Volkswagen will bookend 2021 with recalls for the Golf Mk 8. The latest is a whopper; all Golfs built in Europe between 2019 to 2021 are recalled for glitchy software. This is the same issue that saw Volkswagen recall 56,000 Golf 8s in January of this year. And it is the same issue that plagued the Golf’s launch in 2019.
Volkswagen’s Golf 8 is the most popular car in Germany
The Golf 8 has been heralded as the most popular car in Germany. There were 312,000 sold in Europe in 2020. And 220,000 were sold in Germany alone from December 2019 to November 2021.
But throughout its production, it has seen software gremlins plaguing owners. According to Auto Motor und Sport, “car keys aren’t recognized, assistance systems react incorrectly or fail, emergency braking is initiated without an emergency, the app and the car show different mileage, the traffic sign recognition detects signs that are not there, and the entertainment system sometimes fails completely.”
The tarnished Golf 8 reputation could affect residual values
Besides the inconvenience and unacceptable glitches, owners are concerned about residual values on leases. If the Golf 8 is considered undesirable because of the increasingly bad press, not to mention the software itself, values will assuredly drop. With that in mind, VW wants to fix all of them.
The recall in January only took care of the worst offenders. With this new update, VW says that navigation and voice control should work better. But looking through the forums, there are plenty of other annoying problems being encountered.
One big issue seems to be the Golf 8 confuses speed limit signs as sometimes mph, and sometimes kph. It affects passing cars, where the Golf slows down while passing slower surrounding cars.
The ICU interprets speeds and signs wrong
There are also instances where it gets confused about which side of the road it should be on. This affects the “Travel Mode” settings for the lights. They can change from interpreting driving on the left to the right. It is all basically software glitches that new code should fix.
In the meantime, what about in the US? Will Golf 8 owners be offered the same updates as in Europe? The Golf was only introduced in July at the Chicago Auto Show. And it was supposed to have already started deliveries here in the summer.
We expect that these software updates are already integrated into US models. So unless there are other problems that haven’t surfaced yet, if Volkswagen says it is fixed, then you have to take their word for it.