VW Vehicle Fire Risk Due to Improper Installation of Heat Shield Mat

A blaze that engulfed 153 parked cars in the parking lot of a pachinko parlor in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture in August may have been caused by a Volkswagen Golf TDI, Volkswagen Group Japan announced on Monday. The company reported a recall to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry on Friday, citing the possibility that a manufacturing defect led to the fire.

The recall covers nine models, including the Golf TDI, with a total of 6,512 vehicles imported between February 2021 and November 2023. The company’s report stated that a heat shield mat for the brake fluid reservoir tank in the engine compartment was not properly fitted, which could lead to a brake fluid leak. This could result in the fluid coming into contact with high-temperature exhaust system parts, potentially sparking a fire.

The fire broke out on August 20 in a steel-framed concrete parking lot of the pachinko parlor, and the local fire department worked for about four hours to extinguish it. A security camera captured footage of a Golf TDI catching fire just a few minutes after being parked.

Volkswagen Group Japan stated that it could not rule out the possibility that the fire was caused by a manufacturing defect. The company has taken the initiative to recall the affected vehicles and is working with relevant authorities to investigate the incident further.

The incident raises concerns about the safety and reliability of the affected vehicles, as well as the potential risks associated with manufacturing defects. Volkswagen Group Japan’s proactive approach in reporting the incident and initiating a recall demonstrates its commitment to addressing safety issues and ensuring the well-being of its customers and the public.

While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Volkswagen Group Japan is taking the necessary steps to address the potential safety risk and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. The company has urged owners of the affected vehicles to contact their nearest authorized dealer to arrange for necessary repairs and ensure the safety of their vehicles.

The swift response from Volkswagen Group Japan in addressing the potential safety issue demonstrates a proactive approach to ensuring the safety and well-being of its customers. The company’s cooperation with the authorities and commitment to addressing the issue is commendable and reflects its dedication to maintaining high safety standards for its vehicles.

As the investigation into the incident continues, Volkswagen Group Japan has assured the public that it will provide updates and take necessary measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of diligent manufacturing and quality control processes to ensure the safety and reliability of vehicles for consumers.

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