Here's what affected owners need to do.
Recently, the new Volkswagen GTI has been getting its fair share of bad press. So has its big brother, the Golf R. The issues largely stem from folks' displeasure over VW's new infotainment system. Now, a recall means that the newest iteration of these iconic hot hatches is getting more negative press.
The NHTSA issued the recall on March 16th and it affects the GTI and Golf R models, specifically the plastic engine cover you see below. The problem? It can come loose. Thankfully, the NHTSA says the issue only occurs during aggressive driving maneuvers. It's a good thing no one drives their hot hatch like they stole it, right?
What happens when this plastic cover comes loose? Engines are hot, and plastic typically doesn't do so well with heat. Surely you can see where this is going. The cover comes loose and then contacts hot metals under the engine bay and melts. At best, that's a lot of very messy cleanup for owners to do. At worst, it's a fire risk. If you smell burning anything in your new GTI, it might be a good idea to ditch the panel until you get it to a dealer.
The NHTSA says that a total of 4,269 cars are affected by the recall. Of those, 3,404 are GTIs and 865 are Golf Rs. Moreover, a small handful of Canadian market cars are being recalled for the same issue, though the NHTSA does not state how many. Thankfully, these panels are very easily removed. If your car is affected, it could be advisable to do so.
Volkswagen says that the recall will be carried out on the specified cars as soon as parts are available. If you'd rather not remove the engine cover yourself, a Volkswagen dealer will also do it for you. It sounds to us like VW wasn't expecting the recall and has to catch up on parts before the work can begin. Yet another casualty of supply chain shortages. For now, at least, the best thing owners can do is refrain from driving their hot hatch the way it's meant to be driven.