You know that airbag issue that practically overnight spread from six auto manufacturers to just about all of them and resulted in the recall of an estimated 100 million vehicles? It looks as if we may have another one involving fuel pumps.
It all started this past spring with a Volkswagen Group recall of some half-a-million Audi and Porsche sport-utilities because of a fuel pump flange that could crack and leak fuel, and if that happened to come across an ignition source, it could trigger a fire.
As it turns out, the fuel pumps are made by German parts maker Continental AG, and they could have been installed in vehicles from as many as 13 other manufacturers, as well as in the aftermarket because they were also made available to several suppliers.
Volkswagen identified Continental as the maker of the parts in the recalled Audi Q5 and Q7, as well as Porsche Macan and VW Touareg SUVs, in its filing with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Continental subsequently filed a safety recall report with NHTSA about Part 573, identifying Tier 1 suppliers and OEMs who were supplied with the potentially faulty pumps or similar ones.
Among the parties named are Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. Magna International, TI Automotive and Kautex Textron were among the Tier 1 suppliers named in Continental’s report.
NHTSA has now opened an investigation of the flawed fuel pumps, which will likely result in other companies also issuing safety recalls for vehicles equipped with the parts. It is not yet known how many vehicles are potentially affected by the issue.
“That’s kind of what the story of the whole auto industry is,” AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan told Bloomberg. “Consolidation has happened and there’s a race for cheaper parts that are shared across more vehicles.”