VW to Retrofit Late-Model Diesel Vehicles to Prevent Misfueling


Pumping gasoline into the tank of a diesel vehicle can be a costly mistake. To prevent that from happening, Volkswagen of America has issued a service action and will refit 209,500 diesel vehicles in the U.S., according to Automotive News. Affected models are TDI versions of the 2009-12 Jetta, the 2010-12 Golf and the 2009-12 Jetta SportWagen.

"As diesel engine passenger vehicles become more popular, auto manufacturers have seen an increase in the number of misfueling cases where diesel engine vehicles are mistakenly fueled with gasoline," VW said in the notice to dealers. "The resulting fuel system contamination can lead to costly repairs that are not covered under warranty."

The service action involves retrofitting affected vehicles with a fuel filler neck cap and a sleeve to prevent owners from mistakenly inserting gasoline nozzles, which have a smaller diameter than diesel fuel nozzles. Running a diesel car on gasoline can cause it to stall. The leading manufacturer of diesel vehicles in the U.S., VW redesigned 2013 vehicles to accept only diesel fuel nozzles. If a driver tries to insert a gas nozzle instead of a diesel nozzle, the fuel tank gate stays shut.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received about 160 complaints about the issue, many of them from VW itself. NHTSA began investigating VW diesel vehicles in February 2011 after receiving dozens of complaints linked to failed fuel pumps. Most of the complaints involved gasoline in the tanks. NHTSA has upgraded its investigation to an engineering analysis, which can lead to a recall — but that hasn’t happened yet.

VW said it will begin contacting owners May 28; dealers will add a misfueling guard and fuel filler neck cap to affected 2009-12 vehicles free of charge to customers. For more information, call VW at 800-822-8987.

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And here I thought all diesels had the fool-proof fillers.


Don't tdi owners know the difference between gasoline and diesel? Just go to the pump with the highest price. :-)


I can see where you just have a brain fart. If my wife ever filled up my car, she might forget. But I have the stickers on the fuel tank.


Say you live in Oregon or New Jersey and can't pump your own gas. Who pays if the attendant puts in the wrong fuel?
Has anybody had that experience?


Hieronymous, I would hope that one wouldn't forget to specify diesel to the attendant.


This reporter is clueless... VW had received 160 complaints by about January of 2010, for 2009 and 2010 model TDI's. Or so they stated to NHTSA.... I can assure you, if you got the real numbers from NHTSA, and NHTSA is still investigating this problem with Bosch HPFP"S from Fords, Chevys VW and Audi's, the Bosch CP 4.1 and 4.2 are prone to failure, as used by VW, Audi, Ford and Chevrolet on their pickups.

NHTSA is investigating this as defective engineering... I would suggest to all that if your HPFP fails, or you ever get a diagnosis for "low fuel pressure" in your diesel, file a complaint immediately with the National Highway Transportation Authority on line... it should be filed under "EA 11-003".

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