Volkswagen recalls vehicles with defective fuel pumps


Auburn Hills, Mich. – Aug. 29, 2017 – The Volkswagen Group of America has recalled more than 280,000 vehicles believed to be equipped with defective fuel pumps, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2009-2016 CC and 2006-2010 Passat sedans, as well as 2006-2010 Passat wagons. The German automaker is unsure what percentage of the total population of vehicles named in the recall contain the problematic feature.

The Defect

The models named in the campaign could include defective fuel pump control modules prone to inducing fuel pump failure and ultimately stalling. The damaged fixtures could also lead to pump overuse, which can drain vehicles’ batteries and thus inhibit operation. The fuel pump control modules in these recalled models generate too much heat. This, combined with faulty electronic components and mechanical stress, results in the aforementioned outcomes, which pose serious danger to drivers and passengers. However, Volkswagen has yet to receive any reports detailing accidents or injuries stemming from the defective fuel control modules.

Timeline of Events

The Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Company, based in China, submitted an inquiry to Volkswagen detailing instances of fuel pump failure in CC and Passat models in April 2016. The automaker immediately coordinated an internal investigation with external parts supplier Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive GmbH, which provided the fuel pump assemblies in these vehicles. The two organizations asked DPAC to supply parts from affected vehicles for analysis. These items arrived in Wolfsburg, Germany, in October of that year. Engineers went to work analyzing the parts.

In January 2017, engineering personnel presented their findings to the Volkswagen Product Safety Committee. The group reviewed the data but requested that engineering teams perform further tests to find a definitive root cause. More than eight months later, these technical experts submitted the results of their second analysis, which concluded that the fuel pump control modules in the vehicles were to blame.

On Aug. 10, the Volkswagen PSC ordered a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

Volkswagen will order dealers to replace the fuel pumps in affected models free of charge, according to documents submitted to the NHTSA. However, the vehicle manufacturer has yet to find suitable replacement parts that do not succumb to thermal influence or mechanical stress during operation. As a result, Volkswagen has not released an exact date for notifying owners. That said, the car maker will reach out to customer via first-class mail Oct. 13. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Volkswagen customer service personnel at (800) 893-5298, using the internal recall code 20AE. Owners can also call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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