Volkswagen Group of America has agreed to recall more than 48,000 Audi A6 and A7 vehicles sold in the United States and more than 3,500 sold in Canada for model years 2012 through 2014. Owners will be notified beginning February 5.
According to the U.S. National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), the fuel line in these models was designed with a compression point that makes installation easier. Over time, however, this fuel line may weaken and leak at the compression point as a result of manufacturing tolerance issues.
The first complaint was lodged in mid-2013 and a laboratory analysis was completed on 11 vehicles in October of this year with none of the cars showing damage. The company did not pinpoint the problem until the end of November, at which time it decided to conduct a recall.
No crashes or fires resulting from the defective fuel lines have been reported and the recall covers only models built from March 2011 through mid-September 2013. Audi said it is not aware of any similar fuel-line incidents or field reports on vehicles manufactured after that date. Later vehicles have a redesigned fuel line that is not subject to this recall.
In July Audi launched a recall of up to 850,000 diesel-powered vehicles to update software emissions controls in an effort to avoid having the cars banned from roads in Europe and other countries outside the United States and Canada. Volkswagen has agreed to pay more than $20 billion in U.S. civil and criminal penalties for installing emissions control systems in its diesel-powered vehicles that cheated when engine emissions tests were run.