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1997 Fools: Volskwagen announces Ghia recall

Subject:      Volskwagen announces Ghia recall
From:         hpat@eskimo.com (Pat Steppic)
Date:         1997/04/02
Message-Id:   <E7zJ42.DtG@eskimo.com>
Newsgroups:   rec.autos.makers.vw.aircooled


Volkswagen of America has announced today a voluntary recall of its 
popular Karmann-Ghia sports car, model years 1959-1967, due to 
manufacturing defects which could lead to accidents.  

According to Apu Nahasapimapetelan, spokesman for Volkswagen of 
America, the defect consists of an improperly welded carpet-retaining 
button, which could come loose, causing the carpet in the driver's 
side footwell to fall and lodge behind the brake pedal, thereby 
interfering with the operation of the brakes.  


The recall only affects cars which were exported from Germany, as, 
according to Nahasapimapetelan, the welds "appear to be weakened by 
exposure to salty air, such as would be encountered as the vehicles 
were on a ship for extended periods.

"This is an unprecedented move in the automotive industry, recalling 
vehicles almost forty years after their date of manufacture, but it 
is a reflection of Volkswagen's unflinching dedication to its 
customers' safety."  

When asked why the thirty-five year delay, he said that the safety
division at Volkswagen AG, the German parent company, had "misplaced
the Quality Control paperwork," and it was discovered by a 
retiring Quality-Control engineer as he was cleaning out his desk
last week. 

The recall affects Volkswagen Karmann Ghias manufactured between 1959 
and 1967.  Vehicle titles must be held by the original owners, there 
can be no significant modifications to the vehicles' interiors, and 
the cars must have less than 100,000 original miles on them in order 
for them to qualify.  Owners meeting these criteria can bring their 
cars to their Volkswagen dealers, where they will receive all new 
carpeting after the old welds are cut out and replaced.  

There have been no fatalities or serious injuries to drivers as a 
result of these faulty welds, but several owners have complained 
about increased stopping distances as a result of brakes not going 
all the way to the floor when pressure was applied.  It is unknown
how many cars will be affected by the recall.   
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