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Thursday, July 6 big rain (3" between midnight and 6 AM), still raining hard at 9:00 AM. Wife left for work (in hard rain), vehicle limped briefly then quit running after 100 yards. Did not drive through standing water. Vehicle transported to dealer via roll-back. Dealer says water in engine - serious damage.

Vehicle sat on driveway in the rain through the night - not moved until 9:00 AM.

I can't get my mind around how driving the vehicle in a hard rain could result in engine ingesting water. Is there any experience with this issue within the forum?

Thanks. Comments appreciated.
 

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This has been treated as a known issue by VW China and they are recalling MY2015-2017 Touareg as many owners are facing this problem and filed complaints to the National Bureau of Automobile Quality. The root cause of it is that the rain drainage system in the engine compartment has a design fault. The rain water could leak into the engine intake pipe and then of course into the engine.

Check your air filter of the engine and see if it's wet. I have many pictures showing the drown air filters of Touareg but don't have the privilege to post them here as my post count < 5 >:)

Hope it helps.
 

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Ethan
Just post several times here using a couple of words to raise the post count and then post the pictures. We'll understand why!
 

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New engine coming your way. Hard to believe,since these cars are suppose to handle deep water driving. Obviously they aren't amphibius ,but any car can handle this. Anxious to hear the response from VW.
 

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Here's an update - Ethan - I'm still trying to get any information from VW China and People's Republic of China on the recall no luck (yet). Background: Purchased vehicle new in April 2017 from Annapolis, MD VW dealer. Dealer found the desired color at Virginia Beach, VA VW dealer (about 200 miles away), when vehicle accepted, had 600 miles on odometer. Carfax shows vehicle at Virginia Beach dealer 08/15/2016. Vehicle returned to us 09/06/17 with new factory engine. Dealer and VW America refused to honor warranty, stated "outside influence". Insurance paid for repairs and rental vehicle ($14,312.27), I am out $500.00 (comprehensive deductible) at this point. Since original problem not known at this point, family is not satisfied with repaired vehicle. We negotiated trade-in with Annapolis dealer for another 2017 Touareg, some financial assistance from VW America, we are now out $7299.74, but we have a new vehicle with a complete warranty (replacement engine was only warrantied for one year). Now I can look for the problem.

I looked at the air filter element on the new Touareg today, it was wet on the bottom. There is a drain at the low point of the tube TO the air box (from the front of the vehicle), it was completely blocked with fine dirt. The drain at the bottom of the air box was restricted by dirt, but open. Obviously, as previously posted, the air system design is faulty by design. I will have to keep these drains clear by frequent service and replacing a bunch of air filter elements. DO NOT use any 3rd party filters - they don't have the foam mesh part of the filters - use VW parts. I am not done with VW America by as long shot. I will post more as things develop - comments appreciated.
 

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Oh man. I just bought a new 2017. I had not seen this particular issue when I researched the car. Obviously have to drive the car in the rain and don't want to be afraid to. What should I look out for? If I pop the hood when I get home, am I looking for something wet? Make sure some sort of drain is clear of debris?
 

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The best guess at this point is this is probably a design defect and can happen on a perfectly clean and brand new vehicle. But, judging by the small number of complaints, it is not something that happens every time it rains. I would only be anxious when I was driving in torrential rain.

If it happens to you, file a complaint at the link above with the NHTSA. They will open an investigation when they get enough complaints. If it is a defect, the NHTSA will require that VW comes up with a fix / recall.
 

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Thanks Nicky. Should I pop my hood and make sure some drains are clear or that nothing is wet? If so, what should I look for? Assuming I'm standing at the front of the vehicle when hood is propped open.
 

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All I can think of is to look at the air filter and make sure it is totally dry. Also look into the cabinet that holds the air filter and make sure it is 100% free of any debris.

If the air filter is wet or damp, let the dealer service department write it up as a problem. It is in VW best interest to fix the air cleaner. Replacement warranty engines are expensive, even for VW.
 

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I am puzzled by this design flaw, I was under the impression that all TREGs from 2011 thru the last yr are essentially the same in terms of their design. I know a different engine was used in 2013,but it was only minor,I thought. What exactly is different from my 2012 and a 2017? My car is flawless for 55K miles.
 

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I am puzzled by this design flaw, I was under the impression that all TREGs from 2011 thru the last yr are essentially the same in terms of their design. I know a different engine was used in 2013,but it was only minor,I thought. What exactly is different from my 2012 and a 2017? My car is flawless for 55K miles.
Agreed. AFAIK, the VR6 in it's current state is used in this version of the Touareg from 2011 to 2017 (in U.S.). Maybe they changed something in the air intake area for emissions purposes that leaves the 2017 vulnerable? I am used to making sure cowl drains are clear but never had to make sure air cleaner hoses and housings were dry. Especially on a car that is supposed to be able to go through snow and dust, I'd hope the system is sealed.


Not sure about the cars in China though.
 

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I have the exact same problem with my 2015 Sport. I have checked twice after rain and both times the bottom of the filter and filter housing are wet. Drain or no drain, water in the intake is wrong. Is the water coming from the air intake port? Coming up the drain tube? Splashing in the the bottom air box tabs?
 

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I have the exact same problem with my 2015 Sport. I have checked twice after rain and both times the bottom of the filter and filter housing are wet. Drain or no drain, water in the intake is wrong. Is the water coming from the air intake port? Coming up the drain tube? Splashing in the the bottom air box tabs?
I would check my 2017 to see if it's also wet, but I have no idea where to look. I make sure leaves are not stuck at the bottom of the windshield, but no idea how to see if my engine air filter or intake is wet. I searched youtube for a How To vid, but don't see anything for the 3.6 engine.

Hope VW fixes the issue for you!
 

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If you want to inspect for the problem, open your air filter housing under hood. There are two metal spring clamps on the top. Unhook both and Pivot the cover away from the base. You will see the air filter inside. Lift the cover up and off of the mounting tabs at the bottom. You should be able to pull out the air filter and look inside bottom of the air filter housing. If you have had water, your filter will be hard, deformed and discolored at the bottom. You may find water in the bottom of the air box or the foam on the filter will be wet. You will also see the drain opening at the bottom.
 

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Interesting indeed. If I read this correct, it sounds like the OP barely drove and during that drive the engine already was running poorly...seems water got in the engine just sitting there??

Theoretically water surface tension could allow the water to follow a profile of the fender (or hood underside?) down then either drip or stick to a part of the air tube and then somehow into the tube and then into the engine...but that would be a one in a billion chances that the engineers would overlook something like that (one would think).

As far as wet air filters... a car wash got the bottom of one my 08 V 8 filters wet (passengers side). Drain holes wasn't the problem, the secondary injection house connection leaked water. However the truck had to be running to do this and the water never made it to the other side of the filter as the intake tubes were both dry and clean.
 

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I would agree that this occurs sitting there. My wife works 2 miles away and was parked in the rain all day when I found it wet. Since this is coming up on 2015 and newer, was the nose redesigned for 2015?
 

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I tried to check the filter before it got dark, but I only got as far as unhooking both metal clips. The right side of the box (if standing in front of car) has coolant line connected to it at the front, and the big wide tube heading to firewall area has an electrical connection. Not confident enough to pry the seam open to grab the filter since it's moving those attached parts. I'm guessing you have to unhook the tubes and electric plug so you don't damage them? I will just have to hope its dry. I guess even if it's wet, what can I do? I have to drive and park in the rain, unfortunately. Disappointed that this is happening to "premium" VW products - hopefully a recall comes out as it could be a safety issue if someone stalls on the the road.

If you want to inspect for the problem, open your air filter housing under hood. There are two metal spring clamps on the top. Unhook both and Pivot the cover away from the base. You will see the air filter inside. Lift the cover up and off of the mounting tabs at the bottom. You should be able to pull out the air filter and look inside bottom of the air filter housing. If you have had water, your filter will be hard, deformed and discolored at the bottom. You may find water in the bottom of the air box or the foam on the filter will be wet. You will also see the drain opening at the bottom.
 

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im not sure this is a design flaw at all....there are tons of videos of 2011+ touaregs going threw deep water on youtube...ive done it plenty im guessing something is loose or missing allowing water in.
 
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