Continental safety recall may extend to 13 automotive manufacturers

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The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating the extent of a recall for vehicles using faulty fuel pump flanges supplied by Continental AG. 

The recalls started by filings from Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VW) and its Porsche brand, Porsche Cars North America (Porsche) on 3 May informing the authority of faulty parts. 

This covers 450,000 VW SUVs as well as its Porsche and Audi brands in the US, which have used the parts by the German automotive supplier. 

In a document posted on NHTSA’s website 6 July, the agency stated that the recalled vehicles were equipped with a fuel pump flange “that may degrade and crack, allowing fuel to leak”. 

“Fuel leakage in the presence of an ignition source may cause a risk of fire,” the document went on to say. 

Following the recall and in a separate filing to NHTSA, Continental Automotive Systems identified a number of other Tier 1 suppliers and vehicle manufacturers who were supplied with the same or substantially similar fuel pump flanges, but have not submitted safety recall reports to NHTSA.  

NHTSA said it will investigate whether any additional vehicles may have the same defect as identified by VW and Porsche, and whether additional safety recalls are required by any of those identified companies. 

According to a Bloomberg report, the Hanover, Germany-based company has sold same fuel pump flanges to 13 other companies. 

Speaking to Bloomberg, a US spokeswoman for Continental, said the parts “were made from the same type of industry-standard plastic called polyoxymethylen-copolymer.” 

According to Mary Arraf, in this incident, the material can break down due to environmental factors and exposure to acids in cleaning solutions. This could cause cracks and leakage where the part is installed.

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