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US regulators investigating defective fuel tank flanges

Even though Volkswagen AG and its Audi and Porsche brands have already recalled nearly a half-million vehicles due to defective fuel tank/pump flanges, U.S. regulators are now worried millions of other cars may be at risk since the manufacturer of these potentially dangerous parts may have sold them to as many as 11 automakers and five supply companies.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the German auto-part supplier Continental Automotive GmbH recently filed recall documents that stated that the flanges could be defective. Specifically, the flanges, which cover openings in the fuel tank for the pump, can crack, resulting in fuel leaks and potentially serious fires.

While Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi have already issued a recall for several vehicles — including various model years of the VW Touareg SUV, Porsche Macan, Audi Q5 and Audi Q7 — there are many other automakers who received these potentially defective flanges from Continental.

In fact, according to the recall documents, which were made available by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these other automakers include:

  • General Motors (GM)
  • Ford
  • Fiat Chrysler
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Volvo
  • Jaguar-Land Rover
  • McLaren
  • Lamborghini

A spokesperson for Continental told the Associated Press that it is difficult to know exactly how many potentially defective flanges were sold since the part numbers are not the same, but acknowledged that the number of vehicles involved could be in the millions.

Ultimately, it will likely take some time for other automakers to determine if their vehicles are having the same issues with these flanges. Hopefully, no one is seriously injured in the meantime

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