Volkswagen is recalling approximately 281,500 VW and Audi vehicles in the U.S. in three separate campaigns over fuel pump issues that cause fuel to leak out and possibly start a fire. The largest of Volkswagen AG’s three recalls concerns more than 143,000 model year 2009 to 2012 Audi Q5 and 2007 to 2012 Audi Q7 SUVs with gasoline engines that may develop cracks in the filter housing of the fuel pump, which is part of the fuel cap flange. This could cause the fuel pump to leak and may result in a fire if the leaking fuel is near an ignition source. “Our investigations do not show a distinct cause of the fissures,” Volkswagen said in its safety recall report to the NHTSA. “However, we do have indications for an outside contamination by a liquid material corroding the structure of the flange.”
Audi first became aware of the problem in fall 2015 when the NHTSA began to receive an increased number of fuel smell or leaks in Q5 and Q7 vehicles. Additional testing located the scope of the problem. To fix the issue, dealers will clean the fuel pump flange, and a butyl rubber band will be added to it in order to protect the pump. Another recall campaign covers 110,000 2015 and 2016 Volkswagen Golf, SportWagen and GTI models and Audi A3 sedans and A3 cabriolet vehicles of all engine types. According to Volkswagen, the issue stems from a possibly compromised suction pump. Normally, the pump is designed to remove fuel from the engine’s evaporative emissions system, but the fault causes fuel to flow directly into the system instead. In this instance, fuel could accumulate in the system and leak through the charcoal canister filter element, causing a fire in the presence of an ignition source.
Volkswagen said the faulty suction pumps were caused by a manufacturing issue, and the automaker will replace them free of charge. The smallest of the recalls deals with more than 28,000 2012 and 2013 model year Audi A6 and A7 sedans with gasoline engines with fuel hoses that may break down over time, causing a fuel leak. Audi said the pumps lost pressure and became porous for unknown reasons. The automaker said it will replace the hose, free of charge to owners. Volkswagen and Audi said vehicle owners affected by the fuel cap flange and suction pump recalls will receive interim notifications in November, and that the parts needed to fix the issues are not yet available. No notification schedule has been set for the hose replacement at this time, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) documents.
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