The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall statement is fairly vague with respect to the actual problem but the bulletin explains that select 2012 Volkswagen Beetle models are equipped with summer tires that fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards #110 (Tire Selection and Rims) and #139 (New Pneumatic Tires for Light Vehicles). The NHTSA goes on to state that the improper tires could lead to an overloaded condition or under-inflation – both of which could increase the likelihood of an accident. Luckily, the selection of vehicle affected is very small, with just 83 examples of the affected vehicles being driven around the United States.
Unfortunately, the NHTSA bulletin doesn’t explain exactly what the problem is with the 2012 VW Beetle so it is unclear whether these 83 vehicles have been fitted with summer tires when they should not have been or whether they have the proper tires but there is an issue with the tires themselves. Based on the brief explanation, it sounds as though some Beetles may have been fitted with tires that were not intended to come on that specific trimline. Because of this, the recommended inflation and loading figures stated for that vehicle may not match up with the available capacities of the tire – which could lead to a variety of dangerous problems including loss of proper handling or total tire failures.
Fortunately, this type of recall is not one that commonly causes problems so long as the owner doesn’t load the car full of people or cargo – or mess with the tire pressure. For a 2012 Beetle driver who drives the car reasonably without the interior packed full of extra weight, there should be no problem but with the possibility of a tire problem, the folks at VW have made the call to get these vehicles in to replace the tires. There have been no mentioned accidents or injuries stemming from this Beetle tire recall.
This new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle recall is set to begin in September, at which point owners will be asked to return to their friendly neighborhood VW dealership for servicing. The dealership will inspect the tires and replace them free of charge if they are improper in whatever way accounted for this recall.
If you own a 2012 VW Beetle with summer performance tires and you would like more information, you can contact VW customer service at 1-800-822-8987 or the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236 –in reference to VW recall number 44K8/W4.