Although the vehicles concerned are of recent production, Volkswagen wishes to exchange the existing gas tanks for new tanks with the modern paint system. In Germany a total of 6,270 Cars (2,359 Caddy, 2,361 Touran and 1,550 Passat) are affected by this recall.
Through this measure, Volkswagen AG as the manufacturer is firstly aiming to ensure that all gas tanks of the old generation are replaced and hence all vehicles are refitted with natural gas fuel tanks conforming to the current, improved production specifications. Secondly, the intention is to offer the customer a robust and reliable, long-term solution.
The underfloor CNG tanks are exposed to external influences that can lead to reduced durability. The natural gas fuel tanks must therefore be regularly checked in accordance with the Volkswagen servicing schedules. If the inspection of the gas system is not carried out at all or only insufficiently, any corrosion of the tanks due to mechanical damage may remain undetected. This creates the risk that in some of these vehicles a damaged outer casing might no longer provide the necessary protection from corrosion. If corrosion progresses over a lengthy period of time, the wall thickness of a gas tank may be reduced to below the necessary residual level. Gas tanks with an insufficient residual wall thickness may burst and thus result in a considerable danger of injury with risk to life and limb.
Volkswagen is writing directly to owners of the vehicles affected by the precautionary recall and asking them to make an appointment at their authorised service shop to have the gas tanks replaced. Conversion of the vehicles is free of charge. The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has been informed of this procedure and will monitor conversion of the vehicles.
Volkswagen wishes to point out to all customers that the clearance certificate issued for the newer vehicles (from model year 2011) retains its validity and that refuelling with natural gas continues to be permissible.