Volkswagen Announces Voluntary Recalls

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Aug. 1, 2003 -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced a voluntary recall for 1998-2001 model-year New Beetles in the U.S. to correct a potential problem with a brake light switch.

An estimated total of 269,151 vehicles are affected by this recall in the U.S. Volkswagen has determined that a potentially faulty switch could cause the brake lights to become inoperative or stay on while driving and/or after the car is parked. The company knows of no injuries or accidents that have been attributed to this issue.

New Beetle owners will be notified by mail once an adequate supply of parts becomes available and asked to contact their VW dealers to have an improved switch fitted. All work will be done at no charge to the customer.

In a much smaller action, Volkswagen also announced a voluntary recall to inspect the routing of a wire for the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on its 2004 Touareg model. Only about 620 cars are affected by this action in the U.S.

Volkswagen has determined that a mechanism in the parking brake system may potentially rub against the TPMS wire in some cars. Potentially, this could lead to the TPMS becoming inoperative, and in rare instances increase the risk of a fire. The company knows of no injuries or accidents because of this condition.

Volkswagen will phone Touareg customers soon and set up an inspection of the wire routing and if necessary fix it at no charge to the customer. Since this action is primarily a precautionary inspection of the wire's routing and limited to a small number of customers, Volkswagen will offer to inspect the cars at the customers' homes or workplaces if they prefer this convenience. If needed, the wire will be re-routed in a procedure that takes about 20 minutes to complete. In a rare case in which a wire repair is required, Volkswagen will have the car transported to a dealer for the no-cost service.

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