[UPDATE] We've learned that Skoda has also restarted customer deliveries of the Octavia last week.
The rollout of what is arguably Volkswagen’s most important car, the Golf, was plagued by a software issue related to the emergency call function. The problem was discovered last month during routine quality assurance checks, prompting an emergency stop of customer deliveries. VW said a fix would be ready by the middle of June, and now the software glitch has been resolved.
While the issue with cars that have been built but not delivered yet will be fixed shortly, VW will also have to solve the software glitch on Golf 8s already in the hands of customers. The company estimates there are 15,000 cars in Germany alone in need of a fix, with additional vehicles throughout Europe. All of them will be involved in a voluntary recall. To that end, VW has already notified Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA).
New Golf versions are coming:
The same issue also affected customer deliveries of the mechanically related Skoda Octavia, but the Czech marque has not made a similar announcement about a software fix at the moment of writing. The software fix will be applied going forward on all Golfs, with the Octavia as well as the Audi A3 and SEAT Leon likely getting a similar update.
An emergency call function is mandatory according to European Union legislation. According to Europa.eu, an official website of the EU:
“If you buy a new model of car, approved for manufacture after 31 March 2018, it must have the 112-based eCall system installed. This rule applies both to cars with no more than 8 seats and light commercial vehicles. If you have a car which is already registered, you are not obliged to retrofit an eCall device but you can have it installed if your car meets the technical requirements.”
If you’re wondering how it works, the system automatically makes a free emergency call if the car is involved in a serious accident. It connects to the nearest emergency response centre, regardless of where the vehicle is registered.
Delivery stop lifted for Golf Mk 8 vehicles
"As part of internal investigations, we established that in individual Golf Mk 8 vehicles, the software in the online connectivity unit (OCU3) control unit may not reliably transfer data. As a result, full eCall/Emergency Assist functionality cannot be guaranteed. As per the applicable EU regulation, new models must feature corresponding emergency call equipment as of 31 March 2018. For this reason, we reacted in order to guarantee full compliance with this regulation.
Volkswagen therefore immediately implemented a delivery stop for the Golf Mk 8 from the middle of May in order to investigate the matter in cooperation with the responsible authorities and to decide on the next steps in relation to the affected vehicles.
In order to remedy the situation, Volkswagen has developed a software update for the control unit of the online connectivity unit. This update will be installed in Golf Mk 8 models produced in the future as standard. The update will also be installed in vehicles that have already been completed.
The precautionary, self-imposed, preventive delivery stop will now be lifted with the availability of the software update.
Volkswagen will additionally initiate a voluntary recall for Golf Mk 8 models already delivered to customers in order to install the software update. Volkswagen has already notified the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) of this and has requested owner data in order to inform the affected customers in good time.
(Additional information: approx. 15,000 vehicles are affected by the recall in Germany")
Media information related to the temporary delivery stop for the Golf 8
Due to the temporary delay of the delivery of the Golf 8 we’d like to inform you about the latest information status: “In the course of internal investigations, we have determined that individual Golf 8 vehicles may experience unreliable data transmission from the software on the control unit of the online connectivity unit (OCU3). As a result, the full functionality of the eCall / emergency call assistant cannot be guaranteed. According to the EU regulation, new models must have an appropriate emergency call device since March 31, 2018. We have therefore responded to ensure full compliance with this regulation. Accordingly, Volkswagen immediately stopped delivering the Golf 8. In an exchange with the responsible authorities, we review the further procedure for the affected vehicles - in particular, a decision regarding a recall and a remedial action via software update by the Federal Motor Transport Authority in Germany (KBA) is pending in the next few days.”
In case of further questions please contact your dealer or service hotline 0800-8655792436.