Own a 2019-2023 VW Atlas or 2020-2023 VW Atlas Cross Sport? A dangerous wiring harness defect may be causing issues with your parking brake and other malfunctions. You may be entitled to compensation. Fill out the form to find out your rights »

Case Status
Motion to Dismiss Denied (In Full or in Part)
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
Case Number
Volkswagen Group of America Inc.
File Date

According to the firm's investigation, a dangerous manufacturing defect in the VW Atlas door wiring harness causes vehicles’ systems to malfunction, affecting the functionality of airbags, brakes and more. This defect can place drivers, passengers and other traffic or pedestrians in immediate safety risk and danger of crashes. VW has sold and leased over 222,000 defective Atlas vehicles nationwide.


  • 2019-2023 Volkswagen Atlas
  • 2020-2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport


The defect affecting the wiring harness in Volkswagen Atlas cars can cause many features to malfunction and act erratically. These malfunctions can range from dangerous to highly threatening distractions to the driver, impacting safety during vehicle operation or survival during a crash.

The wiring harness defect affecting Volkswagen Atlas models has been documented to cause the following widespread malfunctions and safety hazards:

  • Delayed side airbag deployment
  • Parking brake automatically engaging during vehicle operation
  • Windows going up and down on their own
  • Distracting error messages and warning noises


According to the complaint, the VW Atlas wiring harness defect has plagued the cars since their launch. Despite the defect’s safety hazards, Volkswagen has chosen to ignore reports of the problems from multiple sources, including from pre-release data; warranty claims data; consumer complaints made directly to VW and those collected by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, and/or posted on public online forums; testing in response to those complaints; aggregate data and complaints from authorized dealers; and other sources.

Not only did Volkswagen fail to act to recall vehicles, report these issues to the public, or investigate the defect, but it also continues to manufacture and sell affected vehicles without warning, actively concealing a massive safety risk.

VW has left vehicle owners with no proposed remedy, and often owners are forced to wait months for replacement harnesses that are themselves also defective. Volkswagen has also failed to consistently provide loaner vehicles, forcing owners to choose between continuing to drive dangerously defective cars, or go without their car for months while they wait for replacement parts that are equally defective.


Owners and lessees who filed the lawsuit against Volkswagen reported the parking brake engaging on its own at stop lights, requiring it to be manually unlocked before moving forward. When the vehicle was finally “repaired” with a new wiring harness, malfunctions continued. In one instance, the brakes suddenly engaged for no apparent reason, causing the driver to lurch forward, cutting his lip and chipping two teeth on his water bottle which became pinned against the steering wheel.

In complaints made to federal agencies, Atlas owners and lessees complained: “The dealer and VW corporate do not have a fix and suggested we keep driving it to get more documented occurrences. The vehicle poses an extreme safety risk…” And another reported, “…the parking brake automatically came on while exiting the highway and an 18-wheeler truck was behind me with my daughter in the car. I had to completely turn my vehicle off and back on to keep going.”


Hagens Berman believes that consumers have the right to repayment for VW’s manufacturing defect, concealment and grave safety risks posed to Atlas owners and lessees. Volkswagen’s response has been insufficient and dangerous, allowing highly defective cars to continue operation without any public notice, recall or other response to the defect. The lawsuit seeks damages from VW for its egregious behavior, as well as injunctive relief to stop the sale of affected Atlas vehicles.


Hagens Berman is one of the most successful auto litigation law firms in the U.S. and is presently leading nationwide cases against FCA, Ford, GM, Volkswagen and Mercedes for safety defects, emissions-cheating and negligence. Your claim will be handled by attorneys experienced in automotive consumer law.


There is no cost or fee whatsoever involved in joining this case. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement that provides benefits to class members, the court will decide a reasonable fee to be awarded to the class's legal team. In no case will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum.


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