Volkswagen is recalling over 261,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to address an issue with a suction jet pump seal inside those vehicles’ fuel tanks that could cause a leak and pose a potential fire hazard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Thursday.

The recall covers certain front-wheel drive 2015-2020 Audi A3 Sedan, 2015-2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet, 2019-2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI, 2018 Golf Sportwagen GP, 2018-2019 Golf Sportwagen A7, 2015-2017 Golf Sportwagen, 2015-2020 Golf GTI and 2015-2020 Golf A7 vehicles.

“The suction jet pump inside the fuel tank is designed to purge fuel from the Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) system,” the company wrote to dealers. “If a specific seal inside an affected suction jet pump fails, the fuel may flow directly into the EVAP system.

“If this happens, fuel could accumulate in the EVAP system and may leak through the charcoal canister filter element. Leaking fuel, in the presence of an ignition source, may result in a fire,” Volkswagen added.

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The company noted that customers whose vehicles are affected by the issue may notice refueling issues – such as early stopping fuel nozzles or spillback – when fuel has accumulated in the EVAP system. 

The driver or vehicle occupants may also notice a fuel odor.

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Volkswagen Group said that customers experiencing those issues should contact an authorized dealer to have the vehicle diagnosed.

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Audi A3

Dealers will replace the suction pump on affected vehicles free of charge. While a repair is not yet available, dealers and vehicle owners will be notified in writing once the fix to the fuel pump problem is available. 

Notification letters are expected to be mailed to owners on April 12, 2024.

Volkswagen Jetta

Reuters contributed to this report.

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