German automaker Volkswagen AG announced Tuesday that it will be issuing two separate recalls. The dual campaigns are among the smallest of the year. Less than 200 vehicles are affected in total.
Passats and Routans return to dealerships
According to a posting on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, Volkswagen will recall 153 of its 2012 Passat sedans over a potentially defective element in the diesel fuel filter that poses a risk of fire. Separately, the company is calling back 15 of its 2012 Routan minivans for a rear suspension issue that could precipitate wheel separation.
The Passat recall
The NHTSA website said of the Passat recall:
“The Passats were built with a diesel fuel filter element that may not seal correctly. Over time, or after certain driving distances, these vehicles are susceptible to a fuel leakage. Leaking fuel, in the presence of an ignition source, may lead to a fire.”
Defective parts blamed
The Passat recall targets only those vehicles that were assembled with the 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engine. They were
built at the company’s Chattanooga, Tenn., production facility between Jan. 18, 2011, and June 1, 2011. Other Volkswagen
models sold in the U.S. packing the 2.0 liter TDI are unaffected, said the automaker, because they received parts from an
A single US complaint
Complaints about fuel leaks in the 2012 Passat began in Europe and Asia. There has been only one consumer complaint over
the issue in the U.S., and Volkswagen said it is unaware of any fire, accident, injury or death caused by the defect.
The Passat recall is expected to begin in May. The automaker will replace the diesel fuel filter element in any affected
vehicle, free of charge.
The Routan recall
According to Edmunds Inside Line, the Routan recall is associated with last week’s small scale Chrysler recall, in which less than 300 of Chrysler’s 2012 Town & Country and 2012 Dodge Caravan minivans were called back over issues with the right rear wheel hub and bearing assembly. The defect, according to the NHTSA, “could result in a decrease in durability, which may lead to wheel separation, increasing the risk of a crash.”
The VW Routan is actually a Chrysler Town and Country with superficial tweaks. According to Edmunds:
“VW wanted a minivan ASAP, Chrysler had excess production capacity at its plant in Windsor, Ontario… The Routan is the product of this unlikely marriage.”
Volkswagen is unaware of any crashes or injuries caused by the defect. The Routan recall will start later this month.
The automaker promises to replace the right rear hub and bearing assembly at no cost to owners.
Any 2012 Passat or 2012 Routan owners who think their vehicles may be affected in the recall are encouraged to call Volkswagen at 800-822-8987. The recall campaign number is 42G3/W2. Alternately, affected owners can call the NHTSA at 888-327-4236. The NHTSA’s campaign number is 12V146000.