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Settlement Addresses Engine-Sludge Issue In Audi A4, VW Passat

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2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS

2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS

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A settlement made by the U.S. District Court in Boston could affect owners of 1997-2004 Audi A4 and 1998-2004 Volkswagen Passat models with the 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine—badged for much of that time as 1.8T.

According to court records—as reported in a press release from counsels for the plaintiffs—these engines had issues with sludge buildup even when they were maintained as per recommended service intervals and using proper oil requirements. Years ago, the VW and Audi had extended the powertrain warranty on these vehicles, to eight years and unlimited mileage, but the suit alleges that many sludge-related claims were denied.

Although exact terms haven't yet been worked out or announced, under the settlement, Volkswagen and Audi will allegedly cover "100 percent of maintenance costs" due to the issue, provided the owners provide documentation of oil changes; owners without proof will get a 50-percent settlement for related repairs. Vehicle warranty will also be extended to ten years or 120,000 miles specifically for oil sludge issues.

The issues have plagued these two products for many years, and they seem more related to driving style than to maintenance; while many owners report no issues, a quick Google search provides many accounts of low oil pressure and total engine failure at well under 100,000 miles, from owners who claim to have followed the required oil-change intervals.

Transverse-mounted applications of the 1.8T in the Volkswagen New Beetle, Golf, and Jetta—which don't appear to be as sludge-prone—won't be affected by the settlement.

Final terms and a notice of the settlement will be published in USA Today on or before December 29, 2010. We'll bring you an update as soon as the information is out.

[Automotive News]

 
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Comments (6)
  1. Now if these poor owners read the automotive press they would be under the illusion that "imports good, domestics bad". These owners would have been far better off in buying the much criticized Chrysler Sebring, that may have a "cheap" interior, but few mechanical problems. You'd never know it from the reviews. "Chrysler bad, Audi good"..
    Time to own up guys, your in a negative-American mindset from your good old college days and you bring that baggage to every evaluation. You can't trust the NY Times let alone Car & Driver. I'm buying domestic, despite the press.....
     
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  2. BEWARE!!! I have a 2005 Passat with 75,000 miles that is having this same sludge problem, but is NOT covered by the warranty. They claim to have fixed the issue by 2005, but the only 'fix' I can see is them recommending fully synthetic oil being used. I have only owned my car for a year and have maintained it as Volkswagen recommends, and I'm still looking at a $2,000 bill to get the issue fixed... IF there's no engine damage. I'll never buy a Volkswagen again.
     
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  3. Anybody have a 2005 A4 with sludge issues? 53,000 miles and all correct oil changes and Audi still won't cover the repair! They just settled a class-action lawsuit for A4 models 1997-2004 but obviously 2005 models are affected as well. There is a groundswell of people online complaining about the same problem with their 2005 A4 models. I don't know why Audi isn't standing behind their product. I used to love AUdi but it is something to think about before you buy another Audi... they don't care about their customers at all.
     
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  4. 2004 audi a4 bought used so no history of maintaince. Car ran fine and was serviced during my time at dealer. Still oil light came on, wasn't low but filled anyway and still intermittent until engine completely went out. Was told should have stopped immediately at oil light for repair. Quoted almost 8000 for new engine, sold for scrap. Worst car ever and now find I was also completely screwed over this issue.
     
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  5. I had the sludge problem on my car but as soon as I saw the oil light going off I stoped my car have it towed to the shop, long story short after 3500.00 it was up and running again I bought this car used so what can of oil the previous owner was using who knows but I never seen something like this before to me is stupid and expensive, it is such of nice car but the maintenace is extreamly expesive I have all my receipts and I got the settlement letter I hope I get some money back.
     
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  6. And I thouhght my Dad and his buddies put an end of the "Super race" putting the srcews to the world in Berlin , August 1945. I think that little guy with the Charlie Chaplin stash has come back as the 1.8 Turbo. I'm getting the double whammy as I no douth many of you are. Some has ruled that these 1.8T's run just fine in the New Bettle, Jetta and one other. I'm on my 3rd replacement engine in my 01 New Beetle to date. If any of you are in the same boat we have to get in on this class action suit, and time is very short. Three weeks ad of today. 2/11/11 cut off date for ojections. If you want more info email me at PARROTHEADHEAD@SACORIVER.NET and include your phone #. We got ripped off bad........Bob
     
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