[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: Just when you thought it was over... intended accellerationsuit

At 06:14 PM 8/21/97 -0600, you wrote:
>(From the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin):
>An Illinois Appellate Court panel held on Thursday that a class-action
>lawsuit can proceed alleging consumer fraud violations related to
>unintended accelleration of Audi cars.
>The 1st District Appellate Court has considered the case three times,
>with the most recent ruling coming Thursday after the Illinois Supreme
>Court remanded the matter.  The panel on Thursday reversed a trial
>judges's dismissal of allegations that Audi violated Illinois' Consumer
>Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act regarding the automaker's
>concealment of facts about the Audi 5000's safety risks.
>The three-judge appeals court panel limited the Consumer Fraud Act
>claims to Audi 5000s bought before the automaker issued two press
>releases that warned of unintended accelleration.  The justices returned
>the case to the trial court for more proceedings.  
>"It is the result that I somewhat expected," Aron D. Robinson, a lawyer
>for an estimated 250,000 class members, said Thursday.
>A 1st District Appellate Court panel in December 1995 revived the class
>action, reversing a decision it reached two months earlier.  Perona v.
>Volkswagen of America.
>The defendants then asked the state Supreme Court to review the matter
>and while the petition for leave to appeal was pending, the high court
>issued its opinion in Connick v. Suzuki Motor Co.
>The high court's ruling in Connick held that "an omission or concealment
>of a material in the conduct of trade or commerce constitutes consumer
>fraud," Justice David Cerda wrote in Thursday's opinion.  
>Robinson, with the Chicago law firm of Robert A. Holstein & Associates,
>said the appellate panel's ruling today basically follows the Connick
>After issuing the Connick ruling, the Supreme Court then vacated the
>Appellate Court's Perona opinion and remanded the matter to the
>Appellate Court for reconsideration.
>The plaintiffs named as defendants in the case are Audi's parent
>corporation and Volkswagen of America Inc., as distributor of the
>vehicles, and Volkswagen's parent.
>The lawsuit contends that Audi 5000s manufactured from the 1983
>through 1986 model years contained defects that caused or contributed
>to the unintended sudden accelleration.  The alleged defects caused at
>least 513 accidents that resulted in five deaths and 271 injuries,
>according to the suit.
>Litigation resulting from the alleged problems began in March 1987 when
>three groups of plaintiffs filed class-action complaints.  A single
>consolidated complaint was filed in October 1987 on behalf of all
>persons who had bought or leased an Audi 5000 from 1983 through
>A settlement agreement was reached to provide each of the
>approximately 390,000 Audi owners with a rebate of up to $2,000 for the
>purchase of a new car.  That agreement was vacated, however, and
>ultimately the complaint was amended five times.
>The fifth amended complaint alleged several defects in the transmission
>linkage, cruise control system, shift lock system and the placement of the
>gas and brake pedals.  Audi had recalled the cars three times, but denied
>any defects.
>The manufacturerer maintained that driver error was responsible for the
>incidents, but issued two press releases regarding the unintended
>Cook County Circuit Judge Walter Bieschke dismissed the fifth amended
>complaint based upon failure to allege specific defects under the
>Consumer Fraud Act and failure to allege proper notice on its Uniform
>Commercial Code warranty claims and Magnuson-Moss warranty Act
>claims.  The appellate Court panel on Thursday held that Bieschke
>properly dismissed claims under the UCC and Magnuson acts.
>Cerda stated in the opinion that the plaintiffs sufficiently "alleged a
>consumer fraud violation based on a material omission by Audi".
>Cerda added, "Finally plaintiffs alleged that the unintended accelleration
>was a material fact in that they would not have purchased their Audi
>5000 automobiles if Audi had previously disclosed those safety risks. 
>Those allegations are sufficient as they apply to Audi 5000s purchased
>before the two press releases were issued by Audi.  Once the press
>releases were issued, it could not be said that Audi failed to disclose the
>defects," Cerda added in the 18-page opinion, joined by Justices Alan J.
>Greiman and Michael J. Gallagher.
>Howard R. Barron of Schiff, Hardin & Waite, representing the
>defendants, could not be reached for comment early Thursday.
>So, on and on it goes.  
I can't believe that this crap is still going around. '83 5k's DO NOT have
ISVs or any computer controlled  throttle linkages and once equipped with
the shift interlock can NOT go into gear without first engaging the brake.
I myself installed the retrofit kit on my '80 5ks just to see what it would
feel like and the transmission interlock, although noisy, is absolutely
idiot-proof.  Then again there are plenty of idiots in this world.


Tony Lum
Fremont, California U.S.A

Audi Owner/Operator/Mechanic by Necessity ;-)

1987 5000S Turbo Quattro
1985 4000CS Quattro
1980 5000S Sedan