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VW issues software upgrade to resolve gearbox problems, shies away from recall

By Carmen Lee  From Gasgoo.comMarch 13, 2012 (Shanghai March 12) - Much like Toyota with its numerous brake issues before it, Volkswagen has begun facing difficulties regarding its DSG transmissions. At the beginning of the month, VW announced that its seven-speed DSG gearboxes may malfunction after the vehicle is not driven for a long time. The potential flaw is estimated to affect approximately 500,000 vehicles from FAW-VW, Shanghai VW and Shanghai VW Skoda.

According to a report appearing in Guangzhou Daily today, affected owners can pay a visit to an authorized dealer to receive a free update to repair the problem. The upgrade takes approximately 30 minutes to install.

In a recent interview, Volkswagen Group China Vice President Yang Meihong said that VW had already come up with three potential solutions to remedy the gearbox problem. The last case solution will involve reporting the issue to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ). However, Mrs. Yang is confident that the dealership update will resolve the problem. According to Gong Xingbo, FAW-VW's director of public relations, the problems can be traced to the gearbox's retooling for Chinese vehicles, with the actual hardware and design having no flaws whatsoever.

According to an official statement, if a vehicle which has not been driven for a long period of time, the control unit of the gearbox may malfunction, preventing the vehicle from being able to be driven. The problem is most likely to occur under extremely warm or humid conditions.

Nearly all VWs in China are outfitted with DSG gearboxes, with the majority of those being seven-speed variants. According to Mrs. Yang, since the gearbox problem doesn't pose a safety risk, AQSIQ has not recommended issuing a vehicle recall.

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