Hardship Continues for Volkswagen as More Cars are Recalled for Fuel Leak Issues

Hardship Continues for Volkswagen as More Cars are Recalled for Fuel Leak Issues

The troubles keep rolling for Volkswagen.  Just this month, the company reported recalling more than half a million vehicles.  

The current figure of vehicles affected by the recall is about 573,489—and this is only for vehicles in the United States alone.  The recall is related to three various fuel leak issues, and it affects Volkswagen models of Golf, Golf SportWagen, and the Volkswagen GTI, as well as Audi models A6, A7, Q5, and Q7.

In the filings submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Volkswagen highlighted three fuel leak issues that in total affect more than half a million vehicles.  The first problem was discovered on the fuel filler flange component, with the issue potentially causing cracking and leakage of fuel.  This issue affects the Audi Q7, model years 2007-2012, as well as the Audi Q5, model years 2009-2012.

In response, Audi initiated an investigation into the problem in July of 2015.  But the company has failed to find the underlying cause of the defective flange problem.  Accordingly, the company has committed to replacing any defective flanges and install rubber parts around any undamaged flanges to make the fuel pump  more secure and ensure that the potential cracking and leaking does not occur.  

In total, Audi / VW has recalled 435,198 fuel units due to this issue with the faulty flange.  The companies have promised to continue contacting owners of the units until new parts are available in November 2017.

Unfortunately, this fuel flange issue is only the first of the three problems plaguing Audi and Volkswagen.

The second issue with the Volkswagen/Audi fuel leak is related to evaporation emission systems that are defective.  This emission issue affects both Audi and VW models, including the front wheel drive Audi A3  (model years 2015-2016), as well as the Volkswagen Golf, GTI and Golf SportWagen—all model years 2015-2016.  These latter three VW models require “partial zero emission vehicle” modifications.  

With the evaporative emission defect, Volkswagen and Audi report that the gas tank suction pumps have faulty rubber seals.  The seals, apparently, were manufactured and assembled with too much tension.  This tension resulted in the pooling of gas inside the evaporation emission parts when instead the gas fumes should be pumped out of the tank instead of being pooled and collected inside.  With this defect, the gas floods the charcoal filter in the pump, resulting in a continuous and obnoxious smell of gas inside the car or worse—a fuel leak.  

The emission issue—this time—is not affecting any diesel Volkswagen TDI models.  However, a total of 110,042 vehicles of Audi and Volkswagen have been reportedly affected by the faulty evaporative emission systems.

Volkswagen reported that auto dealers will replace the faulty suction pumps, but this won’t be possible until stocks of the part are replenished this fall.  This is troubling to transportation safety officials because the company reported that it was already aware of the issue back in July 2015.  But it wasn’t until November 2015 when the automaker actually ordered its supplier to change its assembly process to correct the emission issue.  However, by then, Volkswagen was forced to announce the immense recall as consumers continued to complain about the gas odors and fuel leaks.  

The third and final fuel issue currently plaguing Volkswagen and Audi is related to the fuel-pump hose of affected vehicles.  Models subject to this problem include the 2012-2013 Audi A6 and A7 models.  According to Car and Driver, 28,249 component parts will be recalled for this issue.   

With the fuel-pump hose problem, the fuel-pump hose, located under the vehicle’s hood, could possibly leak.  But to date, the root cause of the problem remains unknown.  

And Audi / Volkswagen have failed to announce the timeline for fixing the defective fuel-pump hoses.

In the meantime, if you own a Volkswagen or Audi model, you should reach out to the official Volkswagen parts service to see if your car is subject to any of the three fuel issues and could be included in the recall.

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