1. The 2018 Atlas has been recalled because a twisted A/C evaporator tube can drain water onto the floor of the SUV’s cabin.

    Not only are wet carpets stinky, but they can also damage fragile electrical components underneath. You know, like the mini computer that controls your airbags and whatnot.

    Volkswagen first checked into the problem in August 2017 after complaints about wet carpets, illuminated airbag warning lights and deactivated airbag control units. VW didn't see it as relevant to safety and issued a service campaign.

    10 months after sweeping the problem under the (soggy) rug, a control unit fizzled out and inadvertently deployed an airbag in a 2018 Atlas. Luckily no-one was hurt.

    It’s almost as if those WARNING lights were trying to tell VW something a year ago.

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  2. It appears Volkswagen is close to settling 7 lawsuits regarding defective timing chains and the threat of engine damage.

    The proposed settlement includes all consumers who purchased or leased certain 2008-2014 Audi and Volkswagen vehicles that will be determined by the vehicle identification numbers (VINs).

    According to the terms, reimbursement amounts will be determined based on the age of the vehicle, how many miles are on the odometer and if the timing chain tensioner, timing chain or engine was replaced."

    Reimbursement amounts are highly favoriable to owners who get work done at an authorized VW dealership. Our advice – if something goes wrong with your timing chain or tensioner and you're covered under this settlement, skip your local mechanic and go to an authorized dealer.

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  3. A new group of diesel owners are seeking “clean diesel” compensation from Volkswagen.

    The owners had not been covered by previous diesel settlements because they had sold or traded in the cars before dieselgate became public knowledge. From CarComplaints.com:

    Volkswagen told the judge those former owners and lessees are attempting to pry money out of the automaker's pockets even though the former owners didn't lose anything. When they sold or traded their diesel vehicles, or ended the lease agreements, the transactions occurred before the emissions scandal was known.

    The lawsuit boils down to economic harm. VW says the cars were sold at a value determined before anyone knew they spewed 40x the legal limit of NOx emissions, so dieselgate had no affect. The owners say they paid a premium for an eco-friendly car and should be compensated accordingly.

    Now a judge will decide if this case is a money grab.

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  4. 58 of VW's 2018 Atlas SUVs have been recalled before the calendar even flipped over to the new year.

    VW says the tanks were built with walls that aren't think enough, so the tanks will need to be replaced.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of gas tanks that were too thin to, well … hold gas.

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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.

    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.

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  7. 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.

    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.

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  8. 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.

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  9. 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.

    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."

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