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Audi recalls A6, S6 and RS6 models for fuel tank fire risks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced the Volkswagen Auto Group is recalling certain Audi A6, S6 and RS6 due to the fuel tank rollover valve creating a possible fire risk.
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This new Audi recall affects select A6 models from the 2001-2004 model years, S6 performance models from the 2002 and 2003 model years and the high performance RS6 from 2003 – all of which are powered by the 4.2L V8. Audi believes that roughly 6,000 vehicles could be affected by the problem.

It seems that in these early 2000s Audi A6, S6 and RS6 models, there is a plastic portion of the fuel tank rollover valve that could harden with age. When the metal ventilation line leading to the rollover valve adds stress to the rollover valve, the rollover valve nipple could crack and this could cause a fuel leak. While the Audi recall announcement from the NHTSA doesn’t specify whether or not a rollover is needed to encourage this leak, any sort of fuel leak due to a part defect is a popular cause for a recall so Audi has opted to recall those 6,000 models.

Rollover valves are found in vehicles that have emission related venting systems for the fuel tanks. These valves are designed to close the vent tubes in the event of a rollover accident so that fuel cannot run out of the vent tubes, which are usually mounted on the top of the fuel tank. In March, Honda recalled over 18,000 2011 model year Civics after they discovered that damaged rollover valves had been installed in new models.

This new Audi recall is expected to commence during June 2011 when owners will be contacted via first class mail. Once notified, owners of the 2001-2004 A6, the 2002-2003 S6 and the 2003 RS6 will be asked to return to their local Audi dealership, where the rollover valve nipple will be reinforced to prevent damage. If damage is found to exist when the vehicle gets to the dealership, the failing components will first be replaced and then the structure will be reinforced.

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