Audi Canada – Passenger Occupant Detection System (PODS) Class Action Settlement
On November 23, 2021, a class action was commenced in Quebec against Audi Canada Inc. and Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. (the “Defendants”) by a Quebec consumer (the “Representative Plaintiff”) alleging that the below-mentioned model year vehicles (the “Vehicles”) suffer from a defect affecting their Passenger Occupant Detection System (“PODS”). The Representative Plaintiff was asking the Court to determine whether the Vehicles suffered from a defect, whether the Defendants made false or misleading representations to consumers and whether the Defendants committed a fault in carrying out the recall program for the Vehicles.
On October 4, 2022, the Honourable Christian Immer of the Superior Court of Quebec authorized the bringing of this class action against the Defendants on behalf of the class described in the section below.
All persons in Quebec who purchased and/or leased before May 31, 2021, one or more of the following Audi vehicles recalled under Transport Canada Recall # 2021-169 because of the defective Passenger Occupant Detection System (“PODS”) manufactured, distributed, supplied, wholesaled and/or imported by Audi:
- Audi A3 (model years 2016 to 2020)
- Audi A3 E-TRON (model years 2016 to 2018)
- Audi RS3 (model years 2018 to 2020)
- Audi S3 (model years 2016 to 2020)
The parties to this class action have reached a proposed settlement (the “Settlement Agreement”), subject to obtaining the approval of the Superior Court of Quebec.
The Defendants have accepted according to the Settlement Agreement, if approved by the Court, to compensate affected Class Members. It is not an admission of liability, wrongdoing or fault. If approved, Class Members may claim a compensation in the following amounts:
a) For Class Members who still own or lease their Audi Vehicle as of the date that they submit their claim: a credit of $75.00 or $150.00 for each month, depending on how many days on average per month the Class member drove their Vehicle with a passenger in the backseat; or
b) For Class Members who no longer own or lease their Audi Vehicles as of the date that they submit their claim: a cash payment of $75.00 or $150.00 for each month, depending on how many days on average per month the Class Member drove their Vehicle with a passenger in the backseat, paid via Interac e-transfer or cheque.
A compensation will be offered to valid claimants to a maximum of 12 months of use of their Vehicle, that is from February 28, 2021, up until February 28, 2022.
In order to make a valid claim, Class Member claimants must submit a valid and timely online claim form attesting that they purchased or leased a Vehicle before May 31, 2021, and provide the following information:
- The personal information and coordinates of the Class Member;
- The relevant information identifying the Vehicle (VIN if available, model year, etc.);
- The proof of purchase or lease;
- A confirmation that the recall has been or has not been executed (if the recall has not been done, it must be executed promptly);
- The approximate date (month/year) at which the PODS issue first occurred;
- The following affirmation: I understand that my Claim and information provided will be subject to verification. By submitting this Claim Form, I affirm under penalty of perjury that the information it contains is accurate;
- A completed Claim Form (online or by paper) attesting that:
a) The Class Member drove with a passenger (weighing more than 80 pounds) in the back seat because the front seat could not be used pursuant to the Recall letter because of the PODS issue;
b) An indication of the approximate number of days on average, per month, the Class Member drove their Vehicle with a passenger weighing more than 80 pounds in the backseat, by selecting:
i. Between 0-14 days per month; or
ii. Between 15-31 days per month;
c) A confirmation that the Class Member was not offered a loaner vehicle by an Audi/Volkswagen dealership for the entire period;
Only one claim can be accepted per Vehicle.
In addition to and on top of the compensation provided for above, the Settlement Agreement includes the payment of administration expenses, and the payment of Class Counsel fees that will be paid separately and will not reduce the Settlement benefits.
A hearing before the Superior Court of Quebec will be held on November 3, 2023, at 9:15 a.m., at the Montreal courthouse located at 1 Notre-Dame Street East, Montreal, Quebec, in room 16.03, or via this TEAMS link. This date may be subject to adjournment by the Court without further publication notice to the Class Members, other than such notice which will be posted on this website, or on the claims administrator’s website: www.quebecPODSsettlement.com.