Auburn Hills, Mich. – July 5, 2018 – Volkswagen Group of America has recalled more than 10,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective brake components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects models across multiple brands, including:
- 2018 Audi Q5 sport utility vehicles produced between March 20, 2018, and May 12, 2018.
- 2018 Audi SQ5 performance sport utility vehicles produced between March 20, 2018, and May 11, 2018.
- 2018 Volkswagen Atlas sport utility vehicles produced between April 9, 2018, and June 4, 2018.
- 2018 Volkswagen Beetle sedans and convertibles produced between March 21, 2018, and May 16, 2018.
- 2018 Volkswagen GTI hatchbacks produced between March 21, 2018, and May 23, 2018.
- 2018 Volkswagen Golf hatchbacks produced between March 21, 2018, and May 25, 2018.
- 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen sedans produced between March 21, 2018, and May 23, 2018.
- 2018 Volkswagen Passat sedans March 21, 2018, and May 16, 2018.
The German automaker unsure how many of the recalled vehicles actually contain the defective parts.
Affected vehicles contain brake caliber pistons with flawed chrome coating. This defect may allow gas bubbles to form within the braking system, ultimately inhibiting brake performance. Consequently, the problematic coating poses a serious safety hazard for occupants. However, Volkswagen has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
On May 17, 2018, Volkswagen engineers at an assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee came across multiple finished vehicles with low or soft brake pedals. This finding forced the vehicle manufacturer to stop shipment immediately and initiate an official investigation. Twenty four hours later, Volkswagen initiated a stop-shipment order for in-transit vehicles.
Then, on May 21, 2018, Kelsey-Hayes Company, the vendor that supplied the problematic brake calibers, informed Volkswagen that some of its brake calibers were not properly coated. Following this revelation, the Volkswagen Product Safety Committee reviewed the issue and decided to halt the sale of all vehicles potentially equipped with the defective parts.
Over this time, Audi engineering teams also discovered newly manufactured vehicles with low or soft braking systems. Audi launched a stop-sale initiative June 1, 2018.
Members of the Volkswagen PSC reconvened June 29, 2018, and chose to initiate a voluntary safety recall campaign.
The German automaker will direct dealers to inspect the braking systems installed in affected vehicles and, if necessary, bleed them free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. Volkswagen intends to notify dealers of the forthcoming action July 30, 2018, and reach out to customers via first-class mail July 31, 2018. However, owners in need of assistance prior to the official start of the recall can speak with Volkswagen customer service personnel by calling (800) 893-5298. They can also connect directly with the NHTSA via its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.