2017 Volkswagen Passat recalled over brake fluid leak

February 15, 2017

Volkswagen has announced a recall of more than 1,000 Passat vehicles from the 2017 model year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that some of those vehicles may be losing brake fluid, which could reduce their braking power over time.

The issue is rooted in brake-line components supplied by Sanoh America Inc., based in Scottsboro, Alabama. A NHTSA defect reports says that some brake lines provided by Sanoh may not have been properly manufactured and therefore might not be adequately sealed.

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The good news is that the leaks are slow. Because the vehicles are so new, it's unlikely that any have experienced serious problems yet. (Volkswagen discovered the issue via routine internal tests.)

What's more, before the loss of braking power becomes too noticeable, a warning light would likely illuminate on the Passat's instrument panel, alerting drivers to the low brake fluid level.

That said, if such warnings are ignored, braking distances could be increased, increasing the risk of accidents.

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The recall affects 1,007 Passat vehicles registered in the U.S. Volkswagen will mail recall notices to owners of those vehicles next month, encouraging them to schedule service with their local Volkswagen dealerships. Dealers will replace the affected brake lines in the Passat at no charge. 

If you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298 and ask about recall #47N3. You can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #17V075000.

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