Volkswagen is recalling a total of 281,505 cars in the United States for three separate fuel-leakage problems, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The first involves 2015–2016 Golf, Golf SportWagen, and GTI models sold in states requiring partial zero emission vehicle (PZEV) modifications, along with front-wheel-drive 1.8T versions of the 2015–2016 Audi A3, for faulty evaporative-emission systems. Rubber seals within suction pumps inside the gas tank were “assembled with too much tension” and can allow gas to collect within the evaporative-emission components instead of being pumped out, according to Volkswagen. This can flood the charcoal filter and lead to a continuous gasoline smell within the car, gas-station nozzles stopping prematurely due to fuel splashing back, or a fuel leak.
Volkswagen first discovered the problem in July 2015 and made the supplier revise its assembly methods in November. However, as more owners reported leaks and gas odors, the company eventually decided to recall the vehicles. A total of 110,042 cars are affected, none of which include diesel TDI models. Dealers will replace the suction pump at a later date when parts become available.
On 2007–2012 Audi Q7 and 2009–2012 Audi Q5 models, part of the fuel filler flange can crack and leak fuel onto the ground. While Audi has not found the root cause of the cracks since it began investigating in July 2015, the company will have dealers install rubber bands around the flange to protect the fuel pump and replace any damaged flanges. A total of 143,214 cars are affected. No diesel TDI models are included. Interim letters will be mailed in November before parts become available.
Lastly, the 2012–2013 Audi A6 and A7 have fuel-pump hoses under the hood that can leak for unknown reasons. Audi first discovered the problem after receiving warranty claims for fuel leaks in November 2015. It had made a separate change in May 2012 that decreased the fuel pressure within the hose, which reduced any leakage issues. A total of 28,249 cars are affected. Audi dealers do not have any timetable on when they will be able to replace the fuel pump and hose.
UPDATE 5/15/2017: Volkswagen is recalling an additional 291,984 cars in the U.S. to replace or repair fuel-filler flanges. The 2013–2017 Audi Q7 and Audi Q5 are now included along with the 2015–2017 Porsche Macan. Volkswagen said it still has not identified the root cause but found “outside contamination by a liquid material corroding the structure of the flange.” Dealers will line the flanges with a protective film and replace any cracked flanges starting in July.