?

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was October 12, 2018. The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was December 3, 2018, for owners of Settlement Class Vehicles registered in New Hampshire.

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  12. Can I tell the Court I do not like the Settlement?

    The deadline to object to the Settlement was October 12, 2018. The deadline to object to the Settlement was December 3, 2018, for owners of Settlement Class Vehicles registered in New Hampshire.

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  13. What is the difference between excluding and objecting? Can I do both?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You could object only if you stayed in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class and the Settlement. If you excluded yourself, you had no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

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  14. Do I need to hire my own attorney?

    You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. But, if you want your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own cost.

    The Court has appointed the law firms of Carella Byrne Cecchi Olstein Brody & Agnello, P.C.; Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP; and Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. to represent the Settlement Class. Together these law firms are called “Class Counsel.”

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  15. How much is Class Counsel being paid?

    Class Counsel have prosecuted this case on a contingency basis, meaning that to date, they have not received any fees or reimbursement for any of the costs and expenses associated with this case. Class Counsel will request an award of reasonable attorney fees from the Court, in addition to reimbursement of their reasonable costs and expenses of this Lawsuit (“Fees and Expenses”).

    Class Counsel will also apply to the Court for incentive awards to the Settlement Class Representatives, who have conditionally been approved as Settlement Class Representatives, in the amount of $2,500.00 each for their efforts in pursuing this litigation for the benefit of the Settlement Class.

    You won’t have to pay these Fees and Expenses. Any award for Class Counsel’s Fees and Expenses and any incentive awards will be paid by Defendants and will not reduce any benefits available to you under the Settlement.

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  16. When will the Settlement become final?

    The Court held a Fairness Hearing on December 12, 2018 at 11:00 a.m., United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 50 Walnut Street, Newark, New Jersey 07101, to determine whether the Settlement should be granted final approval. At this Fairness Hearing, the Court considered whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court also considered Class Counsel’s application for Fees and Expenses and incentive awards to the Settlement Class Representatives. On December 14, 2018, the Court entered the Final Approval Order and Judgment.

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  17. What if I did nothing?

    If you did nothing, you are still a Settlement Class Member. However, you are not entitled to a reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses if you did not timely submit a Claim Form with the required documentation, within the timeframe required by the Settlement. You are bound by the terms of the Settlement including the Release, which means you cannot bring a lawsuit against Defendants or any other Released Party for any Released Claims and claims that were or could have been asserted in this lawsuit.

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  18. Where can I get more information?

    If you have additional questions regarding this Settlement, you should contact the Claim Administrator by calling 1-855-206-9873 or emailing info@TimingChainLitigation.com for more information, or you may communicate directly with Class Counsel by contacting:

    Class Counsel
    James E. Cecchi
    Carella Byrne Cecchi Olstein Brody & Agnello, P.C.
    5 Becker Farm Road
    Roseland, NJ 07068

    If you wish to obtain more detailed information, you may review the Settlement Agreement, which contains the complete terms of the Settlement. The Settlement Agreement, along with documents filed in the lawsuit, are available here, and are on file with the Court and available to be inspected at any time during regular business hours at the Clerk’s Office. The Clerk of the Court is located at:

    Clerk of the Court
    United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
    50 Walnut Street
    Newark, NJ 07101

    Please do not contact the Court or Defendants for more information regarding the Settlement.

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  19. How do I make a Declaration to show that I’ve adhered to the Vehicle Maintenance Schedule?

    If needed, you can download and print a template Vehicle Maintenance Declaration document here. If you choose to submit a declaration, in lieu of documents attesting to adherence to the vehicle maintenance schedule, the Claim Administrator recommends utilizing the template Vehicle Maintenance Declaration, or a declaration, under penalty of perjury, of substantially similar format and content.

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  20. When will I get my check?

    Payments are ongoing as claims and responses are processed. Reimbursement Payments will be made in accordance with the terms set forth in the Settlement Agreement, which can be found on the Documents page of this website.

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  21. Can I have my check reissued?

    [Check is $100.00 or greater]

    All reissue requests must be sent in writing to the Claim Administrator at the address listed below:

    Volkswagen Timing Chain Settlement
    Claim Administrator
    P.O. Box 3656
    Portland, OR 97208-3656

    If the name of the Class Member on the check should be changed, please send in documentation, as applicable, according to the following checklist:

    • Name Change – If your name has changed, please provide documentation showing this to be the case, which can include documents such as a marriage certificate or court papers indicative of a name change.
    • Name Removal – In order to have a name removed from a check reissue, either have both parties on the check sign a letter and return the check, or return the check with documentation that shows that one party is unable to negotiate the check (e.g., death certificate).
    • Deceased Class Member – If the Class Member indicated on the check is deceased, please submit acceptable documentation showing that you are the beneficiary of his or her Estate. Acceptable documentation may be a death certificate, together with the pertinent portion of the Will, or Court Order/Letters Testamentary naming you as Personal Representative, Administrator, Executor, or Executrix.
    • Incapacitated Class Member – If the claimant cannot act on his or her own behalf, acceptable documentation is a Power of Attorney, or guardianship or custodial paperwork.
    • Closed Business – If business is no longer active, please provide documentation of the business closure or asset sale.
    • Split Payment – If you would like us to send separate checks for each account owner, please send us a letter containing a statement explaining your request, along with signatures of all the payees listed on the check.

    For reasons of security, a check reissue cannot take place until either the original check is received back by us, a mailing has been returned to us as undeliverable, or until the original stale date of the check has passed or expired.

    Because one of these events must occur before we can act on your request, it is not possible for us to provide an estimated date for the reissue to take place.

    [Check is less than $100.00]

    If your bank will not cash the check, please return the original check along with a letter, signed under penalty of perjury, declaring that you are lawfully designated to receive the funds on behalf of the deceased Class Member, to the Claim Administrator at:

    Volkswagen Timing Chain Settlement
    Claim Administrator
    P.O. Box 3656
    Portland, OR 97208-3656

    For reasons of security, a check reissue cannot take place until either the original check is received back by us, a mailing has been returned to us as undeliverable, or until the original stale date of the check has passed or expired.

    Because one of these events must occur before we can act on your request, it is not possible for us to provide an estimated date for the reissue to take place.

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  22. What can I do if my claim is denied?

    If you disagree with the rejection of your Claim, you may choose to request attorney review regarding the Claims Administrator’s determination of your Claim. To request attorney review of your Claim, you must send a letter contesting the rejection of your Claim to the Claims Administrator, postmarked no later than the response deadline set forth in your Notice.

    Your letter contesting the rejection of your Claim should:

    1. Specifically state that you contest the rejection of your Claim and request attorney review of the rejection of your Claim;
    2. State the grounds for contesting the rejection;
    3. Provide any documentation supporting your argument(s) for why you are contesting rejection of your Claim.

    If you choose to send a letter contesting the rejection of your Claim, the Claims Administrator will notify you regarding the next steps.

    We cannot guarantee that late requests for attorney review will be accepted.

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