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Volkswagen Recall for 260K Cars Due to Fuel Pump Flaws

POR: Amanda Walter
Woman at home looking worried getting a recall notice on her car

Volkswagen, the automaker giant, has announced a recall for over 260,000 vehicles in the U.S. due to a potentially hazardous fuel pump defect. The action involves several popular VW y Audi models built from 2015 to 2020, including the Volkswagen Golf, GTI, Jetta, and Audi A3.

The recall is one of several the German manufacturer has recently issued. In 2023, the Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport and Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback were recalled for a faulty engine connecting rod bearing. Other recalls by the company last year included the doors opening unexpectedly on the all-electric VW ID.4.

Overview of the VW Recall

Documents on file with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that Volkswagen’s latest recall is due to a defect in the suction jet pump, a component of the fuel tank assembly. The pump, manufactured by Michigan-based Gentherm, is designed to purge fuel from the vehicle’s evaporative emissions (EVAP) system. However, a seal inside the pump can fail, allowing fuel to flow directly into the EVAP system and potentially leak through the EVAP charcoal canister filter.

The NHTSA recall report states that 261,257 vehicles are involved and includes these model years:

  • 2015-2020 Audi A3 Sedan
  • 2015-2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet
  • 2019-2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
  • 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen GP
  • 2018-2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen A7
  • 2015-2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
  • 2015-2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI
  • 2015-2020 Volkswagen Golf A7

Only front-wheel-drive models are affected; the all-wheel-drive versions of the Audi A3 and VW Golf Sportwagen use different pumps. Volkswagen estimates that approximately 1% of the recalled vehicles contain defective components. However, given the severity of the potential consequences, the automaker expanded the recall.

NHTSA documents reveal that VW became aware of the pump problem in 2016. Subsequent manufacturer efforts, including a multi-year monitoring program and warranty extension, ultimately led to a comprehensive recall in February 2024.

Risks Associated with the Fuel Pump Flaw

Most recalls involving a vehicle’s fuel delivery system are serious because of the risk of fire and safety hazards to vehicle occupants and adjacent vehicles. VW’s defective suction jet pump issue is no different. Fuel leaking from the EVAP system could ignite if exposed to an ignition source. According to Volkswagen, there haven’t been any reports of related fires, but there have been over 1,400 warranty claims since 2016.

In addition to the fire hazard, affected vehicle owners may experience fuel nozzles shutting off prematurely or fuel overflowing from the tank. Owners should be alert for a noticeable fuel odor in the cabin, indicating that gas has leaked into the EVAP system.

Volkswagen’s Remedy for Vehicle Owners

To address the problem, Volkswagen will replace the defective suction jet pump with an updated version (Version 2.0) at no cost to vehicle owners. The new pump incorporates several design improvements to prevent seal failure and fuel leakage.

Volkswagen will notify the affected owners by mail. The letter is expected to go out on April 12, 2024, and will provide details on scheduling a repair appointment with a local dealer. Recall-related repairs will be performed at no cost. The company will reimburse customers who have already paid for repairs covered by the recall.

Consumer Action and Safety Measures

It’s vital for owners of these affected Volkswagens and Audis to stay informed about this recall. Before receiving the official notice, vehicle owners can take other steps to check their car’s recall status.

If your vehicle is affected by the recall, schedule a repair appointment. A delay in repairs is not unusual if the notice hasn’t been mailed or if the dealer is waiting for replacement parts.

IMPORTANT: Stay alert for any signs of a fuel pump issue (e.g., a gas smell in the cabin or refueling problems). Avoid driving the car and contact a dealership immediately if you suspect an issue.

It’s also wise to keep a record of all communications and repairs relating to this recall. Such documentation can be helpful during trade-in time or if there are any questions later about the recall.

The Role of Extended Warranties During Recalls

To be clear, the manufacturer pays for any repairs related to an official recall; a car doesn’t need to be under the factory warranty to qualify. However, an extended car warranty (more accurately called a vehicle service contract or auto protection plan) provides benefits that can help during a recall and at other crucial times.

For instance, a driver with a 2016 Volkswagen Golf and an Garantía extendida Endurance can take comfort if this latest recall leaves them stranded. All Endurance customers have access to Asistencia en carretera 24 horas al día, 7 días a la semana with towing coverage. If you suffer a mechanical breakdown while on the road, use the exclusive Aplicación móvil Endurance or sign into the Portal del cliente Endurance to find your roadside assistance provider’s information listed in your contract. Then, simply arrange a tow to the dealership for recall repairs.

Breakdowns can happen outside of recalls; it’s an unfortunate part of car ownership. According to Agero, there are 69 million auto breakdowns annually in the American market or 189,000 incidents per day. Each year, these car troubles add up to 30 million lost workdays and cost $9 billion. And that doesn’t even include the $15 billion in repairs that follow a breakdown. Car owners not protected by a factory or garantía extendida are on the hook for these costs.

An Endurance vehicle service contract protects against surprise repair bills. There are coverage options for primary systems like the engine and transmission o plans similar to new car bumper-to-bumper warranties. There are also in-between programs that balance coverage and cost. Endurance even has plans for select luxury models, commercial-use vehicles, and high-mileage cars.

Endurance plan holders enjoy other perks, including rental car reimbursement, trip interruption protection, the choice of any Mecánico certificado ASE or repair facility for covered work, and flexible payment terms.

Car Owner Protection Beyond VW Recalls

Learn how to protect your car with Endurance when the manufacturer’s protections don’t apply. Request a FREE quote o visitar el tienda en línea for price and plan details. Endurance advisors are just a phone call away at (800) 253-8203 for personalized help and guidance.

Explorar el Blog Endurance for an extensive library of automotive topics, including DIY maintenance advice, car reviews for Ford, Chevy, and Toyota, trending industry updates, and more.

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