Volkswagen of America has ordered its dealers in the United States to stop sales of newer cars fitted with an automatic gearbox and its most common engine, the 1.8-liter EA888, saying that there is risk of a leak in the transmission oil cooler. The stop-sale order, sent to dealers and obtained by Automotive News, applies to cars build after Feb. 1.
According to VW spokesman Scott Vazin, the issue came to light when a supplier modified the specifications of an O-ring that links the transmission oil cooler to the transmission. He said that VW noticed the leak at the port of entry and moved to issue the stop-sale order.
While the carmaker has not issued a safety recall, it is holding discussions with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on how to handle cars that were already in customers’ hands. VAzin said that in extreme cases, the issue could result to a fire.
VW commenced producing the turbocharged four-cylinder 1.8-liter EA888 at its Silao site in Mexico in 2013 with aim of increasing US sales through improved fuel economy. The EA888 was the base engine in the VW Passat sedan and Beetle starting model year 2014, and was available in the VW Jetta sedan.
Vazin said that around 25,000 cars are affected by the stop-sale order. According to the memo, “a follow-up communication will be released to dealers as soon as possible," and that the needed parts will be available within the next week. [source: automotive news - sub. required]