D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has appeared on legaladvice.com, themanifest.com, and vice.com.

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2021

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Two Volkswagen models are being recalled, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released details on each of them. Let’s begin by looking at the recall involving the Volkswagen Routan.

2012 Volkswagen Routan

2012 Volkswagen Routan
2012 Volkswagen Routan. (vw.com)

We wondered when Chrysler announced recalls on the Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan if the Volkswagen Routan would manage to make an escape from being recalled. The Routan is essentially a Mopar minivan gussied up to appear to be a Volkswagen. And thus, it potentially has the same wheel bearing defect as its twins.

Because the Routan is a slow seller, only 15 units of the 2012 model year built between November 15 through November 21 may have the improperly machined wheel bearing that can lead to the loss of a wheel. As with the Chrysler twins, no incidents or injuries have occurred as a result of the defect.

The recall is expected to take place at the end of April 2012 and Volkswagen will notify affected owners by mail. Volkswagen’s recall number is 42G3/W2 while the NHTSA Campaign ID number is 12V147000.

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2012 Volkswagen Passat

2012 Volkswagen Passat
2012 Volkswagen Passat. (vw.com)

Unlike the Routan, the Passat is engineered and built by Volkswagen. But like all automobiles, it has the potential to suffer from safety and manufacturing defects. And Volkswagen has identified just such a problem with Passats manufactured from January 18, 2011 and June 1, 2011.

In the case of the Passat, it’s an diesel fuel filter that doesn’t seal correctly, which may allow diesel to leak. And while diesel isn’t quite as explosive as gasoline, it does burn, and having diesel fuel leaking is a great way to start a fire.

Volkswagen says they’re unaware of any fires or other incidents involving the defect fuel filter, and will begin their recall to replace the filters in May 2012. Volkswagen’s safety recall number is 20R7/W3 while the NHTSA’s Campaign ID number is 12V146000.

Owners of Routan or Passat models with concerns or questions can contact Volkswagen toll free at 1-800-822-8987 or the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.