Loose Bolts Equal Fire Risk for Some Volkswagen Owners
A new Volkswagen recall is an unfortunate example of how seemingly minor defects can pose serious safety hazards on the road.
Volkswagen is recalling some 210,000 Jetta sedans, the company recently told federal regulators. The problem is that bolts in the engines of certain vehicles can loosen over time, raising the risk of a fuel leak and fire.
“The fuel rail bolts on affected vehicles may become loose over time. This can
result in a fuel leak,” Volkswagen said in a notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Leaking fuel, in the presence of an ignition source, may result in a vehicle fire.”
The recall covers certain 2016 to 2018 Jetta sedans. Owners of recalled vehicles will be notified before the end of the year, Volkswagen said.
The company has yet to come up with a permanent fix, other than tightening the bolts. In the meantime, Volkswagen says owners should immediately stop driving vehicles if they notice the odor of fuel or actually see fuel leaking from the engine.
“Owners experiencing this condition with their vehicle are advised to contact an authorized Volkswagen dealer without delay to make arrangements to have the vehicle inspected/repaired,” Volkswagen said in a letter to dealers.
California Owner Rights When Dealing With Car Defects
This is not the first time that Volkswagen drivers have had to worry about fuel leaks.
In 2016, the company recalled more than 280,000 cars over a trio of issues it said at the time could cause fuel tanks to leak. Volkswagen told owners that this defect, too, could result in engine fires.
Fortunately, car owners and lessors in California have some valuable legal rights and protections under the state’s lemon law.
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act requires car manufacturers to perform a variety of repairs to cars while they are under warranty. If the manufacturer is unwilling or not able to fix the problem, it is required to buy back the vehicle. The company can instead offer to replace the car, but it is up to the owner to decide whether to accept this alternative arrangement.
The lemon law also requires the manufacturer to foot the bill for any legal fees that a person reasonably incurs while enforcing his or her rights.
How a Los Angeles Lemon Law Attorney Can Help
If you are a California car owner with a defective vehicle, it is important that you consult an experienced lawyer to consider your rights and options.
Los Angeles lemon law attorney Brian Bickel and his team at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state. Our lawyers work aggressively to resolve these cases for the people that we represent, guiding them through the legal process every step of the way.
Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a Los Angeles lemon law attorney.