Fuel tank flange issue could lead to greater recall


Auburn Hills, Mich.—July 25, 2017—One recall from earlier this year could be the sign of future Volkswagen recalls, according to an article in Car and Driver. The case involves defective flanges, which could crack, possibly because the material could deteriorate.

Volkswagen is just one of several manufacturers with possible complications from this issue, and all reportedly stem from the part itself, a Continental Automotive Systems product. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the matter.

As the source described, a crack in the flange could also lead to a fuel leak. Major auto companies like Ford and General Motors could have to recall vehicles if they find evidence of the risk. The article quoted a statement from Elizabeth Weigandt, a Ford representative, on the company’s awareness of the issue.

“It’s unclear at this point whether Ford vehicles are affected,” she said. “We are reviewing the matter and will cooperate with NHTSA, as we always do.”

A Part 573 Safety Recall Report submitted to the NHTSA in March said that 20,908 Volkswagen Touareg vehicles were part of that company’s recall, with the model years ranging from 2007 to 2010.  The larger amount of vehicles were produced between 2006 and 2010. This report said that the components could weaken over time due to oxidization and internal pressure. The report said that March was the company’s “date of determination.”

The resolution to this earlier recall involved fitting the affected flanges with a protective cover. The report said that a fuel smell may indicate the issue, and that there were apparent similarities between this recall and another one for Audi vehicles.

A Volkswagen dealership communication said that the resolution could require a full replacement if the flanges are cracked. The fuel leak could present a hazard if fire is present.

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