Illinois Federal Court Appoints Mauriello Law Firm as Class Counsel in Volkswagen ("VW") Bluetooth Action and Gives Preliminary Approval to Settlement

On December 14, 2011, Judge Joan B. Gottschall of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued preliminary approval of the settlement of a class action lawsuit on behalf of a class of consumers who purchased Volkswagen ("VW") automobiles advertised with the Bluetooth® wireless technology feature. The settlement was agreed to by Volkswagen and now has been preliminarily approved by the Court. In its order granting preliminary approval of the settlement, the Court also appointed the Mauriello Law Firm as Class Counsel, along with co-counsel Shepherd Finkelman Miller & Shah and Holland, Groves, Schneller, & Stolze, LLC. A copy of the Court's Order may be found here.

The lawsuit affects owners of model year 2010 Jetta Sedan (models Limited, SE, and Wolfsburg), model year 2010 Jetta SportWagen (models SE and TDI), and model year 2010 Golf (model TDI), as well as model year 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan S, Jetta Sportwagen S, and Golf 2.5 vehicles (the "Vehicles").

The case was filed by class plaintiffs John G. Christensen, III, Catherine Kilpatrick, and Lawrence Wu. Plaintiffs' claims allege that VW advertised and sold the Vehicles with the Bluetooth® option, as containing standard hands-free Bluetooth® mobile telephone connectivity calling system ("Bluetooth Connectivity"). Plaintiffs allege that VW's representations that the Vehicles were equipped with Bluetooth technology and that the Bluetooth function was a standard feature on the Vehicles were false and misleading, and that the Vehicles were not capable of connecting to hands-free Bluetooth technology without substantial and costly rewiring of the Vehicles. The plaintiffs' complaint alleged violations of various state and federal consumer protection statutes. A copy of the complaint may be found here.

The settlement provides full reimbursement for the purchase price of an upgrade to the Bluetooth® System, plus labor and shipping costs, for Settlement Class Members who have already purchased a replacement Bluetooth® System. In addition, under the Settlement, any Settlement Class Member who has not purchased a replacement Bluetooth® System will have the opportunity to have a Bluetooth® upgrade kit installed in their Settlement Class Vehicle at no cost for parts or labor. The Class plaintiffs and their counsel believe that this is an excellent result for the class members.

A fairness hearing is scheduled for February 22, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. at which the Court will determine whether to give final approval to the settlement.

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