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NHTSA Opens Safety Investigations into Volkswagen and Audi Models

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened two investigations into problems with Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, one involves serious gas leaks under the hood. According to a news report on, the investigations affect nearly 215,000 cars.

Details of the Probes

The largest inquiry involves more than 191,000 Volkswagen Atlas SUVs from model years 2018 through 2020. NHTSA says it has so far received three complaints and 11 reports of leaks near fuel injectors on models equipped with the 3.6L V6 engine. Some vehicle owners have reported that the fuel comes gushing out of the engine compartment, which clearly poses a fire risk.

NHTSA documents state that no fires have been linked to this issue. However, fuel leaks increase the fire risk because gasoline can hit components already at high temperatures when a vehicle is in motion. The investigation could lead to a recall, but NHTSA has not decided yet. Volkswagen says any owner who smells gasoline should contact their dealer right away.

The other investigation involves about 23,000 Audi A8s, S6s, S7s, S8s and RS7s from 2013 to 2016 model years. In this case, NHTSA says it got 58 complaints and three reports involving the vehicles’ twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engines that stall without warning while the vehicle is still in motion. Many of these complaints attribute the problem to a turbocharger failure caused by a lack of oil flow. NHTSA has said it will determine the extent of severity after concluding both investigations and issue recalls if necessary.

Auto Product Liability Issues

The risk of fires and stalling can be hazardous out on the road. When a vehicle catches fire, there is the potential for catastrophic burns and smoke inhalation injuries. If your vehicle stalls without warning on the freeway, you are in danger of being struck by other vehicles. These types of car accidents could also cause major injuries to vehicle occupants.

Our auto defect lawyers hope NHTSA conducts a thorough investigation into these safety defects and that a timely recall is ordered for consumer safety. If you or a loved one has been injured due to these or other vehicle defects, an experienced auto defect lawyer can provide more information about pursuing your legal rights.


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California Personal Injury Blog