Car Industry

What's that smell? VW recalls 281,000 vehicles for fuel leaks

The issue also affects a handful of Audi's sedans and SUVs.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Well, that stinks. Literally.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

It's refreshing (but not really) to see a Volkswagen recall that isn't related to diesel engines. VW currently has some fuel issues on its hands, but it's not lumped into a single recall. Actually, it's spread across three.

The first recall covers 143,214 examples of the 2007-2012 Audi Q7 and 2009-2012 Audi Q5 crossovers. In this instance, part of the fuel filler flange might crack. If that happens, fuel can leak onto the ground, which is obviously a big ol' fire hazard. Diesel models aren't included in this recall, just gas-powered variants.

Audi's fix involves replacing damaged flanges and installing rubber bands to protect the fuel pump. The company has not yet found the cause of the cracks. Parts should become available in November.

The second recall covers just 28,249 2012-2013 Audi A6 and A7 sedans. These models have an under-hood fuel pump hose that might spring a leak, which, again, is not great from the "cars shouldn't start fires" standpoint. Audi discovered this issue after receiving warranty claims.

Remedying the issue involves replacing the fuel pump and hose, but the automaker is unsure when replacement parts will be available. Audi changed the fuel pressure inside the hose back in 2012, which reportedly reduced the leaks.

The third recall covers 110,042 examples of the 2015-2016 Volkswagen Golf, Golf SportWagen and GTI, along with the 2015-2016 Audi A3. Only vehicles in states with partial zero-emissions requirements are involved in the recall.

Issue numero tres involves the evaporative emission system. Rubber seals inside the gas tank can allow gas to collect within the evaporative system, which can flood the charcoal filter. Owners will notice either fuel leaks, a lingering smell of gasoline inside the car or gas station nozzles prematurely stopping. Volkswagen will replace the suction pump in question when parts become available.