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General VW Discussion This is a place for General VW topics (the company, not your vehicle). General topics about a specific vehicle should be posted in the General TDI Dicussion Forum sections for that vehicle platform. A4, A3 & B4, B5, etc.

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Old December 27th, 2010, 20:21   #1
barshnik
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Default 1.8t Oil Sludge Settlement

I got a letter from the District Court, Massachusetts indicating that VW had settled the long-standing issue of sludge / coking related damage to the 2001 - 2004 Passats with that engine.

My 2001 Passat died at 61k miles due to oil sludge build-up, all oil changes were either done at the dealer or myself with the proper oil. The dealer wanted 5k for the repair, and both them and VW denied any financial help. I had the engine rebuilt at a local independant for about 2.2k.

A little over 2 years ago I traded the Passat for my current JSW TDi and a boatload of cash. Of course, after getting hosed by VW on the Passat I swore I'd never buy another VW but repeated the error with the TDI, although it has been OK through 40k miles.

I threw out the paperwork for the repair as well as my correspondense trying to get VW to help with the cost of the rebuilt after giving the car away to the dealer as trade in. Damn.

I'll spend a little time on the web site to see if there is any way I might be able to recoup some cost for the rebuild.

The website is:
vwoilsludgesettlement.com

if anyone is interested. Any comments or help are welcome. How did VW manage to put this settlement off so long that most all who owned this piece 'o crap have long since unloaded it?

John F
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Old December 28th, 2010, 09:19   #2
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...How did VW manage to put this settlement off so long that most all who owned this piece 'o crap have long since unloaded it?...
Two words: Corporate Lawyers. They delay delay delay any legal proceedings. That is how corporate lawyers work. Insurance company lawyers are really good at it.

On the flip side, VW did replace a large number of those engines, but IMO it appears that the replacements weren't any better at avoiding sludge.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 09:39   #3
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The Audi deal is a little different, too. I think they extended the warranty in addition to what Volkswagen got.

I think keeping the oil topped off is critical on those engines.

I have never known one that had the proper oil, kept topped up, changed at 5k mile intervals, with a good filter, to have this issue... at least not to a degree that ever hurt the engine. And I am not aware of ANY dealers that EVER used the "proper" oil. They STILL don't. Ask them what 502.00 means, and you get that blank stare...
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Last edited by oilhammer; December 28th, 2010 at 09:41.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 12:25   #4
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And I am not aware of ANY dealers that EVER used the "proper" oil. They STILL don't. Ask them what 502.00 means, and you get that blank stare...
I just read the lawsuit, and that is precisely the crux of the complaint - VAG never specified the proper oil to use (502.00) to either the car owners or the dealers, so the wrong oil was used almost without exception.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 12:42   #5
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Agreed, and that is why the newer cars generally just have the proper VAG spec, and nothing else. And this is all in the manuals.

But again, do the dealers know? I know my one friend has a '98 Audi A4 with the AEB 1.8t engine, it has had Mobil1 0w40 (a VAG spec 502.00 oil) with Mann filters and it is still doing perfectly fine at 260k miles. I recently had to replace its timing chain and tensioner (it was leaking) and the valve cover insides looked very clean, the breather system is still working properly. Yet other AEBs and even the newer AWWs and AWMs I get in here have coked shut breather ports in the valve cover and the breather boxes are caked full of gunk, and I have long since lost track of how many oil pans I have dropped and replaced oil pump pickups on. The B segment cars got a double-whammy though, as they hold about .75L less oil than the A cars do, and that compounded the issue. This is why VAG released the TSB about using the larger spin-on oil filters from the older diesels on those cars, something many of us in the field had already been doing for years.

There have been other engines that have had similar type issues, most notably the Toyota 1MZ-FE and 5S-FE engines, as well as the 2.7L ChryCo DOHC V6. In almost every case that I have personal experience with, there was chronic oil consumption involved. When the oil gets low, it sludges up, period. So if you have an engine that is predisposed by design to use oil, and it never gets topped up, ever, repeatedly, then it starts to coke things up. Then it becomes a snowball effect, and gets worse and worse and worse, then gunks up the breather system which usually causes even WORSE oil consumption, and before you know it, the gunk starts blocking off oil pressure spots and tooefs the engine.

Problem is, even some of the newer engines, specifically the VAG 2.0t EA113-based engine (BPY code, etc.) have bad oil use issues as well. I have two customers, one is a 2007 GTI the other a 2008 Passat, that easily consume 6 to 7 liters of oil in the 10k period, and they have since new.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 06:44   #6
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6-7 liters!!!!!! Holy moly!
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Old December 29th, 2010, 12:27   #7
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... I have two customers, one is a 2007 GTI the other a 2008 Passat, that easily consume 6 to 7 liters of oil in the 10k period, and they have since new.
german engineering...
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Old December 29th, 2010, 12:37   #8
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Long ago, (ok, I will cut the drama king crap out, 26 years ago, but that does approach a ...generation) I found out (the very hard way) NOT to buy an engine (of ANY oem's) that cook/cooked engine oil, aka sludge maker !!! Another to add is to get engines (like TDI's) that have an absolute minimum of 10,000 miles OCI's, sans the sludgemaking capabiity. Getting ever more daring, that same engine has the capacity to do even longer OCI's (proper oil of course) say 30,000 miles OCI's. So 9 years ago when faced with buying an 03 TDI (Jetta), research and scuttlebutt indicated the 1.8 T was a sludgemaker and the 2.0 used oil like an alcoholic in deep denial (Jetta's, Beetles etc) . I overcame the fact it was a VW and bought the 03 TDI 5 speed Jetta. I have been so far (152,000 miles) impressed. The good/bad thing is the history has been as exciting as watching paint dry.

Last edited by ruking; December 29th, 2010 at 12:50.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 12:44   #9
Mike in Anchorage
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My wife got the letter for her Audi A4 1.8T a couple of days ago. Warranty extended to 100k.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 12:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barshnik View Post
I got a letter from the District Court, Massachusetts indicating that VW had settled the long-standing issue of sludge / coking related damage to the 2001 - 2004 Passats with that engine.

My 2001 Passat died at 61k miles due to oil sludge build-up, all oil changes were either done at the dealer or myself with the proper oil. The dealer wanted 5k for the repair, and both them and VW denied any financial help. I had the engine rebuilt at a local independant for about 2.2k.

A little over 2 years ago I traded the Passat for my current JSW TDi and a boatload of cash. Of course, after getting hosed by VW on the Passat I swore I'd never buy another VW but repeated the error with the TDI, although it has been OK through 40k miles.

I threw out the paperwork for the repair as well as my correspondense trying to get VW to help with the cost of the rebuilt after giving the car away to the dealer as trade in. Damn.

I'll spend a little time on the web site to see if there is any way I might be able to recoup some cost for the rebuild.

The website is:
vwoilsludgesettlement.com

if anyone is interested. Any comments or help are welcome. How did VW manage to put this settlement off so long that most all who owned this piece 'o crap have long since unloaded it?

John F
It seems like a pretty decent settlement for the class members. From what you've written above, there are a couple avenues for you to examine. First, having your documentation regarding your failed engine (forgive me for my ignorance of the exact nature of the sludge issue) and associated maintenance is, without a doubt, the optimal way to go. You'd make a claim per the procedures established after the fairness hearing and request damages as a class member as described in the Notice of Proposed Settlement (which you linked to in your original post). The only issue here is that you seem to have a unique damage scenario in that you sold the car prior to the proposed settlement, took a loss on the damaged vehicle and purchased a new car. In this instance, the type of damages being offered by the parties to the proposed class members really doesn't get to where you need to be. This brings me to your other alternative. You could, as a putative member of the class, file a formal objection to the proposed settlement, which basically states that you, as a member of the putative class object to the proposed settlement for X reasons (one of which is the very salient point that the damages for class members does not account for those class members that sold their cars and suffered the loss on the vehicle sale, rather than in costs associated with engine replacement). I don't have experience with this in MA state courts, but with some research (and help from a local attorney), you could successfully object to the proposed settlement and request to appear (either in person or via telephone) at the fairness hearing in March, 2011. In my experience, objectors to proposed class settlements with germane objections get the attention of class counsel for both parties and can garner other kinds of remedies not stated in the proposed settlement (i.e., blood money, essentially).

Hope this gives you some food for thought.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 13:42   #11
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Originally Posted by Powder Hound View Post
german engineering...
Well, I should also add then that there are plenty of others that don't use any more than about 1-2 L in that same 10k miles, which is more along the lines of normality to me.

I have an 80,000 mile MR2 here getting an overhaul that was eating a quart every 200 miles... Far more 1ZZ-FEs come in here with massive oil use than anything VAG ever built. How's that Japanese engineering again?
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Old December 29th, 2010, 14:03   #12
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Originally Posted by Mike in Anchorage View Post
My wife got the letter for her Audi A4 1.8T a couple of days ago. Warranty extended to 100k.
Got this also for my Audi A4 1.8T. That I sold 4 years ago. Now all I need to worry about is the MK4 GTI 1.8T. It's an AWP, and will be using the larger Diesel filter .
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Old December 29th, 2010, 14:05   #13
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Originally Posted by oilhammer View Post
Well, I should also add then that there are plenty of others that don't use any more than about 1-2 L in that same 10k miles, which is more along the lines of normality to me.

I have an 80,000 mile MR2 here getting an overhaul that was eating a quart every 200 miles... Far more 1ZZ-FEs come in here with massive oil use than anything VAG ever built. How's that Japanese engineering again?
Yes if I can add to that from the 03 TDI (aka GERMAN) experience. This engine uses app 1/4 (8 oz) to 1/2 qt of oil per 20,000 to 25,000 miles OCI. When I changed @ 30,700 miles, I was in a catch 22 situation. That number BALLONED up to a FULL 1/2 qt (16 oz). So now, it is/was a question of ADD or just change it !! @ 30,700 miles I .... just changed it.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 18:15   #14
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It seems like a pretty decent settlement for the class members. From what you've written above, there are a couple avenues for you to examine. First, having your documentation regarding your failed engine (forgive me for my ignorance of the exact nature of the sludge issue) and associated maintenance is, without a doubt, the optimal way to go. You'd make a claim per the procedures established after the fairness hearing and request damages as a class member as described in the Notice of Proposed Settlement (which you linked to in your original post). The only issue here is that you seem to have a unique damage scenario in that you sold the car prior to the proposed settlement, took a loss on the damaged vehicle and purchased a new car. In this instance, the type of damages being offered by the parties to the proposed class members really doesn't get to where you need to be. This brings me to your other alternative. You could, as a putative member of the class, file a formal objection to the proposed settlement, which basically states that you, as a member of the putative class object to the proposed settlement for X reasons (one of which is the very salient point that the damages for class members does not account for those class members that sold their cars and suffered the loss on the vehicle sale, rather than in costs associated with engine replacement). I don't have experience with this in MA state courts, but with some research (and help from a local attorney), you could successfully object to the proposed settlement and request to appear (either in person or via telephone) at the fairness hearing in March, 2011. In my experience, objectors to proposed class settlements with germane objections get the attention of class counsel for both parties and can garner other kinds of remedies not stated in the proposed settlement (i.e., blood money, essentially).

Hope this gives you some food for thought.
Yes, it does. I tried calling the contact today, but no luck, will try again next week to see if something like this might fly. Thanks,
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Old January 1st, 2011, 19:20   #15
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Hello,

I was on the verge of trying to decide between trading my Passat w/1.8T in on a new Jetta TDI or perhaps keeping it as a third car. Average trade for a car in its condition is about $3000-$3500. For the money, so long as the engine's in decent shape, I might be better off just keeping it. But now the wife (her car) has decided she wants to put what could be a new car payment into something for the house while waiting to see what bugs may pop up on the A6 Jetta (smart OL!).

I've been preimtively running a batch of AutoRX through the car for the past 3000 miles (car is at 81k). I'm about do an oil change for the "rinse cycle." I also need to replace the valve cover gasket. Who knew oil leaks into the spark plug wells when the gaskets begin to fail? News to me! I'll look for signs of sludging when I pull the valve cover. I'll feel fortunate if everything up top looks clean. If it's NOT clean, then I guess I'll run a second AutoRX treatment and then consider a trade-in before it's time to dump money into a new timing belt/water pump. Would a clean head be a fair sign that the bottom of the engine is clean, too?

Thanks,

Scott
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