Mk8 Golf Deliveries Suspended Over Software Gremlins

We don’t know what’s going on with Volkswagen’s software, but if the automaker doesn’t sort it out quickly, it runs the risk of becoming infamous for it. Technical glitches have plagued the launch of Volkswagen Group’s most recent models; so much so, it’s starting to become a trend.

These new issues appear to be generalized glitches stemming from the company’s jump into vehicular connectivity. With the upcoming ID.3 EV, Volkswagen opted to keep its summer 2020 launch and handle existing software glitches (the car had already entered limited production for first-edition models) with a software fix offered at a later date.

We’re now learning the same might be true for the Mk8 Golf — another new model experiencing technical glitches. This generation saw the model swap to a digitized interface offering enhanced connectivity, in line with the industry’s push to make cars more modern. Sadly, these changes haven’t panned out ideally for either the automaker or its customers. VW has had to stall deliveries of the new Golf to address another round of software issues. 

Having already endured a production delay under vaguely similar circumstances, German outlet Der Spiegel reports that Volkswagen recently confirmed the Golf was discovered to have an issue during some routine quality assurance investigations. These new problems are alleged to stem from software (basically OnStar) that enables automatic emergency calls and GPS tracking following an accident.

‘No biggy,’ we hear you saying. ‘Just disable it.’

Well, things are a little more complicated than that. The European Union has mandated that such features be installed on all automobiles manufactured since 2018. Volkswagen needs to have this system installed and functional by law — and it isn’t cooperating with other systems found in the Mk8, creating all-new problems that somehow still seem familiar. Months earlier, VW said it would have to delay production of the car after becoming aware of problems with over-the-air updates and the vehicle’s multimedia interface.

Of course, launching a high-volume model in various states of disrepair remains a bad idea. While VW might feel secure in releasing the ID.3 preemptively in need of a software fix, it cannot do this with the Golf.

As such, Volkswagen is storing every Mk8 Golf manufactured thus far. It hopes to have a software fix implemented within the next month, though at this point nothing’s been confirmed. We should also note that VW is far from the only automaker having issues with software. Mercedes-Benz was recently found to have similar coding problems with its emergency call system communication module, as well.

a version of this article first appeared on TTAC