The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Audi Announces Second Recall on Fuel Gauges

       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., Aug. 9 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

    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.