Are brakes defective because they make a squealing noise when applied? If the brakes are installed as a replacement in a luxury vehicle, does that make a difference? The complaint for this class action claims that Audi installed replacement brakes in Audi Q7 vehicles that squeal when applied, and that that is not appropriate for a luxury SUV.
The class for this action is all New Jersey citizens who had replacement brakes installed on their Audi Q7 vehicles by an authorized Audi dealership in New Jersey, between July 19, 2012 and the present.
In 2014, plaintiff Donald F. Browne, Jr. bought his Audi Q7, a car which is described as a midsize, luxury, crossover SUV. Browne bought his used, but prices for new Q7s start at between $50,000 and $65,000 and can go as high as $90,000.
Over time, as Browne’s vehicle approached 40,000 miles, the brakes began to squeak on occasion. Browne believed this was normal for older brakes.
In October 2017, when Browne took his Q7 in for its 45,000 mile servicing at Cherry Hill Audi, it had 42,824 miles on it. The Cherry Hill technician recommended that Browne replace both his front and rear brakes, which were still the ones originally installed on the vehicle. Browne agreed. The new brake parts were Audi Original Equipment Manufacturer parts specifically designed for the Q7. The technicians who installed them followed the policies and procedures required by Audi. Browne paid around $1,700 for the replacement.
Around April 2018, Browne noticed that his new brakes, which were only about six months old, had begun to emit a loud, squealing noise when applied. At that point, they had been in use on the vehicle for only about 3,500 miles. He took the car back to Cherry Hill.
An examination found that the brake rotors were “slightly groove[d]” and that there were some “discoloration on rotors” and “hot spots.” The technicians told Browne that Audi knew of the problem, the complaint says, because Audi had intentionally changed the composition of the brake pads and rotors to increase their performance, and the squealing was a side effect of that.
Although the facility said it was looking for a fix, the complaint claims that Browne was finally told that there was no fix and that Audi considered the noise acceptable. According to the complaint, cheaper brakes are available that fit the Q7 and do not squeal, and Browne should not have had to pay such a high price for brakes that embarrass him.
Audi has continued to refuse to do anything to correct the problem. The complaint alleges consumer fraud, breaches of warranty and contract, and unjust enrichment.