This case was last updated from PACER on 05/04/2021 at 09:16:54 (UTC).

Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC v. Autoneum North America, Inc

Case Summary

On March 5, 2021, Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC (“Volkswagen” or “Plaintiff”), represented by Conor T. Fitzpatrick of Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone, PLC, filed a civil complaint based on breach of contract against Autoneum North America, Inc. (“Autoneum” or “Defendant”), seeking damages and costs of litigation for alleged breach of contract. This case was filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan with Judge Kimberly G. Altman and Judge Paul D. Borman presiding. 


In its complaint, Plaintiff alleged that “Volkswagen purchased trunk side trim components for its “Passat” sedan line from Autoneum, a Michigan parts manufacturer. In 2018, Volkswagen switched suppliers for the trunk side trim components away from Autoneum. Volkswagen had pre-paid Autoneum for the material and overhead of 64,730 trunk side trim components but, at the time Autoneum stopped producing the parts, Autoneum had delivered only 48,636 parts to Volkswagen, resulting in Volkswagen overpaying Autoneum by $231,425.02 based on the purchase price of the undelivered components. Autoneum has acknowledged Volkswagen’s overpayment, but refuses to refund $171,425.02 of the funds, holding the funds hostage pending the resolution of a separate, unrelated dispute between the parties. Volkswagen’s Purchase Orders to Autoneum constituted an offer to perform a contract: the production of automobile parts in exchange for monetary compensation.” 


Plaintiff further alleged that “Volkswagen and Autoneum subsequently agreed that the outstanding overpayment value from Volkswagen to Autoneum under the Purchase Orders is $171,425.02 (the “Overpayment Funds”). Autoneum’s refusal to return the Overpayment Funds in order to exert leverage over Volkswagen in an unrelated dispute constitutes a distinct act of dominion over the funds because Autoneum is using its control of and access to the Overpayment Funds for its own benefit and the detriment of Volkswagen. Autoneum’s dominion over the Overpayment Funds is wrongful because, as Autoneum acknowledged, the Overpayment Funds are Volkswagen’s because Autoneum did not perform a corresponding duty and Volkswagen did not receive a benefit for the funds. 


There are three claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiff. The first claim for relief is for the breach of contract and the other claims are for Unjust Enrichment (in the alternative to Cause of Action I) and Statutory and Common Law Conversion. 


In the prayer for relief, Plaintiff has requested the court to order $171,425.02 in contractual (or unjust enrichment) damages, $342,850.04, representing statutory treble damages under MCL 2929a(1)(a), Reasonable contractual attorney fees pursuant to Section 13 of Volkswagen’s Terms and Conditions. Plaintiff further requested the court to grant Plaintiff reasonable statutory attorney fees pursuant to MCL 600.2929a(1)(A), interest on the foregoing along with costs of litigation. 


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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets


Case Details

  • Case Number:


  • Filing Date:


  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

Judge Details

Referral Judge

Kimberly G. Altman

Presiding Judge

Paul D. Borman


Party Details


Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC


Autoneum North America, Inc.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Conor T. Fitzpatrick

Attorney at Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone, PLC

150 W Jefferson Avenue, Suite 2500

Detroit, MI 48226

Todd A. Holleman

Attorney at Miller, Canfield, (Detroit)

150 W. Jefferson Avenue, Suite 2500

Detroit, MI 48226-4415


Court Documents


1 #1

Exhibit A Terms and Conditions






Docket Entries

  • 03/09/2021
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  • Docket(#5) CERTIFICATE of Service/Summons Returned Executed. Autoneum North America, Inc. served on 3/8/2021, answer due 3/29/2021. (Holleman, Todd) (Entered: 03/09/2021)

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  • 03/08/2021
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  • Docket(#4) ORDER REQUIRING PLAINTIFF VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA CHATTANOOGA OPERATIONS, LLC, TO DISCLOSE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS Response due by 3/15/2021 Signed by District Judge Paul D. Borman. (DTof) (Entered: 03/08/2021)

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  • 03/08/2021
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  • Docket(#3) ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Todd A. Holleman appearing on behalf of Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC (Holleman, Todd) (Entered: 03/08/2021)

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  • 03/08/2021
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  • Docket(#2) SUMMONS Issued for *Autoneum North America, Inc.* (NAhm) (Entered: 03/08/2021)

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  • 03/05/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT filed by All Plaintiffs against All Defendants. Plaintiff requests summons issued. Receipt No: AMIEDC-8376476 - Fee: $ 402. County of 1st Plaintiff: Out of state- County Where Action Arose: Oakland - County of 1st Defendant: Oakland. [Previously dismissed case: No] [Possible companion case(s): None] (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A Terms and Conditions) (Fitzpatrick, Conor) Modified on 3/8/2021; fixed counties (DTof). (Entered: 03/05/2021)

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