CHICAGO (AP) _ A class-action lawsuit contends the manufacturer of the Audi 5000S sedan should be made to compensate car owners for a loss in resale value resulting from an allegedly defective automatic transmission.

The Circuit Court lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of individual Audi owners Paul Perona and Herb Harris, as well as Mr. Leasing, a Highland Park car-leasing company which has a number of Audis in its fleet.

The lawsuit said the plaintiffs suffered damage when the cars they bought were recalled, substantially diminishing their resale value.

Audi has not a received a copy of the lawsuit and will have no immediate comment, Joseph Bennett, spokesman for Audi of America, said from the automaker's Troy, Mich., offices.

The lawsuit prepared by the Chicago law firm of Holstein, Mack & Dupree, contends the Audis are defective because they are subject to a sudden acceleration without warning.

It contends the acceleration has caused property damage, injury and even death and that the manufacturer was aware of the defect for at least several years before it attempted any corrective action.

The models in question were produced between 1978 and 1986.

Attorney James M. Dupree said the lawsuit mentions property damage, injury and death, but is not intended to seek compensation for them. Instead, it seeks compensation for actual damages suffered by Audi owners through the diminished value of their cars and the need to seek alternate transportation while the autos were being repaired, Dupree said.

In January, the automaker, a division of Volkswagen of America Inc., announced a recall of 250,000 Audis. It said it would install free of charge a shift-lock device on automatic transmissions and check and replace, if necessary, an engine stabilization valve.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration has received 1,380 reports of incidents of sudden acceleration by Audis, resulting in 330 injuries and seven deaths.