U.S. Auto Regulators Probe a Part That May Leak Gasoline

By Chester Dawson Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. auto regulators have opened a probe into a fuel pump part that could cause a gasoline leak, possibly affecting up to 10 major auto brands and already leading to the recall of nearly half a million vehicles, including certain Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen models.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into defective fuel pump flanges made by Continental Automotive GmbH, a unit of Continental AG, and used by top auto makers and other automotive suppliers, according to public filings.

No accidents or injuries are known to have been caused by the flaw, said a U.S. spokeswoman for the Hannover, Germany company.

Flanges are collars that surround openings where parts connect. Cracks in the plastic flanges may cause a leak and pose a risk of fire, the company told regulators in a letter dated July 6. The cause is unknown but under investigation, it said.

The probe was triggered by recall notifications to the NHTSA by the three Volkswagen AG group brands. The 456,106 vehicles recalled so far include some 2013-2017 model year Audi Q5 and Q7 SUVs as well as certain 2015-2017 Porsche Macan SUVs.

Representatives for those three German brands in the U.S. could not be reached for comment.

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Other auto makers used similar parts made by Continental that may also be faulty, including Fiat Chrysler Automotive NV, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., the auto components maker said in its regulatory filing with the NHTSA.

"We are in communication with all potentially impacted customers and are working closely with each of them on this matter," the Continental spokeswoman said.

Write to Chester Dawson at chester.dawson@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 07, 2017 18:47 ET (22:47 GMT)