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Volkswagen recalls 2.6 million vehicles

Lighting defects: VW is recalling an unspecified number of Tiguan models in Australia after it was found that a fuse could trip and cause a lighting malfunction.

Three recalls involving local VW models underway as coroner hands down crash finding

15 Nov 2013

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia is recalling an unspecified number of vehicles in Australia for gearbox oil, fuse and fuel pipe issues across several model lines as part of a massive campaign affecting about 2.6 million vehicles worldwide.

The latest safety issue involving the German brand comes amid a recall underway in Australia since June involving almost 26,000 vehicles fitted with VW’s seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.

It also emerges on the same day a Victorian coroner handed down a finding that there was no evidence of any systemic faults with the 2008 Volkswagen Golf (with manual gearbox) being driven by Melbourne woman Melissa Ryan, who was killed in 2011 when a truck ran into the back of her car after it had unexpectedly slowed down on the Monash Freeway.

The coroner said Ms Ryan was more likely to have been distracted by a mobile phone conversation she has having at the time of the crash.

The seven-speed DSG (codenamed DQ200) is again the subject of the recall issued overnight, with Volkswagen AG in Germany saying its quality assurance team had found that electric malfunctions could occur in the gearbox power supply if synthetic gearbox oil is used.

The company said this applies in particular if the vehicle is subject to a hot and humid climate, coupled with a high proportion of stop-and-start driving, and that switching to mineral oil “will rectify this problem”.

Six-speed DSG and manual gearboxes are not included in the latest recall, which affects 1.6 million cars and light commercials worldwide.

Those Australian owners who have already returned to dealers as part of the DSG recall issued in June – which replaces the gearbox mechatronic unit and updates relevant software – will have had the oil replaced.

Volkswagen Group Australia has advised that this separate recall, which covers vehicles with DSG gearboxes built between June 2008 and September 2011 across nameplates such as Polo, Golf, Jetta, Passat and Caddy, is 40 per cent complete, with the full repair campaign to be completed sometime next year.

In relation to the oil-change recall, the company also says that customers with affected vehicles – the full details of which are still to be revealed – are still able to drive their cars prior to the switch.

The Tiguan compact SUV is the subject of a separate recall after it was found that a fuse could potentially blow, resulting in the failure of one of the two vehicle light circuits which could in turn cause individual light functions to fail.

Volkswagen says that “some lights” will remain on around the vehicle, and that the driver will be immediately informed of the problem on the instrument cluster.

Affecting 800,000 Tiguan models worldwide, built between 2008 and 2011, the recall will involve the replacement of the fuse with one with a stronger coating.

The third new recall announced overnight affects the Amarok utility, with the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine potentially affected by leaks to the fuel pipe within the engine compartment.

Affecting 239,000 Amarok models globally built between the vehicle’s launch and June this year, the recall will involve a chafe protector being fitted at the relevant points “to avoid any accidental damage to the fuel lines”.

In all three new recalls, Volkswagen Group Australia says it is “reviewing specific requirements to initiate the necessary repairs and will commence the process of the recall immediately”.

Affected owners will be informed by mail.

“Volkswagen Group Australia will ensure these recalls are conducted promptly and efficiently,” said Volkswagen Group Australia managing director, John White.

“We apologise in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause our customers.

“Customer safety and satisfaction are the highest priorities for Volkswagen Group Australia and have been so since Volkswagen began operations here more than 60 years ago.”

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