Pleasanton, CA – July 16th, 2020 – Volkswagen (OTCMKTS: VWAGY) is recalling all 2013-2018 Audi S8 and A8 vehicles that were manufactured between June 2012 and July 2017. The company warns that a faulty part of the engine compartment may increase the risk of a fire.
The recall stems from an issue with the engine compartment seal, a flexible strip that seals the engine compartment against the hood and helps keep the engine cool.
In “rare cases,” after being exposed to large temperature fluctuations near the hot engine, metal inside the rubber seal can warp and deform the seal. As a result, the seal—and possibly components surrounding it—can scorch and cause a fire.
Smells like trouble
The first sign of a problem for one Audi owner in McKinney, Texas, was a “rubber/plastic smell coming from under the hood,” the driver said in a post to an Audi World forum.
“I opened things up and the rubber seal (that seals the engine compartment against the hood when it is closed) had fallen off right above one of the turbo assemblies.”
The poster drives a 2016 Audi S8 and claimed to have looked into the issue back in March, four months before Volkswagen issued their recall.
Volkswagen became aware of incidents of burning and warping seals in September 2019, but received no reports from North America.
If you smell something burning while driving, stop the car someplace safe. Check the tires first. Wait for the engine to cool down before popping the hood to take a look– you do not want to burn your fingers on a hot component.
If you suspect there is an actual fire under the hood, do not open it. Oxygen will rush in and feed the flames. Instead, get yourself and others away from the vehicle, at least 100 feet. Call the fire department at 911 when you are in a secure location. Do not return to the vehicle for any reason.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), car fires kill over 300 people a year on average. But, the number may be higher because it is often hard to tell whether the person died from the crash or from the fire. Between 2008 and 2017, vehicle fires caused, on average, over a thousand injuries per year.
Volkswagen dealers will install a retaining plate that will hold the engine seal in place and keep it from loosening. As of [date of publication] the repair is not yet available. Repairs may be forthcoming by September, when the recall officially begins.
In the meantime, customers can check the condition of their engine compartment seal by looking under the hood to see if the seal is in the correct position.
Is your vehicle part of this recall?
Nearly 13,000 cars are included in this Volkswagen recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool to check your car for open recalls.