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News About Volkswagen

A collection of stories that owners should hear about including recalls, lawsuits, investigations, and top complaints. Like many automakers, VW has been in the news for dangerous Takata airbag recalls.

Two Jettas Have a ‘Freaky Friday’ Moment, Swap VINs

Did Volkswagen just have a Freaky Friday moment? According to CarComplaints.com, a pair of 2017 Jettas need to be recalled because their VINs don’t match up.

A VIN, which stands for vehicle identification number, is a unique 17 character code given to each car in the USA. It is used for tracking recalls, registrations, accident reports, theft claims, and insurance coverage. The VIN is displayed on multiple points on each car so they can always be checked against one another.

For two Jettas, however, their VIN markings don’t match the VIN plates near their windshields. Presumably because the two cars mixed up their plates. That is a legal no-no.

There’s no need to freak out, however. To VW’s credit, the automaker has already replaced the affected cars.

NJ Timing Chain Lawsuit Will Continue After VW Was Denied a Motion to Dismiss

Car owners think the time is right to hold Volkswagen accountable for their defective timing chains.

And despite VW’s best efforts, a timing chain lawsuit will continue in a New Jersey court after the judge denied the automaker’s motion to dismiss. The case is a combination of two other lawsuits in the state, both of which allege VW is concealing known timing chain defects that lead to premature engine failure.

Timing Chain Lawsuit Will Continue in Court. Image by Claire Anderson on Unsplash.com

You know that stack of papers they have you sign when you buy a car? Volkswagen’s argument for dismissing the case was a hidden clause that says all problems must be taken into arbitration and not in front of jury. Which, let’s be honest, is a shady thing to throw into a purchase contract. Luckily the judge ruled those agreements are between the consumer and the dealership, not the automaker.

While a few of the lawsuit claims were thrown own, this is overall good news for consumers who have dealt with (or are worried about) timing chain failure

Greased Lightnin'? 2012-14 Passat Recalled for Burning Up the Quarter Mile

The right half-shaft grease boots in 2012-14 diesel Passats are leaking grease. And as luck would have it, those same cars have a heat shield that is too short to stop the leaks from hitting hot exhaust parts.

When that happens, you’ll really be burning up the quarter mile.

Not nearly as cool as Travolta's Hair

But wait, there’s more about the recall from CarComplaints.com:

Engineers also determined diesel particulate filters overheated because they were being overloaded with soot caused by failures of the upper boost hoses. VW learned Passats made up to July 2012 had higher failure rates of the upper boost hoses and if the hoses fail, compressed air from the turbo chargers can escape before entering the combustion chambers.

This leads to more fuel being injected than needed, which results in soot and a higher likelihood of the engine overheating.

Jetta owners can expect a fix in July 2017.

South Korea Wants to Trade Illegal Cars for VW Executives

South Korea’s Ministry of Environment is upset that Volkswagen sent 2,500 diesel vehicles after a sales ban had been ordered by the government. The cars, which had been kept at port, were deemed illegal due to their emissions output.

Now South Korea’s government has a trade proposal for Volkswagen – they’ll send the vehicles back, and in exchange VW can serve up some executive heads on a platter. I’m guessing there will be some negotiation.

The deportation of the diesel vehicles comes as South Korean prosecutors try to nail VW executives to the wall for alleged violations of clear air laws. Johannes Thammer, Park Dong-hoon and Trevor Hill say they did nothing wrong and were caught up in the emission scandal without warning.

The three executives have been accused of setting up an illegal scheme to import 120,000 dirty diesels into South Korea between 2008 and 2015. Volkswagen thinks the country is being ridiculous and will appeal its $32 million fine.

Judge Approves VW 3.0-liter and Bosch Diesel Settlements

Last week a federal judge granted final approval on a $1.22 billion settlement to fix or buy back 80,000 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the US. Poor Volkswagen.

Oh, don’t get me wrong – I don’t feel bad for them. I just mean they must be poor by now with all these settlements.

The settlement was announced back in December 2016. Owners who opt to get their engines fixed can expect compensation between $7,000 and $16,000.

VW Cash Reserves (Image under CC 2.0 from Pictures of Money)

A Bosch Settlement Too

In addition, the judge approved a $327.5 million settlement for Bosch for its role in developing the engines.

Bosch has denied any wrong-doing, but the company undeniably supplied VW with the defeat device software which was then used to cheat emissions on millions of 2-liter “clean diesel” engines.

Prosecutors have previously tried to determine if Bosch intentionally conspired with VW, which is a claim Bosch says is “wild and unfounded.”

23 CC Vehicles in the US Have the Wrong Headrests

There are 23 CC vehicles in the US that need to be recalled because they have RoW headrests which don’t match up with US regulations. Here’s CarComplaints.com on what RoW means and why it’s a problem:

VW calls these the RoW headrests, meaning “rest of the world.” The RoW head restraint is adjustable in six positions and the U.S. head restraint is adjustable only in five positions.

‘Merica.

The recall is for 2016–2017 CC vehicles and expected to begin in June 2017.

Probation and Babysitters, How the Emissions Scheme Keeps Costing VW

Volkswagen has been sentenced to 3-years probation by a federal court, according to CarComplaints.com:

“…Volkswagen was nailed with felony counts for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and consumers, engaging in wire fraud, violating the federal Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice and for importing merchandise by means of false statements.

Maybe next time they’ll think twice before defrauding customers and shredding thousands of documents during an open investigation (ok, probably not).

For the next 3 years, the automaker will be under the watchful eye of Former Deputy U.S. Attorney General Larry D. Thompson and his team of experts in corporate monitoring.

Touareg Tongue Twister Recall

Volkswagen is recalling 21,000 SUVs because failing fuel filter flanges are causing fires. Yikes, and I thought Touareg was hard to say. From CarComplaints.com:

Investigators found that with time, oxidization can … allow the components to intrude into the fuel filter flange material under pressure from the inside. In addition to the pressure, tension can cause the formation of small cracks where the fuel will eventually leak.

Owners will either be given new fuel filter flanges or protective covers.

Volkswagen HQ Raided in Fraud Investigation

Volkswagen’s German headquarters have been raided by German authorities in an ongoing fraud investigation over the diesel emissions scandal. Audi’s HQ was also searched.

VW’s executives have had a …ahemhazy memory when it comes to details on when they first learned about the “defeat device” installed in their diesel cars. U.S. prosecutors think they knew about the emissions scheme for nearly a decade, and the raid was in search of evidence to prove it.

One executive has already been arrested, and five others indicted.

VW Guilty Plea Waiting on Settlement Approval

VW is a felon in the United States. The automotive giant plead guilty to 3 felonies related to their diesel emissions case, but that’s not the end of the story. As AutoNews.com reports, District Judge Sean Cox still wants more time to consider the settlement details:

[the] judge said at the end of an 70 minute hearing that he wanted more time to consider the settlement’s $4.3 billion in fines and other actions given the “serious nature” of the crimes.

VW agreed to pay $4.3 billion in civil and criminal fines, but is it enough? Personally, I’m holding out hope for executive jail cells where the air is partially filtered through the tailpipe of a “clean diesel” VW TDI.

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