Volkswagen Recalls 91,000 Diesel-Engine Passats Over Fire Concerns

Image courtesy of (Gipiosio Gipiosio)

Volkswagen’s diesel-engine vehicles haven’t exactly had a great few months, what with federal regulators finding that 500,000 of the vehicles contain “defeat devices” that cheat emission standards. Issues for the cars continued this week as the carmaker announced it would recall 91,000 Passat TDI sedans over fire concerns. 

VW will recall about 91,000 model year 2012 to 2014 diesel-engine Passat sedans because wiring under the vehicle can corrode, overheat, and potentially start a fire.

According to a notice [PDF] filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, improperly assembled wire seals in a connector of an underbody sensor may allow water to corrode electrical terminals.

This can lead to an electrical short with the possibility of overheating at the electrical connection, and cause the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) in the vehicle to illuminate.

In rare cases, overheating of the electrical connection could result in a fire underneath the vehicles, VW says.

The carmaker tells NHTSA that the issue was first discovered in November 2015 when the production plant reported overheated electrical connectors and isolated underbody fires in the vehicles. Further tests were performed in January and a defect was determined to be present in March 2016.

VW says that owners of affected vehicles will be notified in June and dealers will replace the connector with a new one that is properly sealed.

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