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VW Accused of Underreporting Safety Issues

German maker has had oddly low number of safety problems.

by on Oct.12, 2015

VW may have cheated on reporting crash data to the government, as well, warns study.

(This story has been revised to include a new comment by VW and includes charts examining the EWR data of 11 major automakers.)

Even as Volkswagen struggles to deal with its diesel emissions scandal, new data raise questions about whether the automaker has properly reported death and injury claims to U.S. regulators over the past decade.

A study by the financial advisory firm Stout Risius Ross Inc, found that Volkswagen of America reported nine times fewer deaths and injuries than the average of the 11 largest automakers operating in the U.S. market. Significantly, VW reported less than half as many incidents as either Fiat Chrysler or Honda, both of which have been fined for underreporting their own death and injury data.

In the Know!

The Volkswagen figures stand in sharp contrast to the results of an earlier study of U.S. highway death data for 2010 to 2013 conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It found VW’s fatality rate was about average on a sales-weighted basis.

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VW Orders Stop-Sale of 25,000 Vehicles

Faulty engine seal catches the blame.

by on Apr.10, 2014

The VW Beetle is one of three models impacted by the stop-sale, along with the Jetta and Passat.

In the wake of the GM ignition switch recall debacle – never mind the $1.2 billion fine levied against Toyota last month – automakers seem to be suffering from the safety defect jitters, racing to react to seemingly every possible problem before anyone has a chance of accusing them of a cover-up.

Less than a day after Toyota announced another recall covering 6.4 million vehicles, VW revealed it was telling dealers to temporarily halt sales of 25,000 of its 2014 Passat, Beetle and Jetta models.

Playing it Safe!

The move covers only those vehicles equipped with the maker’s turbocharged 1.8-liter gas engine and appears to be the result of a faulty seal.

“We have asked our dealers to immediately stop the sale of any affected vehicles,” Volkswagen of America said in a statement. “We will officially notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as soon as possible and will be in contact with (affected) customers.”

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VW Halts Diesel Sales, Recalls 170,000 TDIs

Problem with potential fuel line leak.

by on Oct.06, 2011

The Audi A3 - named 2010 Green Car of the Year - faces recall due to the fuel line defect. Audi CEO Johan de Nysschen is shown accepting the award.

Volkswagen Group of America has taken the unusual step of ordering a stop sale on its imported diesel car line-up due to a problem with a high-pressure fuel line that can come loose and potential cause a fire.

The move impacts a variety of models including the Jetta TDI and Audi A3 TDI produced from May 2009 until a month ago when the defect was discovered.  The maker will need make repairs on vehicles now on dealer lots.  Meanwhile, it plans to issue a recall for those cars already in owner hands, a move that will affect about 160,000 Volkswagen vehicles and another 7,000 Audis.

Stay in the Loop!

The recall is a potential black eye for a company that has put significant emphasis on its diesel technology as a way to differentiate itself from the competition.  Demand for the high-mileage powertrains has been strong and growing – reaching 30% with some Volkswagen models, according to company data.

VW has also been struggling to shed an image of poor quality.  It has lagged in many consumer studies over the past decade but has more recently begun to bring its quality problems under control.  Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, has listed quality as perhaps the single biggest issue VW must deal with if it hopes to meet a goal of doubling sales by 2018.

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