Beetle recall: V.W.T.F.?

2009_volkswagen_beetle.top.jpgVolkswagen is recalling a handful of Beetles and will replace them with... identical cars. What gives? By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Volkswagen is recalling about 20 new Beetles -- and replacing them with identical cars.

At issue is when the cars were made, and whether or not they complied with a particular crash-test regulation.

As of Sept. 1, all cars sold in the U.S. had to be crash tested at 35 miles per hour. The 20 Beetles in question were built between Sept. 1 and Sept. 22, but they were only subject to crash tests at 30 miles per hour, adhering to the previous regulation.

That means legally they must be taken off the road, according to Sheriece Matias, a Volkswagen spokeswoman.

But the dealers aren't fixing the VW's, since there isn't actually anything to fix. And they aren't giving affected Beetle owners safer cars that have been crash tested at a higher speed.

Customers will be given cars that were also tested at only 30 miles per hour. The difference: These cars were built before Sept. 1st, when a 30 mph test was OK.

The cars aren't any different, but they're "compliant" because the rules were different at the time they were assembled.

The recall covers about 27 vehicles, 20 of which are out on the road, said Matias. The cars had been pulled out of production earlier in the year, and the final assembly occurred after the rule went into effect, hence the regulatory mix-up.

"We're offering owners a buy back or a Beetle that was built a few days before the rule went into effect," she said. "They're basically getting a new car." To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,088.05 -10.40 -0.06%
Nasdaq 4,594.35 14.08 0.31%
S&P 500 2,004.08 0.71 0.04%
Treasuries 2.41 0.07 2.86%
Data as of 10:26am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 103.40 0.90 0.88%
Bank of America Corp... 16.13 0.04 0.22%
Staples Inc 12.41 0.73 6.25%
Facebook Inc 75.60 0.78 1.04%
General Electric Co 25.92 -0.07 -0.25%
Data as of 10:11am ET

Sections

Online flower peddler is buying fruit gift basket retailers for $142.5 million. More

Gas prices are falling to nearly $3 a gallon in some parts of South Carolina, and that will soon be common in much of the country. More

Microsoft is expected to begin showing off Windows 9's features later this month. Here are the expected changes you should be thrilled about. More

The Coolest Cooler is the most successful Kickstarter campaign in the site's history, raising $13.3 million from over 62,000 backers. More

A scam where fraudsters impersonate IRS agents has now stolen $5 million from taxpayers, and this woman - who lost her entire life savings -- is just one of its victims. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.