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VW To Help Prevent Diesel Misfueling With Dealer Retrofit

 
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'Diesel fuel only' caution on Audi Q7 TDI

'Diesel fuel only' caution on Audi Q7 TDI

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It's ironic that one of the best characteristics of modern diesels is also their downfall, for many owners.

New diesels are so refined, and some owners so unused to filling with diesel, that they accidentally fill their cars with gasoline--resulting in a breakdown.

To help prevent this, Volkswagen is set to retrofit more than a quarter million 2009-2012 diesel cars in North America with a device to prevent improper fueling.

Failing fuel pumps

According to Automotive News, the measures to prevent misfueling have been instigated following complaints from owners submitted to the NHTSA over failed fuel pumps.

The Administration has received 160 complaints and field reports since 2011, stemming from cars stalling, often at highway speeds. Volkswagen has told investigators that 90 percent of affected vehicles had "substantial amounts" of gasoline in their tanks.

Fueling a Volkswagen TDI with gasoline voids its warranty--meaning any repairs lay at the feet of customers.

VW's fix will attach a misfueling guard and fuel filler neck cap to the affected vehicles. Should a driver insert a gasoline nozzle by mistake, the fuel tank gate will remain closed.

Investigation, not recall

The plans were announced in a dealer notice, and include 209,500 U.S. cars and 51,600 vehicles in Canada.

Volkswagen will begin notifying customers on May 28. The investigation has not yet been turned into an official recall.

Have you ever misfueled? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Comments (7)
  1. My mother-in-law bought a TDi (first diesel) recently, and I hammered into her the ills of putting ANY gasoline into the tank. I strategically added "diesel fuel only" labels to the car (VW supplies these free of charge). She has had the car for a year, and my efforts have worked so far.
     
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  2. It's nice that they have a technical solution, but why wait this long to implement it.
     
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  3. I thought diesel buyers are "special breed"... :)

    "Volkswagen has told investigators that 90 percent of affected vehicles had "substantial amounts" of gasoline in their tanks"

    What happened to the other 10%?
     
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  4. These are not early adopters, but the general American public, which ran on gasoline powered cars for the last 100 years, and does not use its head.
     
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  5. early adopers? So, since we Americans don't use our heads, then diesel is NOT for us then...
     
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  6. The same could be said for electric cars. Using them in a practical fashion requires a lot of planning ahead. The potential for electric car owners being left dead in the water for not remembering to charge them over-night doesn't leave the owner much margin of error.
     
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  7. My wife had been driving her diesel truck for years and one day she pulled into a gas station, spotted the green handle pumps, pulled up and fueled the truck. She got on the interstate towing our boat when the engine "conked out", dying as she pulled to the side of the road. She did not know what had happened but when she checked the fuel receipt she saw that she had filled up with gasoline. She called me at work and I arranged for a tow truck to get the truck to the GMC dealer and the boat to home ($180.00). The dealer had to drop the fuel tank to completely empty it ($400.00) plus we lost the $50 in gas that had to be disposed. So $630.00 later she was back on the road. Now she's highly motivated to check for the green handle.
     
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