By on October 30, 2020

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.

[Image: VW]


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21 Comments on “Volkswagen Recalling 218,000 Jettas Over Fuel Leak Risk...”

  • avatar

    The Germans are the only good looking, easy on the eyes cars left on the planet. Too bad they’re German.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Agreed. But I wonder if its worth going with a Jetta GLI with six-speed manual anyway. The disappointment I feel with most other vehicles that I can afford might be greater than any maintenance/repair aggravation/expense with the VW. And the Jetta is fun to drive to boot.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, Jettas are technically Mexican, but in any case, I had a ’17 Jetta for a three-year lease, and it was just about perfect reliability wise.

      I think the “VWs are unreliable” rap is getting less and less warranted as time goes on.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I don’t know of much that isn’t reliable for 3 years though (this is why certain cars I drive are lease only affairs).

      • 0 avatar

        It’s not that VWs are “unreliable” necessarily except unscheduled service like window regulators, blower motors and electrical gremlins can drive you insane. Parts and labor kill your wallet like it’s a Porsche.

        And don’t be surprised if your normal mechanic won’t work on VWs (or any German cars).

        • 0 avatar

          Yeah, that was all like what, circa 2008 and before? Time have changed.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Please. You are talking about a group of people many of whom won’t even look at domestics because before they were born their grandmother had a GM X body and it was really bad.

          • 0 avatar

            Sorry, Art…my one foray into Cadillac ownership left me more repair bills for less mileage than any other car in my driveway. Anecdote, yes, but my fingers are still burnt, shame too, cause the design and drive of the Caddy was world class.

        • 0 avatar

          My ’19 Golf R has been perfect, as was the ’16 R I put 50k miles on before this one. VW reliability is far better than it was 10-15 years ago (and beyond).

          Window regulators haven’t been garbage since the Mk4.

    • 0 avatar

      “The Germans”

      Ze Germans. Dr.Z remember? Deutsche Autos sind die besten der Welt.

  • avatar

    ID.4 is looking better by the day.

    • 0 avatar

      Unsubstantiated rumors indicate that the Chinese have hacked VW’s computer systems, and will soon be flooding the market with fake IDs.

    • 0 avatar

      The fuel rail pressure is *only* around 60 psi, and gasoline isn’t *too* terribly flammable, and only *some* people park in the garage, and only *some* garages contain a natural-gas-fired water heater, and by (updated) code the water heater *should* be on a pedestal so the fuel vapors settle below the open flame, so hey we will *probably* be ok let’s wait several weeks before notifying owners. What could possibly go wrong?

      (Did you hear the one about the family that was homeless at the end of 2020 because the Jetta burned their house to the ground? Yeah you’re right, it’s not very funny.)

      Modern small-displacement direct-injection engine technology is amazing.

      • 0 avatar

        Did I say “around 60 psi”? Make that “on the order of 2,000 psi” (this would make a great science fair experiment).

      • 0 avatar

        It makes for an impressive “leak”. I would describe it as your average Rainbird lawn sprinkler under the hood. I am very fortunate that there was no spark in the time that it took me to pull over with a sputtering 2017 Jetta and open the hood. Had a stream of gas running down the gutter in the time that it took me to jump in and turn off the key. The intake was pealed back to reveal fuel rail bolts laying loose, fuel rail completely separated. That was on October 23rd. The Jetta has been in the hands of Billings Volkswagen since November 11th. VW wants me to resume driving the car with make shift repairs that I must pay for. They will not fix this manufacturer defect until the recall notice is received by me via snail mail. Oh, and they will not take it in trade because it is too dangerous for someone else to drive. But I am supposed to pay them, drive the car and bring it back in 6 months or so.

  • avatar

    Did this effect Corey’s Jetta? If so should good for a few articles when he returns for mistakes thr dealership made.

  • avatar

    Still don’t trust VW. The 1.5l replacement for the 1.4 over in Europe has been out for while, and it is not good. Here’s just one article:

    It’s just as well VW tries out its experiments at home, where unflagging faith in German products still somehow continues. Now we find out they can’t even screw the old 1.4 together properly, literally. Keep your nose in shape and smell that fuel leakage! Infotainment crap galore to order toilet paper on the interwet, spy on you, add general uselessness that has nothing to do with driving, but hey, no sensor for fuel leakage. You’re on your own!

  • avatar

    So far, my ace of base Jetta S has turned 40k miles. No issues, and the base 2017 has the IRS, not beam axle, which was lost with the new MQB base car. The 1.4 is an excellent engine for the output-super low NVH, and 35 mpg all day. Once I’m out of powertrain warranty (50k) it’s getting a tune, 147 hp > 180 hp. The only thing I needed to do was replace the abysmal hard plastic Bridgstone Ecotopias with Cont DWS 06 on the OE steelies (you can go 225/50 with the same height as OE and you don’t fear potholes) and now the car sticks like a VW should. I kept an M54 powered BMW on the road for 300k plus miles, so I get German cranky-ness and all the overengineered c#ap that breaks….but this particular Mexi-Jetta appears solid and hasn’t taken anything not “by the book” so far. When things wear out I’ll upgrade suspension bits but so far, no issues. I’ve had a bunch of VW’s but when this came off lease the entire fam told me “we LOVE Blue” so I had to buy it. The 5 speed is a bonus.

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