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Just got the news today that my engine has water inside.

Dream car to drive in the rain, but I had to drive through heavy rain from Indiana to Virginia the beginning of the month. Got to destination and back home without a problem. Left the car sitting for several days while I flew west. When I got home it ran for about 1/4 mile then died, never to start again. Dealer informed me that I had driven the car into water. I explained that it was only driven in rain. The Dealer suggested that I contact my insurance to report that the car had sustained flood d damage. Insurance won’t cover engine. Waiting to hear back from VW Customer Service.
 

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This is a known problem did you see the post from China? I Think VW of America is going to give you a hard time with this problem!!! Get ready for battle.
 

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I've just searched this as for the second time in 4 months air filter is wet at the bottom but drain appears to be clear? if water could be entering on intake pipe somewhere. Thinking of changing for K&N so bits of air filter don't enter engine. 3.0tdi 2014
 

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I just had 20K service done at the dealer on my 2017 FSI. They replaced the air filter and didn't mention that it was wet. I usually wash my car at a touch free high water pressure place so I was concerned that my air filter would get soaked with water.
 

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Following up- I replaced my wet filter 9 months ago and made sure the new one was installed properly. I went through a Chicago winter, numerous car washes, and spring/summer heavy rains. I opened the air box up for the first time last week and the filter has zero damage. No signs of water having entered. I have to say, I was very surprised.


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Everyone who finds water damage on the air filter needs to do this. You need to file a NHTSA safety defect complaint.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

Your Complaint is Important
LET'S GET STARTED!

COMPLETE this 5-step form -- it takes about 5 minutes, and have the following information handy:

Email Address -- To file a complaint without one or for other assistance, please call the Vehicle Safety Hotline (Toll-Free: 1-888-327-4236 / Hearing Impaired (TTY): 1-800-424-9153).
Your VIN What's this?
Make
Model
Year of your vehicle

Any documentation you have related to your complaint, such as photos or a police report
Give pictures, give the links to the recall in China, give statements.

This is the only way you will ever get VW to admit and do something about this problem.

Anything that can cause the engine to seize and suddenly stop working is classified by the NHTSA as a major safety defect. Water getting sucked into a running engine falls into this category.
 

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I just started to follow this thread,because I'm about to buy a "new" 2016 TDI. My 2012 has never had this issue or never heard of this happening. VW must have changed the design of the filter for this group of engines. Is the answer to check the filters on a regular basis,especially if you are drive in heavy rain? Want to avoid this obviously
 

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Just got the news today that my engine has water inside.

Dream car to drive in the rain, but I had to drive through heavy rain from Indiana to Virginia the beginning of the month. Got to destination and back home without a problem. Left the car sitting for several days while I flew west. When I got home it ran for about 1/4 mile then died, never to start again. Dealer informed me that I had driven the car into water. I explained that it was only driven in rain. The Dealer suggested that I contact my insurance to report that the car had sustained flood d damage. Insurance won’t cover engine. Waiting to hear back from VW Customer Service.
Quick question: How did you park your car while you were away?

My driveway is on a slope.
I have found that my treg airfilter doesn't accumulate water while parked "head-down". However, it will quickly accumulate water if I park it "head up", even after I removed the rubber plug under the intake pipe. I think the angle plays a significant role here.
 

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Following up- I replaced my wet filter 9 months ago and made sure the new one was installed properly. I went through a Chicago winter, numerous car washes, and spring/summer heavy rains. I opened the air box up for the first time last week and the filter has zero damage. No signs of water having entered. I have to say, I was very surprised.


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I checked my 2012 Touareg TDI a month ago when it rained really hard, and it was bone dry. I didn't change air filter for more than a year (as soon as I heard about the buyback). Meanwhile my 2017 Gasser's air filter was soaked at the bottom 3 inches. Curious, very curious...
 

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I agree on curious. I fully expected mine to show signs of water. When I purchased a year old, the filter in it showed signs on the bottom 3 inches. I replaced it and again showed signs of water. Third time, I was meticulous about installing it. I wrote a thread up top. No water this time. Used a Mahle.


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I am trying to understand how the water gets into the filter in the first place. I would assume any intake in the front of the car would have to have some sort of baffle to prevent water from entering the intake of the filter housing. It is probably obvious that going 75 mph in driving rain is going have a lot of water hitting the grill area. What am I missing? The other puzzle is my 2012 TDI has never had an issue and we have driven at high speed in driving rain.
 

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I am trying to understand how the water gets into the filter in the first place. I would assume any intake in the front of the car would have to have some sort of baffle to prevent water from entering the intake of the filter housing. It is probably obvious that going 75 mph in driving rain is going have a lot of water hitting the grill area. What am I missing? The other puzzle is my 2012 TDI has never had an issue and we have driven at high speed in driving rain.
The water doesn't enter through the grill, but the gap between the headlight and the hood.

The air intake pipe has a curved angle, but if your car is parked upwards, there is chance for water to flow across the draining hole and reach the air filter box... as it's sealed, the water has nowhere to go but to stay there and hopefully blow dry before getting into the engine.

Will it make sense to drill an additional draining hole at the bottom of the air filter box?
 

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I have been following this and decided to investigate this situation on my car. The pipe from the front of the car to the air box does have a drain in the lowest point kind of like a p trap, it is to small to work effectively any water that enters the pipe drains very slowly and wil enter the main air box. The main air box also has a drain in it also mine was clogged with foam debri from the filter (the dealer was not changing the filter as recommended)!!! I removed the tube for the drain and took it appart and cleaned it so now it drains if water does enter the air box. I have a 2012 Hybrid. Keep an eye on this because it could cause real problems if your drains are plugged like mine! Fortunately I did not have any engine damage like others have had!
 

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Will it make sense to drill an additional draining hole at the bottom of the air filter box?
If it was my vehicle, I would look at a way to make a shield between the headlight and the air entry point. It is better to keep the water away from entering the pipe in the first place.

That is the approach the Chinese took.

If you put the hole at the bottom and if the vehicle later fords water, such as during a extremely heavy rain, crossing a flooded road, you risk seizing the engine up and making a bad situation worse.
 

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Hello everyone, new member here...
I've joined on behalf of my father, who is a proud owner of his second Touareg after having a Turbo Cayenne for several years and loving the model. He's 80 and not so good on the old interwebz

This past week, there was a terrible summer thunderstorm in Charlotte. He stopped at a strip mall, left the car running for 20-25 minutes and made some calls until the storm blew over. Once it passed, he continued on his way. Approximately 1/4 mile down the road, the car basically just slowed and then stopped without warning. Thankfully a police officer came by pretty quickly and kept the situation safe as he had not been able to get off the road. They had the car flat-bedded to the dealer where he purchased it and where it had been serviced less than a week previously, was told to get a rental (on them), and they would take a look.

The following day, the service writer called him and told him that the car had been in deep water and that they would not honor the warranty. They explained that they were not responsible and that they would no longer be covering the rental--basically, call you insurance company, they'll handle it.

A call to the insurance company brought more bad news---we don't cover that, the dealer should cover it, and good luck.

So...this issue of water ingestion is the obvious cause, but VW is taking no responsibility for the design flaw, and are not acknowledging the recalls mentioned in previous posts in Germany or in China. I wonder if the OP or Kettlekamp have had any luck with getting VW of NA to do anything about this?
Has anyone who has reached out to the NHTSA through their problem reporting site, and if so, any response from them regarding the issue?

Thanks for any responses...
 

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Hello everyone, new member here...
I've joined on behalf of my father, who is a proud owner of his second Touareg after having a Turbo Cayenne for several years and loving the model. He's 80 and not so good on the old interwebz

This past week, there was a terrible summer thunderstorm in Charlotte. He stopped at a strip mall, left the car running for 20-25 minutes and made some calls until the storm blew over. Once it passed, he continued on his way. Approximately 1/4 mile down the road, the car basically just slowed and then stopped without warning. Thankfully a police officer came by pretty quickly and kept the situation safe as he had not been able to get off the road. They had the car flat-bedded to the dealer where he purchased it and where it had been serviced less than a week previously, was told to get a rental (on them), and they would take a look.

The following day, the service writer called him and told him that the car had been in deep water and that they would not honor the warranty. They explained that they were not responsible and that they would no longer be covering the rental--basically, call you insurance company, they'll handle it.

A call to the insurance company brought more bad news---we don't cover that, the dealer should cover it, and good luck.

So...this issue of water ingestion is the obvious cause, but VW is taking no responsibility for the design flaw, and are not acknowledging the recalls mentioned in previous posts in Germany or in China. I wonder if the OP or Kettlekamp have had any luck with getting VW of NA to do anything about this?
Has anyone who has reached out to the NHTSA through their problem reporting site, and if so, any response from them regarding the issue?

Thanks for any responses...
That sucks. Maybe your father can bring this to the court as there's a police officer at the scene and he may be able to testify about the situation.
 

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Get Legal Advice Now!

Cars are expected to be able to withstand the normal effects of rain, even heavy rains. If you were in a hurricane, monsoon, or flood waters, VW would possibly be off the hook.

Since we have pretty good documentation that the vehicle can be destroyed by ordinary rain, including the FACT that a very large government that has already issued a recall for this very problem...

I would take this issue in front of a judge. I feel pretty confident that VW will not win the case.
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Remember that this is the same corporation that told us there was no ad-blue issues with the Touareg. The system was (1) reliable and (2) not part of the emission system and therefore not covered under the extended emission warranty.

Remember that this is the some corporation that told us there was no emission issues with the TDI engines. They were all clean and meet emission standards.

Also, file a complaint for a car that stopped suddenly on the NHTSA website. If you read the website, a MAJOR safety defect is any defect that can suddenly lead to the loss of engine power while on the highway, which is what happened in this case.

Yes, the NHTSA moves slowly, but get enough complaints and the slow wheels will move. The speed at which this happens depends totally on the number of complaints that are filed and verified by the NHTSA.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/
 
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