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09 May 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Rear seat belt safety issue found on sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo models

2018 Volkswagen Polo Beats (UK)

Volkswagen has stated that passengers of the sixth-generation Polo as well as its SEAT Ibiza and Arona SUV siblings should not use the middle rear seat after the left rear passenger belt came unbuckled during high-speed lane-change manoeuvres conducted by Finnish magazine Tekniikan Maailma.

UK car weekly car magazine Autocar broke the story on the morning on 9 May, and reports that Volkswagen has advised not to use the rear place on affected cars until an official recall has been issued. Tekniikan Maailma discovered that the rear left buckle can come undone when the cars are carrying their full complement of five passengers. Autocar reports that a Volkswagen representative confirmed that the company ‘will provide a technical solution shortly and recall the vehicles concerned’.

‘Design fault’
It is reported that the higher-mounted middle buckle is pushed onto the lower left rear latching under high-speed left direction lane changes due to the weight of the passenger in the centre seat. Tekniikan Maailma confirmed that all three cars acted in this way, and even tested a pair of SEAT Aronas to make sure it wasn’t an isolated case, saying that the unlatching is ‘caused by a design fault’.

Owners of the latest sixth-generation Polo are advised not to use the middle rear seat until affected models have been remedied with a redesigned seat belt lock fixing. Volkswagen told Autocar that the recall will be ‘carried out in co-operation with the national vehicle registration authorities’ in markets where the car is sold.

Update, 11 May 2018: Volkswagen has officially confirmed there is a rear seat belt lock fixture issue and has released the following statement.

Volkswagen announces a recall for the current Polo generation due to issue with rear seat belt lock fixtures

  • Technical solution has been identified
  • Recall campaign to start within the next few weeks
  • Safety remains top priority for Volkswagen

Wolfsburg – Volkswagen has confirmed a technical issue on the new Polo (model year 2018). There is the possibility that in rare situations (e.g. sudden quick lane changes with five passengers on board) and when the rear center seat and the rear left seat are occupied at the same time, the left seat belt lock could be unintentionally released.

At Volkswagen safety remains a main priority and the brand has identified a technical solution: a redesigned belt lock fixture, which will prevent this from happening.

Volkswagen Polo is legally homologated and safe to drive; however the brand advises its customers not to use the middle seat of the new Polo until the car will be equipped with the redesigned belt lock fixture.

Volkswagen is now addressing the concerned authorities for their final validation in order to implement the solution, both on vehicles in the market as well as on the future series production.

Within the next few weeks, Volkswagen will start a recall campaign. Customers will receive a letter so as to plan an appointment with a Volkswagen service partner. The check, as well as the implementation of the redesigned belt lock fixture will be free of charge.

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09 May 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen India replaces Polo 1.2 with Polo 1.0: new Polo GTI for India?

2018 Volkswagen Polo (India)

Volkswagen India has replaced the petrol-powered Polo 1.2 with a new version packing a 1.0 engine. The new Polo 1.0 produces almost identical power to the now discontinued 1.2-litre engine – 75bhp as opposed to 74bhp – but is slightly down on torque (1.2: 81lb ft / 110Nm at 3,750rpm, 1.0: 70lb ft / 95Nm at 3,000-4,300rpm). As before, a five-speed manual gearbox is standard.

The new three-cylinder Polo 1.0-litre MPI is between 14kg to 24kg lighter than the outgoing 1.2-litre car dependent on specification. Volkswagen India quotes official fuel economy of 18.78km/l, an improvement of 2.31km/l over the 1.2. Indian Autos Blog also reports that the new multi-point-injected 1.0 engine is likely to power the new MQB platform-based sixth-generation Polo when it arrives in India, around 2020.

New Polo GTI considered for India
Reports are also circulating that the new Polo GTI is also being considered for India. The fifth-generation Polo GTI is already sold in the country, but with a slightly altered specification with smaller wheels than the now-discontinued European versions. If the sixth-generation car made it to India, it would appear as a ‘CBU’ (Completely Built Up car) and sold in limited numbers, as seen with the current car, and although the first 99 units sold as fast as the GTI accelerates, the second batch needed to be discontinued to shift.

Indian Autos Blog reports that a price over INR 25 lakhs would have to be stomached, which would put the MQB-A0-based Polo GTI perilously close to the Mini Cooper S. For comparison, the much larger Skoda Octavia RS can be had for around INR 26 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi). The new Polo has yet to arrive in India, as complexities with the MQB platform make it expensive to produce locally, although Volkswagen India is said to be working on a budget version of the chassis module, codenamed ‘MQB A0 IN’ to reduce costs.

2018 Volkswagen Polo Pace (India)

Limited edition Polo Pace launched
In the meantime, Volkswagen India has also announced a new limited edition version called the Pace, based on the current Indian-market fifth-generation Polo. Taking the INR 6,10,700 to INR 6,20,700 (ex-showroom Delhi) Polo Comfortline as a starting point, the Pace gets 15-inch ‘Razor’ alloy wheels, dual-beam headlamps and airbags as standard. Powered by either the new 1.0-litre MPI engine with 75bhp or an 89bhp 1.5-litre TDI, the special Polo Pace model also features ambient interior lighting, electric windows, and front fog lamps.

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04 May 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Fifth-placed Volkswagen Polo returns to UK’s most popular cars chart

2018 Volkswagen Polo Beats (UK)

After five months out of the UK’s top 10 most popular cars list, the fifth-placed Polo has returned to the chart. A total of 2,995 Polos were registered in April 2018 according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), and we can only attribute the temporary lack of presence in the chart to the changeover from the fifth-generation Polo to the new sixth-generation car.

Predictably, the Ford Fiesta held the top spot in April, with 7,811 units finding homes, while the Polo’s bigger brother, the Golf, held firm in second place with 5,482 registrations. The Polo’s lack of chart presence since November 2017 means it falls out of the top 10 most registered car chart for the year so far, for now. We have seen a handful of them on the roads this week – as well as examples of VW’s T-Roc compact SUV – so can only presume Polos ordered when the latest model went on sale in October have just started being delivered.

As a whole, the SMMT states that with 167,911 units, UK new car registrations rose 10.4 per cent in April, as the passenger car market rebalances following the VED disruption in 2017. 2018 year-to-date figures are still down 8.8 per cent, though, as ‘uncertainty continues to affect the overall market’, according to the UK organisation. The UK’s top 10 most popular cars during April 2018 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 7,811 (40,619, 1st)

2 Volkswagen Golf: 5,842 (26,685, 2nd)
3 Nissan Qashqai: 4,257 (21,171, 3rd)
4 Ford Focus: 3,784 (19,344, 4th)
5 Volkswagen Polo: 2,995
6 Ford Kuga: 2,769 (15,865, 6th)
7 Vauxhall Mokka X: 2,694 (13,579, 9th)
8 Vauxhall Corsa: 2,643 (17,995, 5th)
9 Mercedes-Benz A Class: 2,636 (14,849, 7th)
10 Mercedes-Benz C Class: 2,627 (13,459, 10th)

(The UK’s 2018 year-to-date top 10 most popular car absent from April’s registration figures was the eighth-placed Mini, with 14,297 registrations recorded.)

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28 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo named ‘Safe Car of the Year’ at inaugural FirstCar Awards

2018 Volkswagen Polo SEL

Safety has long been a Volkswagen trademark which the Polo has promoted to good effect, and the latest sixth-generation Polo has been named the ‘Safe Car of the Year’ at the inaugural FirstCar Awards. Held at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, London, the FirstCar prize comes after safety experts at Euro NCAP awarded the new Polo a five star rating, where it scored the highest values among its rivals.

David Motton, Editor of FirstCar, a publication and website aimed at new drivers, said at the prestigious ceremony, ‘The Volkswagen Polo brings big-car safety standards to the supermini market. It has earned a five-star rating from the safety experts at Euro NCAP, achieving the highest score for any car in its class.

‘An extremely safe choice’
‘We’re delighted that so much safety equipment and driver assistance technologies are included as standard, including City Emergency Braking (Volkswagen’s autonomous emergency braking system) which is standard across all Polo models. Good all-round visibility also helps make the Polo an extremely safe choice for new drivers’, he continued.

The latest and biggest Polo ever has also gained notable recognition from other corners, too. Last month at the New York International Auto Show, Volkswagen’s top-selling supermini was presented with the trophy for ‘World Urban Car’ as part of the World Car of the Year awards.

New engines, sharper design
The sixth-generation Polo focuses on increases in cabin and luggage space within larger external dimensions alongside the debut of new engines, a sharper design, new ‘big car’ assistance systems, the debut of a new series of infotainment systems and the global arrival of the second generation of Volkswagen’s Active Info Display.

More than 1.4 million drivers in the UK have bought a Polo over the last 42 years, and the new car reflects a new level for assistance systems in the supermini segment. Technologies such as City Emergency Braking with new Pedestrian Monitoring function, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Blind Spot Detection significantly make the sixth-generation car the safest Polo ever.

Priced from £13,860, the new Polo is on sale now. For more details, including brochures and pricing and Volkswagen’s online configurator, please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.

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26 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 set for competitive debut at 2018 Rally Spain

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

Volkswagen Motorsport has announced that the new Polo GTI R5 rally car will mark its competitive arrival at the 25-28 October 2018 Rally Spain, two months after its anticipated debut at the German round of the World Rally Championship (WRC). A longer testing period to make sure the car is fully developed is the reason given for the delay.

One of the most diverse rallies in the calendar, Rally Spain features a mix of both asphalt and gravel surfaces, with teams given just 75 minutes to change the whole specification of the car. For Volkswagen Motorsport, though, the Catalonian round holds other appeal: the Spanish event is where it won its first WRC Manufacturers’ Championship with the Polo R WRC in 2013, and the same car claimed the top spot at each of the four occasions it contested the rally.

‘First really tough test’
‘The Rally Spain is a very happy stomping ground for us,’ said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. ‘We celebrated our first world championship title here. You simply don’t forget moments like that. With its varying surfaces, the Rally Spain is obviously also excellently suited to a first really tough test under competitive conditions,’ he continued.

‘The tests have gone well. The drivers who have tested the Polo GTI R5 have given very positive feedback,’ said Smeets. ‘Despite this, we still want to change a few things before the car is finally homologated on 1 October.’

‘Fully-developed and fast’
Gerard Jan de Jongh, Technical Project Lead for Polo GTI R5 and world champion Sébastien Ogier’s former race engineer, added: ‘A customer sport car must almost be developed even more thoroughly than a World Rally Car for a works team. Once the car has been successfully homologated, a customer often does not have the opportunity to make any changes or test the car thoroughly. For this reason, we are taking the time to ensure that we supply our customers with a fully-developed and fast Polo GTI R5.’

The 272bhp, four-wheel drive Polo GTI R5 is the latest in a long line of Volkswagen Motorsport rally cars, the most successful being the Polo R WRC which collected 12 titles, 43 of a possible 52 wins, and 640 stage victories. The Polo GTI R5 is focused on customer sport, and is aimed at drivers in the WRC 2 category of the World Rally Championship as well as European and national rally series.

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