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Audi Announces Second Recall on Fuel Gauges One Year After Pennsylvania Firms File Class Action Suit

Audi Plans To Install Special Alloy In 68,000 A-6 Quattro Models Following Suit Filed By Kimmel & Silverman, P.C. and Berger and Montague.

Ambler, PA – One year after a failed recall and a class action suit filed by two Pennsylvania law firms, Audi of America, Inc. has issued a second recall campaign to fix fuel gauge malfunctions in certain 1998, 1999, and 2000 Audi A-6 Quattro models. More than 68,000 vehicles are affected.

The Ambler-based law firm of Kimmel & Silverman, P.C., which specializes in automobile Lemon Law, and the Philadelphia-based firm of Berger and Montague filed papers last year in the Court of Common Pleas, Montgomery County. According to court papers, Audi Quattro owners found their cars running out of gas despite the fact that their fuel gauge read at least half full. Last year, an Audi corporate representative and certified mechanic admitted tank sensors are the culprit and revealed in deposition testimony that a repair has yet been devised to effectively repair the problem.

Less than two weeks after the case was filed, Audi issued an initial recall and replaced fuel gauge components in 32,000 vehicles. In a letter written to Kenneth Weinstein of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), Audi's Director of Technical Service, Kip Kriigel, admitted that in some states, the recall proved to be unsuccessful. "Audi has found the rate of malfunction of the Recall parts in the United States has varied from region to region. In some states, the rate was found to be higher than in other states."

Kriigel attributed the problem to elemental sulfur, "a highly reactive substance which was not detected by tests currently employed in the petroleum industry." Kriigel wrote that "tests conducted by Audi have confirmed that the operation of the vehicle with fuel containing even as little as one part elemental sulfur could cause recall Parts to malfunction."

Kriigel said Audi will correct the problem with a second recall by installing fuel sensors composed of gold, silver and a small amount of nickel. Audi is planning to install this alloy in the 32,000 cars originally recalled; plus 11,000 vehicles which never received the recalled part; and 25,084 vehicles manufactured with the recalled part.

"It appears that Audi has finally resolved the problem after recognizing last year's unsuccessful first attempt," says Consumer advocate and attorney Craig Thor Kimmel, managing partner of Kimmel & Silverman.

The letter indicated that Audi owners will be notified of this second recall this Summer. As of the date of this release, there is no recall information on Audi or NHTSA's websites.

Prior to the most recent announcement, Audi has suggested drivers measure the distance driven in their Quattros between fill-ups, rather than rely on their gas gauge.

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