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VW Recalls 168,275 Diesel Models for Potential Fire Hazard

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VWIn November, Volkswagen will begin making free repairs to 168,275 cars with two-liter TDI diesel engines, which it is recalling because of a fire hazard from a fuel injection system defect. The defect — in certain 2009-2012 Jetta cars, some 2010-2012 Golf cars, and Audi A3 models — can cause fires from potential fuel line leaks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the recall on its website Thursday.

Christopher Jensen reports in The New York Times blog Wheels:

According to Mark Gillies, a brand spokesman, Volkswagen was not aware of any fires and that only ‘a handful of vehicles suffered leakage.’

The automaker informed the agency that it began an investigation early in 2010 after receiving reports of fuel leaks, but pressure testing in the laboratory uncovered no problems.

Even so, Volkswagen said it continued to receive reports of fuel leaks. But late this summer, it discovered that a fuel injection pulse could ‘coincide with the natural frequency of the injector line No. 2,’ creating enough stress on that line alone to cause it to crack and leak.

Although Volkswagen said the recall is voluntary, federal regulations require manufacturers to contact NHTSA within five business days of discovering a safety problem with its plans for a recall, or otherwise face civil penalties. Volkswagen will install dampers to cut the vibrations on all of the recalled cars, and will also replace a fuel injector line on some of the models.

In a comment below an article on The Wall Street Journal blog Driver’s Seat, Robert Ingersol wrote:

I race with a guy who is an Audi mechanic. He says that cold weather makes the diesel fuel pumps fail and contaminate the downstream fuel injection system. Hope its covered by the warranty.

For more information, customers can contact Volkswagen at 800-822-8987.

Image by jessicafm (Jessica Merz), used under its Creative Commons license.


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