VW Atlas class action lawsuit filed over wiring harness
– A class action lawsuit over Volkswagen Atlas door harnesses alleges that the 2019-2023 Volkswagen Atlas and 2020-2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUVs suddenly brake on their own and the airbags fail to deploy in crashes.
Massachusetts plaintiff Price McMahon leased a new VW Atlas in February 2021 and soon ran into wiring harness problems when the parking brake engaged while driving and warning messages popped up.
She took the Atlas to a dealership where she was told spare parts were not available so she was provided with several loaner vehicles that were smaller than the Atlas. This made it difficult to use child seats.
In March 2022, Volkswagen announced a recall of nearly 223,000 model year 2019-2020 VW Atlas, 2020-2023 VW Atlas Cross Sport and 2021-2023 VW Atlas FL SUVs in the United States
VW told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
“Micro-movements of the wiring harness (A-pillar to front door terminal) can cause damage to the wire terminal surface. Damage to the surface can cause fretting corrosion, which can result in intermittent breaks in electrical connection to the components of the front door.”
Volkswagen also told NHTSA how the wiring harnesses could trigger airbag warning lights and cause airbag failures in side-impact crashes. In addition, VW says that the Atlas vehicles could suffer from these symptoms.
“The airbag warning light may illuminate when a malfunction is detected. Other symptoms of an intermittent break in the affected electrical connection may include: accidentally rolling down windows, accidentally engaging the parking brake at low speeds (below approximately 3 km/h or 1.8 mph) , warning of defective door sensor.”
The automaker says customers have complained about the door wiring harnesses in 2020, and VW has found problems with wiring fretting.
While announcing the door harness recall, Volkswagen said it was trying to determine how dealers would fix the vehicles.
Preliminary notification letters to owners notifying owners of the security vulnerability are expected to be sent out on May 10, 2022. A second notification will be sent as soon as the workaround is available.
Replacement VW Atlas wiring harnesses defective?
According to the VW Atlas class action lawsuit, the vehicles are too dangerous to drive because the airbags could fail, and any vehicle that stops suddenly without warning is an unsafe vehicle. Additionally, windows that open and close without warning are confusing, dangerous, and distracting to drivers and others.
The plaintiff says Volkswagen alleges that replacement parts are not available when Atlas customers complain about wiring harness issues, forcing customers to wait months for repairs. The class action lawsuit also alleges that some Atlas owners have no choice but to park their vehicles while awaiting replacement components.
Replacing the Atlas wiring harnesses is said to be useless anyway, since the replacement parts are just as defective as the original components.
According to the VW Atlas lawsuit, in November 2021, VW issued Tech Tip 97-21-02TT titled “Error code U019900 or U020000 along with various warnings.” The tech tip applies to 2019-2022 Volkswagen Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport, Golf, Golf Wagon, Jetta, Tiguan and Taos vehicles.
“Various warning lights may come on, windows work erratically, and several communication errors are stored. “A bad connection in/on the door harness can result in error code U019900 or U020000 being stored along with many other errors. This can also lead to unwanted activation of certain vehicle systems, e.g. B. for opening/closing the windows independently.”— Tech Tip 97-21-02TT
Volkswagen dealers have been instructed to replace the wiring harnesses if necessary.
In January 2022 the information was updated to include error codes U019900, U020000, B101729, B101715, B103611 and B103629.
The VW Atlas door harness class action was filed in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey: Price McMahon, v Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
The plaintiff is represented by Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody & Agnello PC, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Goldenberg Schneider, LPA and the law firms of Sean K Collins.