January 27, 2003

Volkswagen promises free repairs for cold-weather engine failures in Europe

Wolfsburg, Germany – Freezing temperatures in Europe recently have led to a rising number of engine failures in certain Volkswagen models. Volkswagen AG said the failures were caused by frozen condensation blocking the oil supply. The problem affects 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre engines in the Volkswagen Lupo, Polo and Golf, model years starting from 1997, and in some Seat and Skoda vehicles.

Volkswagen announced it would refund all repair costs related to this problem, and is granting all affected owners free repairs for ten years with unlimited mileage.

The company said the problem occurs at extreme temperatures and only in vehicles which are predominantly used for short journeys. If the engine heats up sufficiently the condensation evaporates and the no ice can form in the engine. Volkswagen will install a heated crankcase breather system to prevent ice formation in the engine.

The problem cannot occur in current vehicles, the company said.

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