• Jan 31, 2011
2010 Volkswagen New Beetle – Click above for high-res image gallery

Government safety regulations are put in place to, you know, actually keep us safer. But sometimes, it seems the loopholes are big enough to drive a truck through. Okay, maybe not a truck, but definitely a Volkswagen New Beetle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that the certain examples of the aging Volkswagen Bug (both the coupe and convertible) manufactured in September 2010 failed to meet new Federal crash test requirements that went into effect that month. Reasonable enough, we suppose, as the regulations are there for a reason.

The fix? To replace the non-compliant vehicles with ones manufactured before September 1, 2010. In other words, the replacement cars still won't meet the new safety regulations, but didn't have to at the time of their manufacture because the rules had yet to come into force. Seriously.

The end result may not make occupants of the 27 affected units any safer, but at least they'll be on the right side of the red tape. Follow the jump for the full recall notice.



[Source: NHTSA]

Show full PR text

Report Date : January 30, 2011 at 04:00 AM
NHTSA Campaign ID number : 11V031000

Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
VOLKSWAGEN / NEW BEETLE 2010
VOLKSWAGEN / NEW BEETLE CONVERTIBLE 2010

Manufacturer: VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC

Mfr's Report Date: JAN 21, 2011
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V031000
N/A
NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: SEATS
Potential Number of Units Affected: 27

Summary:
VOLKSWAGEN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2010 NEW BEETLE AND NEW BEETLE CONVERTIBLE MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2010, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 22, 2010, FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE BARRIER TEST REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLES SAFETY STANDARDS NO. 208, "OCCUPANT CRASH PROTECTION," THAT WENT INTO EFFECT ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2010.

Consequence:
THE VEHICLES DO NOT MEET WITH REQUIREMENTS THAT WENT INTO EFFECT ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2010, AND THEREFORE MAY NOT OFFER THE PROTECTION ATTENDANT TO THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

Remedy:
DEALERS WILL OFFER TO REPLACE THEIR VEHICLE WITH A COMPARABLE VEHICLE THAT WAS PRODUCED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 1, 2010, COMPLIANT WITH FMVSS 208 REQUIREMENTS. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR BEFORE FEBRUARY 1, 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.

Notes:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds like an actionable situation...get your money back rather than a new beetle mfr'd before Sept.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Generally that is how recalls of this type are done. I've never seen one that required that the consumer take a replacement vehicle. Most give the option, or in some cases the manufacturer will just refund all of your money, with no offset for use as long as there's no damage beyond normal wear and tear.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think I need to know a little more about the recall process. This seems like a cop out to me. Something along the lines of:
      NHTSA: Your car didn't meet the safety requirements for Sept.
      VW: What if we replaced the cars with older cars that meet the date?
      NHTSA: Technically that would full fill your requirement to fix the problem...
      VW: Fine we'll do that.
      NHTSA: That's not what we meant.
      VW: Too bad we found the loop hole, deal with it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ahhh but the Government always get's the last word!

        VW: "Too bad we found the loop hole, deal with it"
        NHSTA: "Very well. Please, I'd like to introduce you to Toyota."
        VW: "uh oh - there goes our plans for #1 and global domination"

        Really...did VW miss that Government regulation? Clearly someone at VW in Mexico was asleep at the wheel or an ESL. VW had better bend over for these customers with long-term loaners and "new" Beatles when they arrive. Although...on second thought, these customer's bought a VW Beatle so they probably really don't care about the poor quality build of Mexico so would be happy with any ol' beater of a Beatle.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ah, gov't intelligence in all its glory. Too bad Dodge did not have this. They could replace my Stratus coupe with a 70 Cuda. :-)
      • 3 Years Ago
      What an absolute waste.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Your tax dollars at work.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I will take an original Bettle thou...
      • 3 Years Ago
      So these 27 people can beat their cars to the ground and end up with a free replacement? Sweet.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This could be sold like chevy's last Malubu "classic" right along side the new better version. It just needs a catchy name Like The New Beetle + (the plus stands for the increased medical bills when your in a crash).
        • 3 Years Ago
        They could just give it a "City" suffix like Canada does with mkiv's.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm really liking that beetle.
      • 3 Years Ago
      the automotive industry, in this period of multiple recalls of cars from the little to luxurious are tackling the safety issues.
      To keep the heavy tech talk to a minimum, the internal parts such as engine controllers, are being developed with new Safety Standards (ISO 26262) which address the issue of systematic failures and random hardware faults. These are faults which take down the cars engine systems controllers. They reduce the “availability” of the system and thus create potential risk conditions for drivers.
      They mainly occur within the micro-chips (Systems on Chips, SoCs) which now have millions of transistors inside, all connected via wires which are nanometers wide. The car system problems are becoming more frequent because these micro-chips are using ever decreasing Deep Sub-Micron Technologies which augment the probability of failure of physical parts purely due to their “small size” e.g. things like voltage spikes ruining transistor substrates.
      So, how are these issues being addressed? Well YOGITECH S.p.A (a small 25 person company) saw this phenomenon coming more than 4 years ago and patented a method for both analysing and designing “Fault Robust” micro-chips which can detect and sometimes correct errors within microseconds of the problem occurring. Yogitech’s technology is now allowing companies, which design engine controllers for car makers for example, to produce designs which are “Fault Robust” and as such increase their “availability” and therefore drastically reducing the probability of risky downtime.
      You can get some more details on the website http://www.fr.yogitech.com/


      Don Devine (YOGITECH)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here's the other thing.

      What happens if you ignore the recall notice?

      It's not an emissions recall, so the car will even still pass emissions, even with the outstanding recall. (Although, in states with safety inspections, it may fail.)

      I'd imagine that this is handled like the Nissan Van recall. (Although, that recall actually had one last attempted fix for the fire problem, with the acknowledgement that Nissan wouldn't try to fix it again, if you didn't return the car to them.)
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's ridiculous. They should just fine VW, and have them send out letters to the owners.
    • Load More Comments