VW Goofed on Some Diesel Fixes, FTC Warns Owners to Slow Down

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Forbes.com

November 7, 2018

By Christopher Jensen

Volkswagen goofed on the emissions fix for its outlaw 2.0 liter diesel engines in its 2012-14 Passat models, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday. And until the automaker can correct the software, here’s what the FTC recommends: Don’t drive more than 80 miles per hour.

Otherwise, when the vehicle is turned off it may not start again, the agency in a statement.

Mark Clothier, a Volkswagen spokesman, said the issue affects about 10,000 vehicles.

“The situation that triggers this is limited to extended driving at speeds over 80 mph, which will trigger a check-engine light. There is nothing that impacts the safety of their car as a result from this,” he said in an email.

But when asked about “extended driving,” Clothier admitted the FTC was correct that it only takes 15 minutes driving at more than 80 mph.

“Passats with the modification may not inject enough diesel exhaust fluid. The 15-minute period doesn’t have to be continuous and may add up over multiple trips,” the agency said in its statement.

“If you continue to drive at that speed, your dashboard warning light may come on, letting you know your emission system is malfunctioning. Later you may hear a warning chime. At some point, once you stop your car, it might not restart.

“If the warning light comes on, visit your Volkswagen dealer as soon as possible. VW will turn the light off for free. Until you visit the dealer, don’t drive over 80 miles per hour.”

The agency said Volkswagen informed it the problem only affects the Passats with the two-liter diesel and automaker is working on a fix. Owners will be notified when it is available.

The issue goes back to 2016 when the automaker was sued by several federal agencies over installing devices to defeat emissions control systems. It promised a remedy or to buy back the affected vehicles.

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