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Volkswagen

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced a recall of about 1.2 million Audi AG vehicles worldwide because of a problem with the electric coolant pumps. The issue can lead to overheating and may present burn hazards.

Volkswagen Recalls Audis Because of Electric Coolant Pump Issues

The Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., informed NHTSA of the recall in April 2018. The company is recalling certain Audi vehicles that are equipped with 2.0-liter Turbo FSI engines. The recalled vehicles include:

  • 2013-2017 Audi A5 Cabriolet
  • 2013-2017 Audi A5 Sedan
  • 2013-2017 Audi Q5
  • 2012-2015 Audi A6
  • 2013-2016 Audi A4 Sedan and A4 allroad

All of these vehicles have an electric coolant pump that can either become blocked with debris from the cooling system, causing it to overheat, or can short-circuit from moisture within the pump. A blocked pump or short-circuited pump can increase the risk of an engine fire, presenting burn hazards to the driver and occupants in the vehicle. So far there have been no reports of fires or injuries.

Unfortunately, the replacement products are not yet available. Volkswagen plans to notify owners and dealers about the issue with an initial notification beginning on June 11, 2018. They will then send a second notification once the parts become available, which is believed to be sometime in November 2018.

Fortune magazine reports that dealers will replace the faulty coolant pumps with a new version of the same pump until the redesigned pumps are ready. Consumers with questions can call 888-237-2834. They can also check their VINs on the Audi website.

Audi Recalled These Vehicles Once Before

These same vehicles were recalled in January 2017 for a coolant pump software update. This update was supposed to shut off the coolant pump if it started overheating. The company initiated this recall after receiving reports of “smoldering” during 2015 and 2016. The updates didn’t fix the problem, though. The overheating issues persisted, so Volkswagen is now offering consumers a replacement pump at no cost.

It wasn’t until March 2018 that Audi determined that it needed to actually replace the coolant pumps. The new pumps have a pressure compensation element to help prevent moisture accumulation.

Audi announced another recall in May 2018. This recall affects about 60,000 vehicles, but no vehicles, according to the company, which were sold in the U.S. An internal review showed abnormalities in the engine-management software for A6 and A7 models with V-6 diesel motors. Bloomberg notes that the issue “raises questions about Audi’s handling of emission regularities” particularly considering Volkswagen’s emissions scandal that was uncovered in 2015.

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