VW re­call­ing 281,000 cars in US due to de­fect

The Korea Times - - WORLD BUSINESS -

WASH­ING­TON (AFP) — The U.S. branch of em­bat­tled Ger­man car­maker Volk­swa­gen an­nounced Tues­day it was re­call­ing 281,000 ve­hi­cles to fix a faulty fuel pump in an­other blow to the com­pany’s im­age.

While the num­ber is far smaller than the 11 mil­lion cars world­wide re­called in the “diesel­gate” emis­sions cheat­ing scan­dal, in­clud­ing about 600,000 ve­hi­cles in the United States, news of an­other prob­lem comes as the com­pany is try­ing to re­store its im­age with cus­tomers.

The com­pany in­formed U.S. reg­u­la­tors that it is re­call­ing 2009-2016 CC lux­ury sedans, and 2006-2010 Pas­sat and Pas­sat Wagons due to prob­lems with the fuel pump. “In­ter­rup­tion of elec­tri­cal power to the fuel pump con­trol mod­ule may cause the fuel pump to fail... If the fuel pump fails, the en­gine will stall, in­creas­ing the risk of a crash,” the com­pany said in a letter to the Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NHTSA).

A VW spokesman told AFP there were “no in­juries or ac­ci­dents that we know of” as a re­sult of the de­fec­tive part. The com­pany does not have an es­ti­mate of the cost of re­plac­ing them.

The com­pany said it will re­place the de­fec­tive fuel pumps at no cost. How­ever, the new parts — from a dif­fer­ent sup­plier than the orig­i­nal — are “cur­rently un­avail­able.”

The car­maker ap­par­ently be­came aware of the latest de­fect af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties launched in April 2016 prompted a re­call in that coun­try ear­lier this month.

VW is still try­ing to re­cover from the con­tro­versy af­ter it ad­mit­ted in 2015 to equip­ping its diesel cars with de­feat de­vices to evade emis­sions tests. The ve­hi­cles were mar­keted as clean but in fact spewed as much as 30 times the per­mis­si­ble lim­its of ni­tro­gen ox­ide, an air pol­lu­tant, dur­ing nor­mal driv­ing.

The com­pany pleaded guilty in March to charges stem­ming from “diesel­gate” and agreed to pay $4.3 bil­lion in penal­ties — on top of $17.5 bil­lion in civil set­tle­ments. Volk­swa­gen still faces le­gal chal­lenges in Ger­many and world­wide, and has so far set aside more than 22 bil­lion euros ($24.4 bil­lion) to cover costs.

Ex­perts es­ti­mate the fi­nal bill from the scan­dal could be even higher.

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