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Report: Volkswagen retrofitting recent and future TDI models with new fuel fillers to prevent misfueling

Considering the fact that diesel propulsion is just beginning to truly kick-off here in the US of A (as if we’re already several decades late), one of the tensions still inhibiting the diesel passenger market from growing are concerns over misfueling, or putting gasoline in a diesel-running engine.

Now, to most of us petrolheads, this is just common sense. But to the common man—and gas attendant for those with state-mandated full-service stops—most tend to forget about the seriously important differences between the two combustible fluids. That said, people forgetting to put diesel in their oil-burner can lead to a very costly expense that is not covered under warranty—a big oops that not only can burn a whole in people’s wallets, but prevent the growth of diesel passenger cars, keeping the consumers from their low-consumption benefits.

Resultantly, to protect owners and prospective buyers—and even part of the future of diesel passenger cars—Volkswagen is reportedly retrofitting 209,500  diesel vehicles in the United States and 51,600 in Canada with new fuel filler caps to keep owners from misfueling their cars and leading to costly repairs, according to a report by AutoWeek.

“As diesel engine passenger vehicles become more popular, auto manufacturers have seen an increase in the number of misfueling cases where diesel engine vehicles are mistakenly fueled with gasoline,” according to the official notice put out by Volkswagen. “The resulting fuel system contamination can lead to costly repairs that are not covered under warranty.”

The models affected include 2009-2012 Jetta TDIs, 2010-2012 Golf TDIs, and 2009-2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDIs—also called the Golf Wagon in Canada. Additionally, from 2013 on, Volkswagen redesigned its fuel fillers to accept only diesel nozzles on the proper models.

How does it work? Currently, gasoline pump nozzles are smaller in diameter than diesel pump nozzles. That said, with the fix, if new owners tried to insert gasoline nozzles into a diesel filler, a special valve was incorporated to keep the inner fuel tank gate closed.

This campaign began after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration responded to several dozens of complains about diesel passenger cars stalling at highway speeds. The culprit was found to be associated with failed fuel pumps, though 90% of the investigations discovered “substantial amounts of gasoline” in the victims tanks.

Maybe we need to stop encouraging mindless driving…but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms for another article.


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