VW Group vehicles held at US Customs finally being shipped

Thousands of vehicles from several Volkswagen Group brands that were being held at ports since late January are now being released and shipped out to dealerships.

A company spokesman told Motor Authority that VW Group expects all vehicles that were held to be delivered by the end of March.

The vehicles span the Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Porsche brands. In the case of Porsche, it’s all models apart from the 718 and Macan.

At the center of the issue is a small electronic component, thought to be a microchip, that forms part of a larger control unit. The component was sourced from a supplier in western China and according to reports breached anti-forced labor laws, which put the component on the wrong side of U.S. Customs rules.

For the vehicles to be released a replacement component compliant with U.S. Customs rules is being installed. The replacement components are being installed as they arrive.

A large number of automakers have suffered multiple setbacks related to supply chain issues starting during the days of the pandemic. The most widespread was the chip shortage caused by plants being shut during lockdowns, though there were also more specific issues like the Suez Canal being blocked by the cargo ship Ever Given in 2021 for a period six days, and more recently the Houthi attacks on some cargo ships in the Red Sea.

Several German automakers, including some VW Group brands, also experienced disruptions during the early days of the war in Ukraine. The war prompted the shutdown of plants responsible for assembling wiring harnesses, leading to production halts at some automakers’ plants.