The Volkswagen Eos coupe-convertible is named after the Greek goddess of the dawn, who is also the mother of the wind. And that’s ironic – because the much-publicized delay of the Eos was caused largely by a wind-noise glitch.

VW now says it has fixed the glitch, along with a problem in the production process. Both problems had threatened to delay the Eos’ introduction until September.

The car is now scheduled to launch in May, a delay of three months instead of five months.

VW replaced the coating on the rubber seals around the Eos’ five-part folding roof, eliminating excessive wind noise that appeared in initial production prototypes.

Germany-based Webasto supplies the roof for the Eos.

“These small, whispering noises could have been a problem over the life of the vehicle,” a VW spokesman said. 

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A VW insider said VW brand Chairman Wolfgang Bernhard wanted the noise problem solved because it gave the impression of poor quality.

Bernhard has made it his mission to lower recalls and improve quality in all VW vehicles. Between June and August last year, Bernhard traveled to VW’s Autoeuropa plant near Setubal, Portugal every other week to check on the Eos’ progress.

Last September, VW decided it would introduce the vehicle in 2006 with a series of weekly launches in major markets. But when it was determined that the plant could not handle that kind of schedule, the decision was made late last year to delay the launch.

VW will start production of the Eos March 13.

“The production processes are not yet very robust,” VW sales chief Peter Maiwald wrote in a letter to dealers last year. The Eos is an important car for VW because it represents a new niche for the brand and an important model for North America, where VW is losing money.

A third of the annual production of 45,000 units a year will be exported to the U.S. About 27,000 units will be sold in Europe.

VW will need 6,000 vehicles for its European introduction, VW said last year.

“There was no way we would reach our targets,” the VW spokesman said. “So the decision was made to start later with the right volume.”

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