VW recalls 168,000 cars for fuel leaks

Volkswagen of America is recalling 168,000 2009-2012 diesel vehicles over concerns fuel injector leaks could start an engine fire.

The German automaker said in a notice posted Thursday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website it is calling back its 2009-2012 Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Golf and Audi A3 that have its 2.0 TDI diesel engine. The recall includes 161,144 VWs and 7,131 Audi vehicles. No fires, crashes or injuries have been reported.

VW said about 20 percent of vehicles recalled have fuel injection lines with potentially faulty material. The automaker said one supplier used a faulty part in assembling fuel injectors — and the failures only related to one of four injector lines. The company began investigating the issue in March 2010 after a warranty return of a single report of fuel leaks. The company didn't discover a cause, but as additional fuel leaks were reported, it notified its parent company in Germany, VW AG, about the issue in February of this year.

VW plans to notify dealers and owners next month.

In February, NHTSA upgraded an investigation into 2009-2010 diesel VW Jetta, Golf and Audi A3 models to an engineering analysis after it received 160 complaints and field reports alleging incidents of engine stall and/or loss of power that appear to be related to high pressure fuel pump failures. Approximately half of the reports indicate that the failure resulted in an engine stall incident, with many of these alleging stall incidents at highway speeds in traffic with no restart. There has been one minor crash alleged to have resulted from failure in the vehicles. VW has said it believes the problem is gasoline contaminated diesel fuel — consumers using the wrong fuel.

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