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Just noticed that VWoA issued a repair notice this week for 2015 to 2017 Touareg's to deal with the water getting into the engine via the air intake hose that has been well discussed on the forum.

Per VW's website (Recall / Service Campaign Lookup):

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VW Action Code
23DG
Service campaigns shown may be available for a limited time only. Please contact your authorized VW dealer for additional information.

Start date
09-07-2021

Description
If the drain valve in the engine air intake hose becomes clogged with debris, it is possible that water may potentially enter the air intake system and affect the air filter, engine, turbocharger or intercooler in limited instances.

Remedy
Remove the drain valve from the air intake hose.

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It's not the same repair as the recall in China. But this repair notice doesn't specify which drain value they are removing. I personally don't see removing the drain valve on the air intake hose as a smart fix if these cars go through deep water on any given road after a hard rain. Water will certainly get into the engine from below the vehicle depending on the water level. More importantly, what are they going to do for the vehicles that have been affected already by water getting into the engine due to this faulty air intake hose design; that's what I'd really like to know and see them advise on.
 

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Those who keep the valve clean need not worry. It isn't really a valve just a rubber bung with a narrow opening & wading that deep it still has the potential to let water in fitted or not.

The main issue is caused by water entering from the front running down the headlight & directed into the inlet. A simple deflector made from a bit of plastic solves it. For China VW have part numbers. I managed to purchase the top one but couldn't find the number of the other so made one.

No issues since for me but drive on roads only no deep water apart from the occasional ford.
 

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I was already scheduled to have them look at mine before this came out. So good timing for me. At least now they will do something about it. Thought about removing it myself but feared if something happen they would deny a claim based on my altering the system. So this works out great. I have no plans of wading deep water so I am relatively comforting with the plug being removed.
 

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2006 V8 Touareg AIR, nav, hid
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When I first saw this thread I thought finally, VW has stood up, accepted responsibility and acted as an adult.

Then I read the description. Just yank out the valve, throw it away, and the heck with the published fording specs.

John Guest makes several great low pressure check valves that retail for around ten dollars. Something like that would be a real fix and it should have been factory installed in the vehicle instead of the craptastic fake check valve that VW used.

And the best part... It is a limited time offer. Really? VW might run out of "part removers" to complete this "fix." Lol.

Anyone up to drilling a water drain hole on the "pre filtered air side" of the air box while we are at it?

Same old VW. Winterkorn might as well still be running it.
 

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I agree completely. Its a pretty pathetic fix and typical of VW. I wonder if they had a couple lawsuits that pushed this. Like you said Nicky....Could they not have developed or found a valve that would work and just replaced the valves?
 

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I have a 2016 and haven't received any notice yet. What was the date of the notice ? Thanks I'm due for a trip to the dealer.anyway.
 

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Just got the recall letter today here in Toronto, Ontario. Booked the dealer for next week.
 

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I checked my VIN number for a recall and it indicated no recall. I don't know what to make of this situation.
 

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Just so everyone knows the courts haven't approved the settlement yet, if you received the letter you can still stay in the class action and "object" to the settlement. your imply write to them (info in the packet) and explain that the fix will not solve the root issue which is the fact water makes it into the airbag because of a different headlight/ hood design hence the recall only applying to 2015+.

Now, if enough people object to the settlement of them just removing the drain they may have to do something further. also there could be monetary reimbursement if enough people say that the vehicles advertised water fording depth is now reduced because there is now a hole in the low point of the system.
 

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Just so everyone knows the courts haven't approved the settlement yet, if you received the letter you can still stay in the class action and "object" to the settlement. your imply write to them (info in the packet) and explain that the fix will not solve the root issue which is the fact water makes it into the airbag because of a different headlight/ hood design hence the recall only applying to 2015+.

Now, if enough people object to the settlement of them just removing the drain they may have to do something further. also there could be monetary reimbursement if enough people say that the vehicles advertised water fording depth is now reduced because there is now a hole in the low point of the system.
Thanks for this. I got the recall letter and the class action letter on the same day. I have had water in the air box and replaced a filter because of it. The proposed settlement for the class action seems to state that if a part was replaced as a result, I could get reimbursed, but just up to 75%. Not sure the paper work or if the effort is worth it for an air filter. But like you said, might be worth skipping this and hoping for more, like a fix to DRL that is out of the same side of air intake on my VR6. There is probably a correlation right? :)

I have to go in for service soon so will probably ask the service advisor about this and see if fording depth is impacted.
 

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Man, this is too little too late for mine that got totaled out because of hydrolock. Splashed up water over the hood and right down into you know where. Not that I dislike my new Audi SQ5 but I still mis mr R-Line Touareg.
 

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GENERAL DISCUSSION: I wasn't exactly sure how to approach this post as I knew it would end up long winded and would continue the furor over the Touareg's air intake design flaw and Volkswagen's solution. In the end, I accepted long winded as some may benefit from my analysis and solution. To be clear, I'm just sharing my analysis of the issue as a multi Touareg owner factoring in my family's driving constraints and not suggesting this is the only answer. You may consider this as a sharing of information - you may not read it as an invitation to a debate...

The problem breaks down this way: VW made a colossal engineering mistake in designing an air intake horn (AIH) that resembles a water funnel. But that engineering mistake remained largely hidden until the 2015 face lift. Typically, an AIH is perpendicular to the ground (not horizontal) and is located in such a way that top down water intrusion is never a concern. There may have been a compelling reason to gain as much AIH height as possible in the early days of the Touareg as it had more OEM off-road goodies than it does today. But for the most part, that reason doesn't exist in today's Touareg. Today's Touareg is nothing more than a less expensive luxury SUV (compared to Porsche, etc.). Now, you may see it differently, but I am unaware of any technical reasons that would support a different viewpoint.

So where does that leave us as late model Touareg owners with a well documented engineering flaw that has resulted in well documented serious/expensive damage to the engine? VW has issued a large Touareg recall in China and now has issued the 23DG Air Intake Drain Valve service advisory to US owners. There is a technical difference between the two, but both just attempt to address the symptom (water entry into the AIH), rather than addressing the root cause (AIH shaped as a water funnel).

We're left with a few choices, and each has consequences:
- Accept the 23DG tech solution which simply removes the rubber bung from the bottom of the tube that leads to the air filter box. This is band-aid that, at best, only partially addresses one of the senarious for water entry. In looking at the Chinese owners water entry video (2017 Sport w/Tech Engine Ingested Water), you will see at the 1:28 mark water is actually curving as it leaves the bottom of the headlight to enter the AIH. That suggests to me, he had his engine running. So now we have two scenarios for water entry: 1) engine off - vehicle parked nose pointing uphill, and 2) engine on - vehicle mostly stationary (car wash, intersection, heavy traffic slow motoring, etc.). Both offered solutions (the Chinese and the 23DG) only address the engine off scenario. They do nothing when your engine is running impersonating a wet-vac. The implications are obvious; and therefore unacceptable to me.

- Hold out waiting for litigation to end in hopes of a better solution. And while we're waiting for that, as yet to be defined better technical solution which may not ever be forth coming, we are putting thousands of miles on our vehicles and assuming the risk for doing so. The implications are again obvious; and therefore unacceptable to me.

- Sell the vehicle. This is also not an option for me. The Touareg is a perfect road trip vehicle (a joy to drive, long legs as I get 600 to 800 miles on a tank of fuel, very comfortable, etc.) - put another way, I really like the vehicle.

- Other or something else. I've chosen something else as none of the others have any appeal.

OTHER DISCUSSION: So before the big reveal let me say that in five decades and over a million miles of driving (as a non-pro), I have only driven through water deeper that the middle of the wheel (axle deep) a few times fording a stream (read here: less than .00001% of all my driving), and when I did it was either in a Toyota Tacoma or Toyota Land Cruiser set up for doing so. I have never nor will ever expose my luxury SUV's to similar conditions. Period.

My answer was to mod the AIH. I removed the intake tube, cut it right at the radiator wall (under the foam), rotated the AIH 180 degrees pointing it down, reattached it, and reinstalled the tube (read here: no more funnel). I lost approximately five inches in vertical height ending up with the AIH opening at twenty-six inches above the ground. That height is slightly higher than the top of the wheels/rims (not the tires) which are 265/50R19's.

For me, that is a very acceptable compromise that factors in my family's driving environment/conditions, and addresses the design flaw with a solution that meets both of the scenarios described above. It solves all water ingress with the exception of water above the top of the wheel. Further, I am not exposing myself to the potential water damage over the course of owning the vehicle with an AIH design flaw.

FYI, I did not remove the rubber bung in the process as I didn't see any technical advantages to doing so. For those who are curious, the rubber bung elevation is approximately two inches lower (at 24") than the AIH opening is after mod. It should also be noted that the AIH location, before and/or after mod, is in an area that is not susceptible to water splashing or ingress caused by a wake.

In summary, it's fair to say VW screwed up. It's also reasonable to assume they won't be offering an improved technical resolution as all they really have to do is stall long enough for the problem to become a thing of the past which minimizes cost to them. And yes, one can make a compelling argument that they will lose owners in the short run, but does it really matter for us right here right now? Further at my age, I'm not inclined to taking on a battle (legal) where I have no measurable control of the outcome. At best, I'll just have gone through a lot of pain for a definite maybe. I don't like those odds. Rather, I've chosen to take a completely unemotional approach to focus my energies - that is, re-engineer the AIH.

I've completed the mod on my wife's 2016 and will start on my 2015 this week. If there is any interest, I can document the process via a howto here on the forum...

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