Auburn Hills, MI — April 26, 2016 — In an action unrelated to previous diesel emissions Volkswagen recalls, the manufacturer is focusing on vehicles with a potential underbody fire risk. Though the chances of this happening may be rare, the company addressed this problem in a statement published on Autoblog. This source stated that a group of 91,000 Passats could gradually suffer underbody sensor corrosion.
Over time, exposure to water could gradually wear down the sensor connectors, eventually triggering a short that overheats the sensor. The statement clarified that the affected autos bear the 2012, 2013 and 2014 model years. Corrosion would be possible due to bad wire seals. As of March 24, no notification schedule was given.
In addition, a Part 573 Safety Recall report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration listed the series of events that led to this recall. Last November, “the production plant reported events with overheated electrical connectors and isolated underbody vehicle fires to Volkswagen’s product safety committee. Additional analysis of detailed cause was assigned,” before further action was taken, the report stated.
Two months later,the company began a field survey before the defect was officially determined on March 16. The impacted vehicles do have diesel engines, even though this case does not involve the “cheats” established in other recalled Volkswagens that have triggered international concern.
To remedy this issue, dealers will inspect and replace the connector. Owners might see an MIL indicator if the issue is present in their vehicle, and could use this as a sign to take action. The engine associated with the possible seal failure has reportedly been discontinued, but the replacement connectors will have well-seated seals that prevent the potentially dangerous wear in the older ones. No component manufacturer was reported.