The new generation of the Volkswagen Golf made its debut last year, with the two variants still offered to us, the GTI and R, available since the fall. Just short of six months later, they are subject to a first recall.
In a document filed on March 16, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the equivalent of Transport Canada, announced a recall of more than 4,000 units of the VW models due to a problem with the engine cover, which could potentially come loose.
A report updated on March 21 lists 4,269 affected vehicles, including 3,404 GTIs and 865 R models. It says the engine cover can potentially come off during “specific driving maneuvers with extreme high accelerating forces,” which if we’re honest is the type of driving expected with these pocket rockets.
If the detached cover comes into contact with hot surfaces under the hood, such as the turbocharger, it can melt and potentially cause a fire, the NHTSA warns. The agency says that if the cover comes loose from its mounting points, owners may smell a burning odour in the engine compartment.
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Volkswagen said it plans to remove the engine cover from affected vehicles while it works on a replacement part with a safer design. When it's ready, owners can take their cars back to the dealership and have it installed free of charge. In the meantime, without an engine cover, they may notice a higher noise level.
The NHTSA report also explains that Volkswagen began building Golf GTIs and Golf Rs without engine covers starting in February.
Owners of vehicles affected by the recall will begin receiving notices on May 13.