Volkswagen will refit over a quarter million diesel cars – covering 2009-20012 model years -- with misfueling guard and fuel filler neck cap to prevent North American customers from mistakenly pumping gasoline into their fuel tanks. VW’s service action involves 209,500 cars in the United States and 51,600 in Canada.
Affected units are the TDI versions of the 2009-2012 Jetta, 2010-2012 Golf and 2009-2012 Jetta SportWagen, which is known as Golf Wagon in Canada. The carmaker sent a notice to VW dealers last week, saying that it will start notifying customers of the service campaign on May 28, 2013.
Automotive News managed to obtain a copy of the notice, which says that as diesel engine passenger vehicles become more popular, there is also an increase in the number of misfueling cases, in which diesel engine units are mistakenly filled with gasoline. The notice continues that the resulting fuel system contamination could result to costly repairs not covered by warranty.
VW will pay for authorized dealers to add the misfueling guard and fuel filler neck cap to affected vehicles. Starting with 2013 models, VW redesigned its fuel fillers to accept only diesel nozzles, which are now larger than gasoline nozzles.
As a result, the fuel tank gate will stay closed if a driver tries to gasoline nozzle instead of a diesel nozzle. VW has been a strong proponent of diesel-fueled models in the US.
Online message boards indicate that improper fueling has become an occasional source of tension between VW and vehicle owners, since fueling a TDI model with gasoline voids its warranty. According to VW spokesman Tony Cervone, the problem roots from the unfamiliarity of American consumers with diesel fuel.