2010 Volkswagen Beetle

Potential fuel leak concerns have prompted Volkswagen to announce a voluntary recall for 377,286 of its cars sold in the United States. This issue is confined to VW models with the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. These are the Golf, Rabbit, Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen, model years 2007 to 2009, plus the New Beetle hard-tops and convertibles, model years 2006 to 2010.

In the Golf Rabbit and Jetta cars, the problem centers on a small plastic tab on the fluid reservoir for the windshield washers. This might rub against a fuel supply line.

With the Beetles, the troublesome part is a fastening clamp on a hydraulic hose that is a part of the power steering system. It may have been located in the wrong position and might come into contact with the fuel supply line.

If either of these scenarios result in chafing, then that could lead to a fuel leak. And where there’s a fuel leak in an engine bay, there is always the possibility of a fire. However, Volkswagen of America states that no accidents, injuries or fires have occurred as a result of these potential defects.

According to which vehicle is being worked on, dealers will remove the plastic tab or check the position of the clamp and reposition it if necessary, and inspect the fuel supply lines. This work will be carried out at no cost to the customer.

The recall is scheduled to begin on or before January 31, 2011. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service on 1 800 822 8987.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been informed. Its vehicle safety hotline is 1 888 327 4236 and its website is www.safercar.gov. The administration’s campaign ID number for this issue is 10V621000.

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Colin Ryan has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

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