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Warning! Your Volvo Might Catch On Fire

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It's not all bad news, at least for Americans.

It’s not very often we learn that Volvos are a potential safety hazard. The Swedish automaker, long known for championing safety, has a bit of an issue on its hands. The automaker, now owned by China’s Geely, has issued a recall for 507,000 vehicles worldwide following an investigation that uncovered a faulty engine component. In extreme cases, this could lead to a fire.

According to Volvo, its own investigators identified that "in very rare cases the plastic engine intake manifold may melt and deform.” All of the affected vehicles, built between 2014 and 2019, are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine. They include the following: S60, S80, S90, V40, V60, V70, V90, XC60 and XC90.

Although no reports of accidents, injuries, or fatalities have been filed, Volvo rightly isn’t taking any chances. "In the very worst case, there is a possibility that a localized engine bay fire may occur,” Volvo said. Customers will be notified by mail requesting them to contact their local Volvo dealership for the necessary repairs, which will be done free of charge. Bloomberg reached out to Volvo inquiring about the recall’s financial impact, but a spokesperson refused to offer details. "We don’t comment on the cost.”

A little over a year ago, Volvo announced that all of its models launched from 2019 onwards will feature some level of electrification and that diesel no longer had a future with the brand. Gasoline-hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and pure EVs will be the only powertrains.

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The other piece of good news here is that Volvo never sold this particular diesel engine in the US, though it was very popular in other parts of the world, especially Europe. Therefore, Americans are unaffected by this recall. Still, over half a million vehicles being recalled over a potential engine fire is very serious and judging by Volvo’s refusal to comment, this is not a cheap thing to do. Volvo gladly would have preferred to spend the money elsewhere.

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