The automaker has issued a stop-sale order. What's going on?
The all-new Volkswagen Taos is a big deal for the German automaker's growing US market presence. The subcompact crossover boasts impressive fuel economy, a premium interior, and competitive pricing. But there's a new problem potential buyers should know about.
Automotive News has confirmed with a VW spokesperson that dealerships have received a stop-sale order for all-wheel drive versions only. Front-wheel-drive is standard. What's the problem, exactly? VW actually isn't so sure but it does know for certain that "an issue may cause the vehicle to shut off while in use." The same company spokesperson made clear VW "is now following the required NHTSA reporting time frame."
Fortunately, VW is not aware of any injuries due to the shutdown problem. The report made no mention of any accidents. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that this AWD system, called 4Motion, is not new and is found on many other models. Why VW is suddenly having a problem with it is unusual. It's possible the issue is software-related but we're purely speculating.
Dealers received the stop-sale notice after customers alleged that their Taos' engine "has shut off unexpectedly when coming to a stop." VW is right now "working on a repair to address the issue." For the time being, there is no cure, hence the need to temporarily stop sales. It's not an ideal situation.
VW has sold an impressive 4,939 examples since the Taos first went on sale in the US in the second quarter of this year. It wasn't made clear how many are AWD versions. The Taos is VW's second small crossover; the Tiguan remains the automaker's best-seller in the US but the former undercuts it in the price department, beginning at $22,995 for the FWD model.
4Motion AWD versions start at $25,040 and all come powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 158 horsepower. However, FWD models have an eight-speed automatic transmission while a faster-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch is found in AWD versions. The Tiguan, meanwhile, starts at $25,245.