— An Audi Start-Stop class action lawsuit in Canada alleges the system, meant to help a driver, really does the opposite by allegedly causing a loss of braking, steering power and acceleration.
Included in the Audi Start-Stop Canadian class action are these models if equipped with the systems.
- 2017-2020 Audi A3
- 2017-2020 Audi A4
- 2017-2020 Audi A5
- 2017-2020 Audi A6
- 2017-2020 Audi A7
- 2017-2020 Audi A8
- 2017-2020 Audi S3
- 2017-2020 Audi S4
- 2017-2020 Audi S6
- 2017-2020 Audi S8
- 2017-2020 Audi Q5
- 2017-2020 Audi Q7
- 2017-2020 Audi Q8
- 2017-2020 Audi SQ5
- 2017-2020 Audi TT
- 2017-2020 Audi TTS
If the system works properly, it should automatically turn off the engine when the car is braking to a stop, and releasing the brake pedal to start moving again should restart the engine.
The class action says a Start-Stop system isn't worth much unless it works properly, and the Audi systems allegedly fail that task.
"The Start/Stop system in a vehicle must not shut off the engine too soon, so as to disengage power steering and power brakes before the vehicle has come to a stop, and it must restart the engine immediately when the vehicle begins moving so that power brakes, power steering and acceleration are available."
The Canadian plaintiff leased a new 2017 Audi A4, but the Start-Stop system allegedly causes the engine to shut down before the vehicle comes to a complete stop. This causes problems with the power steering, while the brake pedal allegedly becomes hard and the brakes fail to operate properly.
When restarting from a stop, the Audi A4 allegedly lurches forward and the power steering doesn't immediately engage, making it difficult to steer the car. In addition, the A4 allegedly at first will not accelerate but then blasts forward.
"The vehicle while stopped on an incline or hill will first roll back after the Plaintiff releases his foot from the brake pedal. As such, the Start/Stop Defect has nearly caused the Plaintiff to have a number accidents." - Audi lawsuit
Audi allegedly knew or should have known the systems cause the engines to shut down too early when slowing down, then they fail to restart as intended. The consequences are serious, leaving vehicle occupants open to injuries or even death when the Start-Stop systems malfunction.
Audi allegedly failed to recall or repair the systems even as customers continued to complain about the dangers.
In addition to customer complaints, the class action says Audi issued and revised a technical service bulletin (TSB) about the Start-Stop system. The most recent bulletin issued in November 2018 included all 2017-2019 Audi vehicles, except electric and hybrid.
The TSB informed dealerships about these customer concerns.
- "The Start/Stop system does not shutdown when the driver thinks it should."
- "The engine is not automatically switched off or on.”
- "The engine restarts from a start/stop for reasons unknown to the driver."
However, the plaintiff claims the bulletin doesn't offer any solution to the complaints and instead says the symptoms may be normal.
"The Start/Stop system is complex and the number of the conditions affecting it is high. In many cases concerns about the Start/Stop system may actually be normal operation or influenced by the actions of the driver or passenger." - Audi TSB
The Audi Start-Stop system allegedly requires expensive repairs, car rentals, towing charges, time off work and other costs, while customers allegedly lose money as the vehicles lose their values.
The Audi Canada Start-Stop class action lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia: Dusanjh v. Audi AG, et al.
The plaintiff is represented by Garcha & Company.