Laguna Hills, CA – Sep. 20, 2019 – Volkswagen has announced that there may have been a defect in the construction of the fuel tank on five or six 2019 Atlas vehicles, leading to a small but extremely consequential vehicle recall. On these particular automobiles, it’s possible that the suction jet in the fuel tank may have been welded in an incorrect position, which could potentially allow fuel to leak from the tank.
On a vehicle containing the defect, this is likely to cause momentum to stall as a result of uneven fuel distribution, which creates the possibility for collision. However, there are of course even more dangerous risks that come along with the defect, including the possibility of an ignition source reaching the leaked fuel and causing a fire.
According to paperwork filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by Volkswagen, fuel tanks manufactured for the Atlas during a limited time frame may have been incorrectly welded, causing the suction jet bracket to border against the fuel tank internal wall. This error was caused during initial production of the part by the supplier, YAPP, due to “Incorrectly performed maintenance [of] the supplier’s tooling,” and was rectified shortly thereafter.
As a result of this defect, the suction jet in the fuel tank may not be located where it should be, which has the potential to cause a fuel tank leak. This significantly increases the possibility of the vehicle being involved in a crash or catching fire. Drivers of the 2019 Atlas vehicle will want to keep watch for the odor of fuel, and the sight of fuel puddles underneath the automobile.
Timeline of Events
The supplier first noted the potential for the defect in late July 2019, according to the report filed by Volkswagen. Following an investigation to determine how many fuel tanks were affected, every tank that potentially contained the defect was quarantined by both YAPP and Volkswagen. Using video of the production of the tanks, YAPP and Volkswagen are able to pinpoint exactly which objects were affected, at which point the manufacturer was able to issue a stop order for shipment and sales of all Atlas vehicles that might contain the defect.
However on July 31, Volkswagen was able to determine that five Atlas vehicles which potentially contain the defect had been sent to dealers, although at that point all five remained unsold. Following further video review on August 1, YAPP determines that at least one of the five vehicles contains the defect, with the others potentially containing it as well. At that point, Volkswagen’s Product Safety Committee was presented with the topic, and determined that a recall was necessary.
Volkswagen plans to notify both dealers and owners of the affected Atlas vehicles of the recall either on or before Oct. 11, 2019. At that point, the fuel tank on the affected vehicles will be replaced by the manufacturer at no cost to owners. Additionally, measures have been taken by YAPP to ensure that any fuel tanks with improper welding will not make it past the factory.
For more information on automobile recalls, whether large or small in number, be sure to continue visiting MotorSafety.org.