During internal investigations, VW found that “the full functionality of the eCall / emergency call assistant is not guaranteed”. In the middle of the corona crisis, the manufacturer has to start a recall for all new Golfs.
On May 15, 2020, Volkswagen announced that “it had been determined in the course of internal investigations that the Golf 8 vehicles could not reliably transmit the software data to the control unit of the online connectivity unit (OCU3). As a result, the full functionality of the eCall / emergency assistant cannot be guaranteed”.
Since new models have had an appropriate emergency call facility since March 31, 2018 according to the EU regulation, the Golf 8 therefore no longer complies with the approval regulations. That’s why “Volkswagen immediately (May 14, 2020) canceled delivery of the Golf 8”.
In exchange with the responsible authorities, the next steps for the affected vehicles are checked – “in particular, a decision on a recall and a remedial action via software update by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) is pending in the next few days”.
Official recall next week
Background: VW needs the contact details of all current owners of all Golf 8. Although the manufacturer knows the first customers, they have no knowledge of changing owners. In order to receive the data from the KBA, VW needs approval of the planned recall and for this the manufacturer must explain the technical measures. In the present case, VW has already started to write corrected software that corrects the error. That this part of the software is safety-relevant, is not installed as an over-the-air update, but must be brought into the vehicle via the on-board diagnostic connector. To do this, the customer has to go to the workshop, but will be able to wait for the update there.
The new generation of the VW Golf started in December 2019, but has so far not been on the market in the USA or China, but only in Europe. Here, too, VW sold GTI, GTE, GTD and eGolf as 7-series models. VW has not yet been able to quantify the total production volume of the approximately six months, but it should certainly be in five digits.
VW and the software. The group is in the middle of a tremendous digitization process, so there is a lot of pressure on software development. It is understandable that mistakes also happen. Annoying that security-related functions are affected in this case. However, a hardware problem would not be better in this case, because the emergency button is probably the same in almost all VW models – the recall would have been gigantic.
Fortunately, the error was noticed in the quality checks by the manufacturer. You don’t need the eCall every day, but if the emergency call does not work, it is all the worse.