Auburn Hills, Mich. – May 15, 2018 – Volkswagen Group of America has recalled more than 7,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective suspension components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan sport utility vehicles produced between Jan. 15, 2018, and March 6, 2018, at the Volkswagen Mexico Factory in Puebla, Mexico. The German automaker suspects 32 percent of the vehicles contain the defective parts.
Affected models contain rear shock absorbers with lower loops that could separate the base suspension assembly due to defective welds. Should separation occur, the rear shock absorber may detach, causing the vehicle to suddenly lose stability. This issue drastically increases the likelihood of an accident. The defect therefore poses a serious hazard to occupants. However, Volkswagen has yet to receive reports connecting the problematic suspension parts to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
While conducting post-production test drives between Feb. 19, 2018, and March 3, 2018, Volkswagen engineers at the Mexico facility encountered multiple vehicles that lost stability while in operation. This finding prompted the local engineering department to launch an internal quality analysis campaign. On March 26, 2018, Volkswagen engineers at the plant informed the Pre-Product Safety Committee, which called for further analysis and forwarded the issue to the Product Safety Committee. Soon after, Volkswagen found that the Lake Forest, Illinois-based supplier Tenneco had welded the lower loops with a misaligned arc torch and identified this production error as the root cause.
Both regulatory bodies met April 18, 2018, and decided that a voluntary safety recall was necessary.
Volkswagen will direct dealers to replace the rear shock absorbers in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The automaker intends to inform dealers June 22, 2018, and reach out to owners via first-class mail June 25, 2018. Individuals with recalled vehicles in their possession who need more immediate assistance can contact Volkswagen customer service at (800) 893-5298. Callers should use the internal recall identification code 42i7. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly using the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.