The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that it has begun a preliminary investigation into a purported manufacturing defect affecting the 2003 and 2004 model year Volkswagen Passats. The New York Times reports that the investigation comes after the Administration received sixteen reports of failing ignition coils in the affected cars. Ignition coil failure can cause fires or lead to loss of power, which some complaints allege could have caused accidents.
A similar issue with faulty ignition coils in some of Volkswagen’s most popular models came up in 2003.
The NHTSA has emphasized that it has made only a preliminary evaluation of the situation as of yet. The organization will conduct a more rigorous engineering diagnostic if the preliminary evaluation shows any cause for concern.
Volkswagen has already implemented a service campaign to replace all of the malfunctioning coils in the hopes of avoiding a full blown recall, which can be costly to the manufacturer and comes with stringent legal requirements and penalties. However, some customers have complained that even the replacement coils that they received were failing soon after installation.
Under existing California consumer protection laws, car manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are reliable and safe. If a defect or reoccurring problem occurs, manufacturers have a legal responsibility to repair the faulty part or, in cases where numerous repairs have already been attempted and failed, refund the money paid for the car or replace the vehicle. If you think you have been sold a sub-standard car, call the knowledgeable California lemon law attorneys at the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver for a free consultation about your case at (866) 46-LEMON.