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VW Announces Safety Recall on New Beetle

15 May 1998

Volkswagen Announces Voluntary Recall

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 15 -- Volkswagen of America, Inc.
today announced that it is voluntarily recalling approximately 8,500 1998 New
Beetles in the U.S. to correct a potential chafing problem with electrical
wires in the engine compartment.
    Approximately 1,600 New Beetles sold in Canada are also involved.
    Volkswagen has determined that the affected wires could be damaged over
time by rubbing against the edge of the battery tray.  It is possible that
damage from this chafing could result in a malfunction of the air conditioning
compressor and potentially the fuel pump.  If the fuel pump malfunctions, the
vehicle will stall without warning.  In some cases, the chafing of the
affected wires could potentially result in a wiring fire in the engine
    There have been no accidents or injuries attributed to this concern.  No
fuel pump failures or stalled vehicle incidents have been reported.
    Volkswagen, however, is aware of three air conditioner compressors
malfunctioning in New Beetles because of this chafing problem.
    Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by express mail.  They will
be asked to phone their authorized Volkswagen dealer to have the battery tray
replaced with a redesigned tray and the affected wires newly routed.  All work
and any damaged part will be repaired or replaced at no cost to the customer.
Parts for the completion of this repair will be available at dealerships
beginning this week.
    Customers with questions are welcome to phone a special Volkswagen
customer toll-free number at 1-877-4-BEETLE (1-877-423-3853).
    Volkswagen also said it will service this recall at no charge for those
New Beetle owners who have purchased their cars from non-Volkswagen
dealerships.  These owners should phone the toll-free number or contact a
local Volkswagen dealer.
    Volkswagen's 1998 New Beetle went on sale in the U.S. and Canada in March
and all cars sold to date are affected by this recall.

SOURCE  Volkswagen of America, Inc.