With so many automotive issues being “solved” with a software update and a wink of late, its nice to see a recall that harks back to the days where someone forgot to tighten a few bolts or had a delivery truck pull up to the factory with sub-optimal fasteners. According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Volkswagen has found itself in just such a pickle and will need to recall 218,192 Jetta sedans from the 2016-2018 model years.
The problem? Improperly torqued fuel rail bolts. The solution? Obvious.
Volkswagen explained in documents posted by the NHTSA on Wednesday that bolts responsible for holding down the high-pressure tubing can loosen over time, causing a fuel leak and potential fire hazard. Owners should be on the lookout for fuel seeping from beneath the engine compartment and on the smellout for the pleasant (but potentially dangerous) aroma of gasoline. VW is asking customers noticing either to contact their local dealer immediately and we’re advising against driving an automobile that seeping fuel.
While the Star Tribune initially reported that the manufacturer had no solution for the problem at the ready, it informed us on Friday that it would be having affected models brought in for inspection. However it looks as though every single unit will be getting new, properly torqued bolts. Volkswagen doesn’t want to take any risks and believes every one of the 218,000+ Jettas could be affected — though it did say it wasn’t aware of any fires or accidents stemming from the issue.
Problem vehicles should all have 1.4-liter motors but those who want to be doubly cautious can go to the NHTSA’s website and input their Vehicle Identification Number. Alternatively, customers can use the U.S. regulator’s campaign number (20V648) or dial Volkswagen’s customer service hotline at 1-888-241-2289 and use recall code 24GI. The recall is expected to begin in earnest on December 20th, with the manufacturer reaching out to customers directly.