If you’re one of the 27 U.S. customers who purchased Volkswagen New Beetles manufactured between September 1, 2010 and September 22, 2010, Volkswagen wants your car back. That customer list includes 26 two-door Beetles and one Convertible, none of which meet current standards for occupant crash protection. New standards apparently went into effect on September 1, 2010, but Volkswagen was unable to stop production of New Beetle models in time. The 27 cars in question were delivered to dealers and subsequently purchased by customers.
Here’s where the story takes a turn for the weird: rather than replace the cars with models built after September 22 (which would meet the new occupant crash protection standards), Volkswagen has instructed dealers to replace the cars with inventory built prior to September 1. In other words, VW wants to use up inventory built before the new standards went into place. Worse, the recall requires dealers to replace the cars with “comparable vehicles”, which tells me that those affected may not even get new cars to replace the ones they just bought. As for me, I wouldn’t accept a dealer demo car, that’s been flogged mercilessly by customers and sales staff alike, in trade for a brand new car I was still in the process of breaking in. VW missed an opportunity for goo PR here, and I suspect they’re about to learn how vocal 27 pissed-off customers can be.