CP4 Pump Recall/Litigation

tristan81491

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Hello all,

As many folks are aware, the CP4 pump has a problematic design which can lead to some serious damage to folks’ fuel systems. Something I have noticed is that there is quite a bit of litigation in the US against companies like Nissan, GM, Ford and FCA as well as recalls like the one from BMW (to just name a few examples).
However, as far as I can see, I cannot find anything regarding recalls or any litigation (class actions at least) against VAG in the US.

A search of “CP4” on Westlaw (legal database where cases are reported) shows a lot of cases that are active but nothing for VW. I am an attorney practicing civil rights law so I am not well versed in class action work but am I missing something here? Considering that VAG sold 590,000 diesel powered cars during the “clean diesel era,” surely there were enough failures to warrant an attorney taking on VW for this.

Maybe there’s a recall, class action or some government action that I am unaware of that folks can chime in about.
 

tristan81491

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Ok so I found this which is interesting: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/inv/2011/INCR-EA11003-61863.pdf

Apparently because there are numerous warning signs as the pump is right about to fail (as opposed to a random stall out of nowhere) it’s not a safety issue so NHTSA closed their investigation into VAG for this issue which apparently VAG blamed on folks putting bad fuel in their cars. The misfueling guide recall came out around this time.

It kind of reminds me of how I got a recall notice for a software update a few months prior to dieselgate coming out and then lo and behold after the dust settled, while CARB and VW were working “to figure out” what the issue was, VW issued the software recall to make it seem like they were trying to do something.

While practical, I feel like the misfueling guard recall was an attempt to show VW is doing something and that the CP4 pump was not to blame. Nissan, GM, Ford and Stellantis all have lawsuits claiming a bad design but VW has taken the position that these failures are misfueling? Seems odd and given the corporate culture of VW I would not be surprised if they know/knew of problems with the design and have been/will continue to dodge any liability.
 

Lightflyer1

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Dieselgate took care of most of these I believe. From my reading most of the issues were in the early year cars and much less of an issue in the later years. Misfueling your car is your responsibility if you do that. VW has claimed bad fuel on a number of occasions but has also been put in their place when fuel tests were properly done (Not with the Styrofoam cup test they used). The dieselgate class action covers anything that sets a check engine light (except the transmission). The issue seems to be somewhat overblown in my opinion. After the early cars the failure rate has been relatively low. Doesn't help though if you are that owner. I still have years (2028) and 100k miles left on my car warranty and I haven't had part 2b done which may add some onto that as well. I don't think there is any money to be made here so probably hard to get a lawyer(s) interested in it. Study up and grab the case if you think it has merit. Check your car for the dieselgate emissions warranty and if you have any issues it should cover it. I feel it will be difficult to get them held responsible for a vehicle that will have very high mileage and was covered for some time from the emissions warranty.

 
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oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
It is not as high of a failure rate on VAG products as some have been led to believe.

And it is primarily on the CBEA and CJAA engines. The CKRA, CVCA, and CRUA don't seem to have the problem as much or at all.

Most all the CBEA and CJAA cars had a warranty extension on it, then the Dieselgate nonsense extended it further, but the vast majority of those cars are out of that now.

I see more of these cars than a lot of non-dealer people, and I've seen a grand total of six. All CJAAs. Never any of the others. To me, that is a tiny, tiny number of cars.

Now, you wanna talk about a pattern failure with no [legal] resolution, that was made worse by the Dieselgate nonsense? That would be the DPFs on CJAAs. THAT is an issue. I've done more than six of those so far this year, and it's only April.
 

740GLE

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IMO it was also teething issue with strict fuel standards not being met or upheld.

Alos seeing VW doesn't make the CP4 why would litigation be against them? wouldn't Bosch be the true scapegoat?
 

tristan81491

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Bosch, VW, the dealer who sold you the vehicle, the dealer who denies you the warranty work, all of them would be potential defendants in the case. You sue them all and let whoever believes they do not belong file something to say they are not the correct party. Bosch might argue that if they allegedly built a bad pump, it was years ago and past the statute of limitations.

VW is the one who would be alleged to have sold you a vehicle that they knew or should have known of the alleged defect and assuming you asked them to fix the car after a HPFP issue, they would be the ones to deny any claims to fix their allegedly defective product.

By having VW as a defendant you can get discovery against them which is the process in which you request documents and submit written questions that they have to answer under oath to help build your case (they can do the same to you).

You can also ask to depose engineers or other folks from VW. A typical discovery request may be something along the lines of produce all submissions of warranty claims for HPFP issues and indicate whether denied and if so what was the reason for denial. Or submit any internal research done regarding CP4 fuel pumps and compatibility with ultra low sulfur diesel. Or any documents from Bosch indicating issues with ultra low sulfur diesel, etc.

Bosch at one point did warn VW when VW told them to put the defect device software on the ECUs…

A lot of cases settle after discovery is done as both sides get more info about the respective case and defenses. The idea of discovery is to avoid unfair surprises at trial.
 

Lightflyer1

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All of that will cost huge sums of money though. As an individual suit it probably isn't going to happen for that reason. Probably not enough people for a class action at this point either.
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
You know, if you are a lawyer just chasing something, there are FAR more numerous, FAR more well-known, FAR more common things out there to go after.

Jatco CVTs, for example.

I mean, machines are man-made. And they are never going to be 100% perfect, nor are they going to last indefinitely. If you start suing people (manufacturers of the cars, or manufacturers of the parts installed), you'll be suing everyone everywhere for all kinds of things. It'll never end. And it will just drive the cost of all these things up even higher than they already are. Because the manufacturers will just build that cost, that risk, into the price of the car. It isn't like they are going to make something able to last forever. People are not going to buy a $100k Jetta because they overdesigned and overbuilt every last little thing and used exotic materials that NASA would envy.

Stuff just breaks.

(in the time it took to read that, a half dozen Jatco CVTs died somewhere in the world)
 

Dannyboy

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Maybe we should sue the lawyer for damages caused by reading his BS causing a loss of IQ points.
Hate aholes like this coming onto forums as a member and throwing whatever he finds on Google against the wall and seeing if it sticks
 

Lightflyer1

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Only a question was asked. No harm in that, in and of itself. Not like the OP was soliciting business for themselves. You are always free to stop reading and move on. I think the OP learned something from it anyway and others may too.
 

lemoncurd

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anecdotal evidence here, CJAA with 240,800 miles on it. original CP4, has has lived more than half it's life modified, and more than 30k miles with a bigger turbo on it.

no issues with my cp4. only swapping on next t-belt to a cp3 for more power and the peace of mind of safety. done a fuel filter religously every 20k miles.
 

tristan81491

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I’m not trying to chase after anything, I just noticed that there are so many damn failure points on so many of these cars and since many other manufacturers have lawsuits regarding the CP4 pumps, I was surprised nothing has yet been done with respect to the VWs. But if they are less failure prone than others that maybe why.

Regarding it costing huge sums of money, on an individual basis it doesn’t actually cost much. If you live in Iowa for example, you can sue in small claims which is designed to be pro se (no attorney) friendly. I have represented low-income individual people against dealerships when they sell them complete lemons in regular (non small claims) civil court. Costs for filing the suit are waived by the court as they plaintiff indigent and the legal work involved is not that involved especially when the car is a complete and total lemon.

I would not be surprised if there have been lawsuits against VW for CP4 issues but on an individual basis, you won’t find those cases as the decisions are unpublished and they also can settle and the only record of it would be to search individual county dockets.
 

2004LB7

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What is the standard for how reliable something needs to be to not get sued? Is it a total amount of failures? Is it a percent? Is it in comparison to other manufacturers? Is it the one that has more then everyone else? Is it arbitrary? Is when you just round up enough people willing to jump on the band wagon?

As a lawyer I'd imagine you would have some experience with this and can pull these figures out of a law book. If not then what are you looking for? Someone from the internet to give you a viable suit?
 

tristan81491

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There is no bright line standard if that is what you are asking for. Generally speaking, if enough people have a certain issue and there’s commonality between them they can ask for a case to be certified as a class action.

I never fully understood or took the time to read about what the CP4 pump issue was caused by and have been seeing more and more posts on a TDI Facebook about retrofitting a CP3 so I decided to look at one of these lawsuits to see what the allegation of the issues was so I can try to understand whether this is a serious enough issue and whether VW CP4 pumps had the same issues/failure rate or it’s just anecdotal. That is the purpose of my post.

As mentioned above, I do not do class actions or anything like that.

I am just wondering out loud whether anyone knows anything about VW being sued for what literally everyone else who runs CP4 pumps have been sued for. That, or if the federal government that is responsible for heavily regulated motor vehicles has ever looked into any of these issues is, that’s all.

This is part of one of the orders from two months ago in a Nissan Class action:


Regarding the CP4 fuel pump itself, while the FAC goes into some detail as to the design and functioning of the fuel pump, it suffices here to say that, as alleged by the plaintiffs, design flaws in the CP4 fuel pump cause rubbing and friction between metal interior parts of the pump when it runs. The rubbing creates minute metal shavings that are released into the fuel system and begin to accumulate from the first time the engine is started. Contamination from the metal debris damages the entire fuel system and can ultimately lead to catastrophic engine failure. (Id. ¶¶ 1–4, 55–73.)

The potential for malfunction inherent in the pump is exacerbated by a factor unique to the United States: that American diesel fuel is “drier,” or less lubricious, than the diesel fuel available in Europe, due to differing regulatory standards. More specifically, in order to comply with environmental regulations, diesel fuel in the U.S. is refined through a process that removes sulfur along with a variety of other compounds that are important to making diesel fuel lubricious. It has long been known that this characteristic of American diesel fuel has the potential to be problematic. When Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (“ULSD”) was introduced into the American market in the 1990s, it immediately caused a marked increase in the failure of fuel injection pumps. As a result, the plaintiffs assert that the “critical importance of lubricity for diesel injection pumps” was well known in the industry long before Class Vehicles were designed or sold in the United States. (Id. ¶ 80.)

Moreover, because the CP4 pump itself uses the diesel fuel for lubrication, “the lubricity of U.S. diesel is crucial to the pump's durability and longevity. And since the lubricity of the diesel fuel is a critical factor in the durability of the pump, careful attention should have been paid to the difference in U.S. and European fuels” before introducing the CP4 into the American market. (Id. ¶ 82.) The CP4 was introduced in Europe in 2007, and its “fragile design and sensitivity to fuel quality” immediately garnered criticism, including in “numerous scholarly and analytical industry articles” describing its perceived “defective design” and “fundamental flaws.” (Id. ¶¶ 74–77.) Because of the CP4's allegedly poor design that inherently makes it require even more lubrication than other fuel pumps, the plaintiffs allege that the use of the CP4 pump is incompatible with American diesel fuel. (Id. ¶¶ 2, 92, 98.)

In other words, it is the combination of the allegedly defective pump design and the less lubricating American diesel fuel that leads to metal-on-metal wear inside the fuel pump and the release of the small metal shavings that can build up within the pump or within the engine block and fuel system generally. Too much buildup of metal in the fuel injectors can lead to “catastrophic failure,” meaning that the engine stalls and the Truck comes to a halt. Once this happens, the engine cannot be restarted. The vehicle must then be towed, and extensive repairs are required to render it operable again, including, not just replacement of the pump itself, but also replacement of the “entire high-pressure sub-system,” comprised of “fuel lines, fuel rails, sensors, and injectors.” (Id. ¶ 72.) In addition, “the fuel tank must be drained and thoroughly cleaned, the fuel lines must be flushed, and both fuel filters replaced.” (Id.)

Even before catastrophic failure of the CP4 fuel pump, however, the migration of worn parts can cause damage throughout the engine and fuel system. That is, “small, micron-sized metal filings from the wearing process may enter into the high-pressure system, leading to fuel injector damage, which impacts the calibrated flow of fuel and can lead to a number of other problems. (Id. ¶ 73.) The plaintiffs assert that the CP4 fuel pump is per se defective from the first time the engine is started and poses a serious risk to vehicle occupant safety, given the inherent risk of engine stall while the vehicle is in motion. (Id. ¶¶ 196, 215.)
 

tristan81491

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I apologize for striking a nerve. I did not come onto the forum to solicit for a lawsuit. I’ve been a huge diesel and car enthusiast since I was young. I grew up with a W126, W201, Audi 5000 and ALH wagon all diesels and had two TDIs of my own before owning my third and current, a 2015 Passat TDI.

I just so happen to decide to go to law school and practice law now (civil rights, low income housing — nothing to do with class action or consumer law)

I’ve been active on these forums for a while which helped me a ton and helped me get in contact with Oilhammer who did my timing belt service in May of 2022 as I am not confident enough to actually do that on my own just yet.

I just had a question and was wondering about it as diesel cars/cars in general and law are both intersections of two areas I spend a lot of time thinking of.

If the thread can be deleted that would be fine, my apologies for causing a mess.
 
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oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
No mess here, and your query as related to other manufacturers does have merit. Fuel lubricity seems to have always been a "thing" for any DFI system that uses the fuel to lubricate the pump. I remember hearing about it when the switch to LSD (low sulfur diesel) happened back in the late '90s. You'd think the sky was falling. It didn't. And it allowed for diesels to exist and meet the requirements of the time, and Volkswagen even brought theirs (well, one) back after a couple year hiatus.

Then it all started up again when ULSD rolled out in the middle 2000s. And we did experience a huge explosion of leaking fuel pumps that could be linked to that I suppose. It did happen all of a sudden, and a lot. Like, a LOT. My 1991 Jetta's pump started leaking, my brother's '89 Jetta's pump started leaking, and my 1982 Rabbit's pump started leaking... along with a few higher mileage AHUs and ALHs. It was too much too quick and too wide spread to be a coincidence. But with the VE pumps, it was (and the ones that are left, still is) a case of leaking, not all out pump explosion and ruining the whole fuel system.

I'd liken it a bit to the switch to unleaded gasoline back in the '70s. It came about because catalytic converters couldn't tolerate the lead, much the same way diesel particle filters cannot tolerate the sulfur. The contrast here being that sulfur is a normally occurring thing in the refinement of crude oil into diesel fuel, whereas lead was deliberately added to gasoline as originally an upper end (valves and seats, mainly) lubricant that also happened to soften the octane. People cried that unleaded gasoline would immediately destroy every engine built prior to 1970. It didn't. And while some early engines designed to run with a catalyst and thus on this lower octane unleaded gasoline did suffer power losses, better engineering and designs and more precise control of things brought all the power back and then some*.

Water under the bridge now for passenger car diesels, because evidently we (Americans) are not worthy of those anymore, so any advancement in diesel technology to not only work with the newer fuels and emissions systems but to embrace them, we won't be able to enjoy. But really, we're pretty much to the point of diminishing returns with internal combustion engines anyway. In fact, I'd argue we're starting to go backwards. Because the cost and fragility of some of these engines is counterproductive to any improvements made in the pursuit of environmental friendliness. Yes, I'm sure the new Accord's standard 1.5L turbo engine is "cleaner" than the 2.5L it replaced, but if it can't last half as long, then what's the point? And what about some old 2.3L VTEC Accord from 20+ years ago that will pretty much run indefinitely with normal PM? It'll easily outlast the car.

*anyone see the episode of Graveyard Cars where they compared an old Dodge Charger with a 426 Hemi to a new Charger (which rides on a Mercedes-Benz platform) with the modern 392 Hemi? The new one kicked the old one's ass. Up one side and down the other. And it I'm sure runs exponentially cleaner... (that probably represents the pinnacle, and thus stopping point, for any more realistic big displacement V8s, which is why they are being replaced with a twin-turbo I6, that probably won't hold up as well).
 
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2004LB7

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I apologize for striking a nerve. I did not come onto the forum to solicit for a lawsuit. I’ve been a huge diesel and car enthusiast since I was young. I grew up with a W126, W201, Audi 5000 and ALH wagon all diesels and had two TDIs of my own before owning my third and current, a 2015 Passat TDI.

I just so happen to decide to go to law school and practice law now (civil rights, low income housing — nothing to do with class action or consumer law)

I’ve been active on these forums for a while which helped me a ton and helped me get in contact with Oilhammer who did my timing belt service in May of 2022 as I am not confident enough to actually do that on my own just yet.

I just had a question and was wondering about it as diesel cars/cars in general and law are both intersections of two areas I spend a lot of time thinking of.

If the thread can be deleted that would be fine, my apologies for causing a mess.
Nothing against you. I'm just trying to play devils advocate. I like to play things to the extreme to simulate how it might play out in the legal system

And to go further down this road, what about lightbulbs. They seem to go out with regularity and if the headlights burn out while driving a dark road causing an accident. One might think NTSB or whomever is responsible for overseeing vehicle safety standards would want to do some kind of campaign or recall for lightbulbs. I would argue I've see many more burned out bulbs then heard of CP4 failures. One can argue that the CP4 and it's collateral damage is far more expensive then a simple bulb, one can also make the counter argument the result can be the same if a crash is the result. That's why I was questioning the rate of failure standard. And when is enough, enough. As pointed out earlier, in the grand scheme the failure are not that many when you compare the numbers to the total in use. Granted I still think they fail at a grater degree and contain design flaws or bad design practices. I even had one fail in my car. So I am no stranger to the event.

I've taken apart several new ones and inspected my failed ones, along with viewing many posts and documented failures and it is clear it's built with sub par engineering decisions. But so are many other parts of vehicles. Is it because of the cost of repairs? The fact that most can't do the repairs themselves? This so called safety issue from stalling? Oh, and how many other issues might a vehicle be able to experience that can cause a stall while driving that never seems to cause anything more then an inconvenience. No one ever seems to sue the manufacturer because they stalled from a clogged fuel filter. They seem to point fingers at the fueling station. Oh, and as your post discusses, this does seem to be as lest somewhat related to bad or sub par fuel as compared to other parts of the world. Does this mean it's actually the fuel supplier? Or the government for mandating the ULSD?

I don't think any of us will ever know. But it would be interesting to hear if Bosch told VW that the pump would work properly with ULSD in the USA like it does elsewhere. Or did Bosch warn VW and VW told them they wanted to use it anyway? Or something else? A lawsuit and discovery might tell us what it was. But I have my doubts it will ever happen
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
I've found, at least with the Germans, the phrase "what if?" doesn't seem to be commonly used. Because I feel they throw it back with a "why?"

What if you use the wrong oil in this engine? Why would you do that when we've clearly prescribed what oil is required?

What if you do not recalibrate the transmission when it gets replaced? Why would you not recalibrate the transmission when it gets replaced?

What if you mixed some random coolant? Why would you mix anything other than the prescribed coolant?
 

Dannyboy

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Yes and only a question was answered. If the answer upsets you, grow some thicker skin. It's a public forum.

"Considering that VAG sold 590,000 diesel powered cars during the “clean diesel era,” surely there were enough failures to warrant an attorney taking on VW for this."

Sounds like a chaser to me.
And it there was already talk years ago about class action. Nothing happened because it wasn't a thing.

Like oilhammer said it was only a very small number of vws with this issue. And there's so many variables on that I would be impossible to correlate the excat cause for that percentage.
 
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