NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 1998 Audi A6

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 1998 Audi A6, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:


    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ06003

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Wiring:Interior/Under Dash

    Summary: Volkswagen of America, Inc. (voa) conducted a safety recall (NHTSA recall number 04V133) to add a plastic cover to the top section of the knee bolster crossmember to prevent contact with the headlight switch wiring harness.the scope of the original recall covered model years 1998 through 2004 with vehicle production dates of August 1997 through December 2004.the Office Of Defects Investigation has received nine complaints alleging that after having the recall remedy performed, a fire started in the driver's side dashboard area.voa reports that if the plastic cover is not installed properly by the dealers, the headlight switch wiring harness could continue to contact the crossmember, resulting in a short and/or fire in the driver's side dashboard area.voa will conduct a new safety recall to add an additional (and larger) cover over both the knee bolster crossmember and the plastic cover assembly installed in the first recall.all of the NHTSA complaints and all but 3 voa claims are for MY 1998 through MY 2000.voa reports that beginning in MY 2001, Audi extended the time for the deburring process of the crossmember.voa was not able to verify the cause of fire in the MY 2001 and later vehicles due to either extensive fire damage or other reason.the rate of fire occurrence is significantly less for the MY 2001 and later vehicles. The recall covers model years 1998 through 2000 with vehicle production dates of August 1997 through May 2000.voa will recall 66358 MY 1998-2000 Audi A6, A6 avant, S6, and S6 avant vehicles.ODI is aware of a total of 59 warranty, field and consumer reports for these vehicles.the recall is identified by NHTSA number 06V-198.


    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA04017

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline:Fuel Injection System

    Summary: Vwoa has recalled approximately 28,300 MY 1998-99 A6 vehicles in cold weather states that experienced the highest rate of throttle icing incidents in the subject vehicles (04V-495).the failure rate in the A4 and passat vehicles is much lower than in the recalled vehicles.ODI will continue to monitor the experience in the A4 and passat vehicles.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists for the Audi A4 or VW passat vehicles.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by a change in circumstances. For further details see the attached closing report.


    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE02008

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: January 23, 2002
    • Date Closed: July 12, 2002
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic



    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE03019

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: May 15, 2003
    • Date Closed: September 17, 2003
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Steering:Wheel And Handle Bar

    Summary: This PE was opened based on four ODI complaints that the steering wheel overheats. VW has shown that moisture and prespiration permeate the steering wheel cover causing the heating element to corrode.this corrosion may cause a small, localized area of the steering wheel to experience a brief duration of overheating.there are no reports of the steering wheel sustaining combustion. The investigation has found no occurrences of severe burning and no consumers required medical attention. A safety-related defect has not been identified at this time and further use of Agency resources does not appear to be warranted.accordingly this investigation is closed.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.


    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE04023

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: March 05, 2004
    • Date Closed: June 30, 2004
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline
    Vehicle Speed Control
    Vehicle Speed Control:Cables
    Vehicle Speed Control:Linkages

    Summary: Complaints received by ODI and Audi allege that, in extreme cold weather, the throttle may unexpectedly fail to return to idle when the accelerator pedal is released, making it difficult to stop the vehicle.in March of 2004, Audi performed a series of tests to investigate the possible causes of throttle icing.Audi concluded that under certain driving conditions - only short distance trips over several weeks where coolant temperature remains below 70C (158F) - water may accumulate in the motor oil. Water that has accumulated in the motor oil will evaporate after the engine oil temperature exceeds 70C (158F) and could, within 15 to 20 minutes of driving at a constant speed with an outside temperature below -20C (-4of), cause ice to form in the throttle body.according to Audi, this condition occurs at relatively low throttle settings and results in throttle sticking at positions that can be controlled by braking.during typical vehicle usage (mixture of short and long distance driving) this phenomenon is not expected to occur.this investigation has been upgraded to an engineering analysis.


    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE99001

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control:Linkages

    Summary: By letter dated March 22, 1999, Volkswagen notified NHTSA that it would take safety recall action to correct the spitback problem on all the subject vehicles.based on the manufacturer's recall action (ODI 99V-058), this investigation is closed.

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