• Jun 11, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery of the Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen is recalling 4,000 2008 Passats and 2009 Tiguans for an "engine surging" issue. The problem is an engine control module that may not control engine idle when the air conditioning is turned on. In rare cases, the ECM can trigger an unexpected jump in engine RPM, which could obviously lead to an accident. NHTSA has informed VW that since the recall is a safety concern, dealers cannot sell the vehicles until the problem has been fixed. Owners of potentially affected vehicles are being told not to operate the air conditioning until a VW dealer has serviced the ECM, which is less than terrific news considering it's June and temperatures are around 90 degrees in many parts of the country. While it's disheartening that the brand new Tiguan is already getting its first recall, at least the problem was discovered early and there's a fix readily available.


[Source: Inside Line]



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  • 46 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh, I was testing this car 2 weeks ago and I didn't decide yet!! sure thing I will wait until I hear further notice!
      Jeanne
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ok, gonna try this again. It's rough when you launch a new platform, and it's got a recall right out of the chute. Electronics are a very touchy component, and the problem could have occured at the original electronic manufacturing facility, wherever in the world that is, in transit from that facility. It could be in the wiring harness...again a fault of THAT supplier, a bad clip...one of hundreds of little things that are transparent to the average consumer, who has never been a part of the maddening world of auto manufacturing.

      As a retiree, who spent 30 years of my life, in a wide range of job classifications, for one of the American automotive corporations, I can certainly sympathize with VW's "awwwww shoot," syndrome at this stage of the game. Any auto manufacturer, in this day and age, is at the mercy of their suppliers, be they American, Canadian, Japanese, German, Italian, South American. So many of the thousands of components that go into a finished vehicle come from around the globe, China, India, Thiland, England, South America, Mexico, Poland, just to name a few. It's a miracle that they all go together somehow, and make the finished product. Engineering functions are in one country, component manufacturing is in another country, body part manufacturing in yet another country, and final assembly in another country. Is it any wonder that there may be some problems with the start up of a brand new product, when you stop and realize the magnitude of the coordinated effort it takes to get that vehicle to the parking lot of your favorite dealership?
      Ratpatrol
      • 6 Years Ago
      Vatt???? Not anozer vecall!! Mein Gott!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      hey, tell me tha last time VW launched any vehicle without having multiple recals in the first few months.

      umm, How about the 1998 Passat? Most reliable first year model if I remember correctly.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I thought Engine sludge in the 1.8 T's was notorious in that series of Passat's. It was a large focus of that "VW Heal Thyself" article that brought so much Ire a while back.
        • 6 Years Ago
        unsurprising. this is vw, after all. still, it's disappointing. the sort of thing that can make owners feel bitten in the ass.

        "umm, How about the 1998 Passat? Most reliable first year model if I remember correctly."

        dude, that was 10 years ago. and how was reliability the second, third, and subsequent years?
        • 6 Years Ago
        That was a great article.

        The part about the mechanic opening the engine and realizing it had 3x as many moving parts as it needed is the part that hits home the most. This seems to be true of nearly any system on a German car. It's more complex than it needs to be and thus is more likely to fail and costs more to fix (let alone produce in the first place) than it needs to.
      carman493
      • 6 Years Ago
      americans build great cars, but their driving dynamics and creature comforts don't compare with those from germany and japan. the japanese for the most part have the fewest recalls and the product that is long lasting and solid. the germans, even with some of their less reliable brands, still build a machine that the americans can't match. the only american company even trying to come close is cadillac. I think in the near future, american automakers will step up some of their technology and driving dynamics to appeal to those buyers. for now, many of us will continue to flock to the foreign brands for many of our automotive purchases.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah? And? I am never surprised to learn the VW and Audi struggle to deliver even pitiful reliability
      Uncla Al
      • 6 Years Ago
      I smell........... lawsuits!
      • 6 Years Ago
      "In rare cases, the ECM can trigger an unexpected jump in engine RPM..."

      Anyone wanna take bets on how long it takes people that experience this to start throwing around words like "unintended acceleration"? *eyeroll*
        • 6 Years Ago
        Um... a long litany about an electrical gremlin in an old German car doesn't make me recognize some heightened level of driver responsibility.

        It confirms my suspicions think that German cars have over complex electrical crap that causes really annoying/scary things like engine surges.

        It would be lovely if people paid enough attention to their cars to be able to handle sudden unpredictable things like engine surges caused by faulty ECU programming or failing overvoltage relays... but at the same time it's preferable that engines don't surge at all.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They'd have more credit than most... considering that the car would actually accelerate when the driver did not intend for it to do so.

        And if VW confirms it's a problem with the ECU. It can't be driver error due to the gas and brake being too close, can it?
        • 6 Years Ago
        This guy epilonious probably doesn't even have a car. All he does is bash Volkswagen all day long on Autoblog.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Still the driver's fault if they get into an accident. I've had a similar experience with one of my old Mercedes. Numerous models over the years (though the one in question was an '86 560SEL) have had what Mercedes calls overload or overvoltage protection relays. One of the failure modes for these relays causes intermittent, random surging at idle (eventually leading to a permanently elevated idle, until the relay is replaced). This surging can be pretty severe-up to 1500 or 2000rpms from a stock idle speed of about 600.

        Never once did I have a situation where the car accelerated without me knowing about it or being in control of it. Ever. Despite the surging.

        The only way something like this could lead to an accident is if the person behind the wheel wasn't paying due care and attention to operating their vehicle (e.g. they had their foot off the brake at a stoplight, they panicked when it surged and put the car in drive instead of reverse and bumped their garage wall, etc.), or is very old or EXTREMELY petite and thus doesn't have sufficient strength to say, uh, hold the car on the brakes long enough to stick it in neutral and shut it off.

        Do I think this is an acceptable failure, particularly on virtually brand new vehicles? No; and, in fact, I find it somewhat amusing because I do hate VWs.

        That being said, any loss of control, in any car, that cannot be ascribed to a failure of the tires, the suspension, the steering, or the braking system to operate as designed is ALWAYS the driver's fault. Always. They either got themselves into a situation they couldn't handle (such as overcooking it into a corner in an older 911), or they're incapable-be it due to a lack of physical strength, a lack of mental acuity, a panic response that amounts to curling into a ball and examining their navel for accumulated lint, being clueless as to how to actually drive and control a motor vehicle, having a reaction time best measured with a sundial, or whatever-of dealing with an unanticipated situation, such as an engine revving unexpectedly, in an appropriate fashion. As far as I'm concerned, based on what I've read here of the problem, anyone that has an accident due to this failure should be restricted to bicycles, and ones with training wheels at that.
      Hottest Farces
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sounds like something that would happen to a Ford. The Tiguan must have been made in America by ex-Ford employees.
      • 6 Years Ago
      so many 'i hate vw' posts, yet no one addressed why the number is so low.

      4000? Sales that bad, or is it with a specific engine (higher end), since most are the 2.0T? You'd think that they would have sold more that that many 2008 MY passats stateside.

      Usually you hear tens to hundreds of thousands.

      Anyone? I'm too lazy too search for the NHTSA info.
      wait...motivating.
      2.0-liter FSI ULVEV II engine
      so...California?
      • 6 Years Ago
      VW still hasnt shaken their air cooled heritage.Every (water cooled)vehicle they have brought forth since the early 70s (Rabbit,Scirocco,Golf,H2O Vanagon,Eurovan,Quantum,Dasher,Fox,Corrado,Passat)has had massive recalls/problems,and fixing them years later will drain your wallet.VW still hasnt gotten the "Bugs" out of their operation.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe it's just turbo lag.

      *rim shot*
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