Volkswagen AG issued a recall notice on Saturday for more than 189,000 Tiguan compact SUVs sold in the U.S. and Canada to fix an engine stalling problem. The recall follows by one day the recall of more than 18,000 Routan minivans to fix — wait for it — a defective ignition switch.
The larger recall is related to a problem that affects all model year 2009 to 2014 Tiguan SUVs that have been sold. According to VW, it is possible for gas bubbles to form in the fuel system when winterized fuel is used in warm-weather states or when ambient temperatures are higher. Bubbles could form that would block the fuel line, causing the engine to stall. The recall notice does not indicate if any complaints or crashes were reported.
In the other recall, the ignition switch in the Routan minivans may be inadvertently moved from the Run position to the Accessory position while the vehicle is being driven. If that happens, the minivan’s engine and passive restraint systems, including the vehicle’s airbags, to shut off. Routan minivans built in model years 2009 and 2010 are affected by this recall. VW had previously recalled about 13,000 vehicles to fix this problem.
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has recalled some 5 million vehicles for a similar problem with ignition switches and Chrysler Group LLC has recalled nearly 700,000 vehicles for the same thing.
Volkswagen appears to be following the pattern that GM followed for years: keep the recall numbers to a minimum and hope for the best. That worked out real well for GM.