Audi Recalls E-Trons Shortly After Model’s Debut

Laguna Hills, CA – August 22, 2019 – Volkswagen Group says it will recall certain Audi E-Tron electric automobiles after discovering that the sport utility vehicle’s battery may pose a fire hazard. The problem is related to moisture-rich air which could seep into the structure that holds the battery and cause an adverse reaction. VW says it will reach out to owners to brief them of what they should do to resolve this issue when the time comes. 

The Defect

Volkswagen AG, the parent company of Audi, may recall an estimated 7,000 E-Tron automobiles worldwide due to fears that its onboard battery may start a fire, Bloomberg reported. According to the spokesperson Mark Dahncke, a small-scale voluntary Audi E-Tron recall was initially ordered – affecting 540 vehicles – but the company now believes the problem may impact more luxury models than it initially determined.

Triggering this decision are built-in flaws within the E-Tron’s cell wall. In certain circumstances, moisture – such as condensation – could come into contact with the battery through a wiring harness, which is believed to be the source of the issue, Bloomberg reported. Approximately 1,644 E-Trons were shipped from the company’s corporate headquarters, roughly a third of which have since been purchased by consumers, Dahncke stated. VW noted affected E-Trons that remain unsold will be fixed so the problem isn’t passed on to buyers.

Timeline of Events

The E-Tron SUV is VW’s very first electric vehicle offering, which went on sale in April 2019 in the U.S. It’s been a rather tumultuous first few months, however, as at least five instances have been brought to the company’s attention in which battery problems led to inexplicable “check engine” dashboard alerts for motorists. Because some of these reports emanated from outside the U.S., the Audi E-Tron recall may reach 7,000 globally, a substantial portion of which would likely affect customers in Germany, said Audi spokesperson Udo Ruegheimer. That said, the company is unaware of any accidents or injuries stemming from this issue.

As for Audi of America, the luxury automaker wants to get out ahead of this issue, indicating as such in a statement to Jalopnik.

“The recall is in response to a potentially faulty seal that may allow moisture to enter the battery compartment which could lead to a short circuit or in extreme cases to a thermal event,” Audi explained. We are applying an abundance of caution … The recall repair is expected to become available in August 2019.”

Audi and its parent company VW have a reputation to uphold with the E-Tron. The luxury electric SUV recently received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick+ designation, the highest rating possible. E-Tron scored “good” in several different crash testing classifications, include overlap front, driver-side small overlap front, roof strength, side, passenger-side small overlap front and head restraints. It also received a “superior” score for its automatic emergency braking.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen Group is dealing with other recalls beyond the most recent Audi E-Tron recall. In partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the automaker pulled nearly 138,900 various Audi brand nameplates from the marketplace in July over defective air bags, including the A3 Cabriolet, S3 Sedan and RS3. Model years ranged from 2016 to 2019. Mailers informing owners were just recently issued.

The Solution

Although neither VW nor Audi know the precise date for when the recall begin, E-Tron owners impacted will receive a loaner vehicle and an $800 cash card to cover the cost of gas while their automobiles get serviced, Bloomberg reported.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesAudi Recalls E-Trons Shortly After Model’s Debut

Over 138,000 Audis Recalled Over Air Bag Malfunction

Laguna Hills, CA – July 16, 2019 – Volkswagen Group of North America Inc. is recalling over 138,000 Audi vehicles of various models and years because of an air bag detection issue. The flaw may prevent the system from working in the event of a crash, thus increasing the risk of injury for drivers and occupants. All of the Audi models and body types subject to the safety recall were built between 2015 and 2019, including the A3 Sedan, A3 e-tron, RS3 and S3. Operators of these automobiles should receive a notice from the German automaker no later than Aug. 18 and are encouraged to take their vehicles back to the dealer so the passenger occupant detection system can be repaired free of charge. 

The Defect

According to documentation filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an arm of the Department of Transportation, Volkswagen is recalling approximately 138,896 Audi brand motor vehicles. There are several models involved and include the following:

2016 Audi A3 e-tron
2015-2016 Audi A3 Cabriolet
2015-2019 Audi S3 Sedan
2017-2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet
2019 Audi RS 3

Each of these models potentially suffer from the same issue: a faulty node that causes the passenger occupation detection system to malfunction, thus preventing the air bag from deploying should motorists experience a collision. This dramatically raises the likelihood of injury, depending on the severity of the crash in question. Frequently, when safety recalls are announced, it’s not a guarantee that the vehicles involved have the glitch, but in this case, NHTSA and Volkswagen believe that 100% of them have the flaw, behooving operators to make sure they take their cars off the road so the fix can be installed as soon as possible.

Timeline of Events

The errant air bags first came to the attention of the German automaker in the first quarter of 2018 after receiving several field reports from suppliers of the passenger occupant detection systems. This led to an injury that lasted seven months and ultimately led to the involvement of NHTSA’s product safety committee, where additional research and testing was performed. The investigation ultimately determined that the detection issue traced back to a flawed electrical contact that was preventing the system from communicating the air bag was in place.

While no injuries were reported to authorities, Volkswagen and NHTSA mutually determined that a voluntary safety recall was the best path forward, which the automaker made official on June 19, which was acknowledged by NHTSA a week later.

Air bags were deemed mandatory by the federal government back in 1984, and required automakers to install them in all models tracing back to April 1989. Based on the most recent statistics available from NHTSA, frontal airbags have saved nearly 50,500 lives, with nearly 2,800 traffic fatalities avoided in 2017 alone. In recent years, many of the automotive safety recalls have been related to various issues involving air bags and their proper deployment.

The Solution

Volkswagen, in consultation with NHTSA, will inform registered owners of the models in question by first-class mail starting on August 18. Recipients of these mailers are encouraged to bring their Audi vehicles back to their nearest dealership so an optimized connecter and cable can be swapped out and replaced with one that is fully functional. As per usual, this repair will come at no expense to the owner.

For more information on this or any other safety recall, visit MotorSafety.org. Simply enter your VIN in the appropriate field to see if your car has an issue that requires fixing. 

Sean ReyesOver 138,000 Audis Recalled Over Air Bag Malfunction

Audi Recalling E-Trons Due To Fire Risk

Laguna Hills, CA – June 18, 2019 – Around 1,600 Audi E-Tron EV vehicles are being recalled after the model’s parent company, Volkswagen Group of America, learned some of the vehicles may have defective seals that could compromise its battery system, should moisture leak inside. In such a scenario, the battery could pose a fire hazard. Although Audi hasn’t determined when specifically it will inform owners of this issue, it expects to do so before June concludes. The component necessary to resolve the problem will likely arrive in August, which dealers will install for free.

The Defect

Volkswagen Group, which owns Audi, says it’s recalling 1,644 2019 Audi E-Trons due to a sealant issue that affects the electric vehicle’s propulsion system, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It turns out that the seal meant to prevent moisture from coming into contact with the high-voltage battery may be damaged, an issue that likely occurred during the assembly process. If rain, snow or other types of wetness gets in between the battery charging socket and other components of the voltage system, it raises the risk of an engine fire. However, neither Audi nor its parent company are aware of any such events thus far.

Moisture leaking into the battery would be virtually impossible to detect on its own, but the onboard computer will alert motorists to this problem before it becomes a potential safety issue, with a message on the dashboard panel that warns of an electrical fault or failure. Audi says that motorists should stop driving immediately if they receive this warning and to contact roadside assistance.

Timeline of Events

Mechanical issues often come to light from motorists themselves by reaching out to the automaker or NHTSA, but this one was recognized by Audi during quality control testing. It found two instances in February 2019 where the charging units failed to function. This led to follow-up investigation, which determined in mid-March that the problem likely originated from a faulty seal that exposed the charging socket to moisture.

Analysts’ suspicions were confirmed when customers alerted Audi to instances in which they received “check engine” warnings on their display panels above the steering wheel. Mechanics for Audi reached out to one of the owners who experienced this issue and found that moisture was the likely culprit. This prompted the dispatching of Audi’s Product Safety Committee, which began its inquiry in mid-April and concluded the review June 3. It confirmed that, although unlikely, a fire could ignite if moisture from the charging socket made its way onto the high-voltage battery. Audi subsequently informed NHTSA of the voluntary recall.

The Solution

Audi says it will make E-Tron owners aware of this issue before the end of June so they can have their vehicles examined. Dealers will diagnose whether the sealant happens to be compromised and install a corrective grommet to prevent moisture from coming into contact with the battery. As per usual, the fix will be provided free of charge.

Audi customers can contact customer service at 1-800-253-2834 for more information on this recall. Alternatively, visit MotorSafety.org and enter your 17-digit vehicle identification number to see if this or any other recall affects you.

Sean ReyesAudi Recalling E-Trons Due To Fire Risk

Volkswagen Recalls 2018 Audi A3 And RS3 Vehicles For Rear Seat Head Restraint Issue

 

Laguna Hills, CA – March 27, 2019 – Volkswagen Group of America is recalling certain 2018 Audi A3 sedans and RS3 vehicles because the rear center headrest latching pins may be missing. As many as 3,326 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, the latching pins for the center rear seat head restraint may be missing. If a crash were to occur, the restraint could become loose and cause injury to occupants in the vehicle.

Timeline of Events

Communications on this issue were first exchanged June 29, 2018 between Volkswagen suppliers. The Audi Product Safety Committee was informed of the problem Aug. 17.

Between September 2018 and January 2019, the automaker engaged in detailed investigation and testing regarding the root cause of the issue, possible process improvements, overall impact and potentially affected parts/vehicles. The testing and statistical analysis showed that the defect was present in approximately one out of the affected 20,600 vehicles worldwide.

It was determined that after the component supplier had opened an additional production line, a process error occurred for a limited period. This may have allowed headrests that were not manufactured properly to be erroneously mixed with properly manufactured headrests during the quality-monitoring check.

The Audi Product Safety Committee concluded Feb. 6 that a defect was present and decided to conduct a safety recall. In addition, the supplier of the components has adjusted its manufacturing processes to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future.

The Solution

The recall began March 7, 2019. Audi has notified owners, informing them that the center rear head restraint will be inspected. If the pins are missing, the head restraint will be replaced. This work will be performed for customers free of charge. Audi will not offer a reimbursement plan under this recall.

Owners may contact Audi customer service at 1-800-253-2834. Audi’s number for this recall is 72I8. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V095000.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen Recalls 2018 Audi A3 And RS3 Vehicles For Rear Seat Head Restraint Issue

Volkswagen Recalls More Than 100,000 Vehicles Equipped With Defective Takata Air Bags

 

Herndon, Va. – Feb. 28, 2019 – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2015 Passat, 2015-2016 Eos, 2015-2017 CC, 2016-2017 TT Roadster, TT Coupe, 2017 Audi R8 Coupe, and R8 Spyder vehicles. This is part of a vast and ongoing scheduled recall of vehicles with Takata air bags. The potential number of units affected is 119,394.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Safety Report filed Jan. 11, the non-desiccated ammonium nitrate used as a propellant in the air bag inflators in the passenger side airbags of these vehicles poses a risk at some point in the future for all vehicles thus equipped.

If the driver’s frontal air bag deploys, the defective inflator could potentially rupture. The degrading ammonium nitrate present in the propellant wafers may explode under excessive internal pressure in the event of a crash which causes deployment of the driver’s frontal air bag.

In very rare cases, the explosion might mean that metal fragments could pass through the air bag cushion material and go flying into the interior of the vehicle from the passenger front side, potentially striking the vehicle occupants and conceivably resulting in serious injury or death.

This recall is part of a massive worldwide recall of vehicles with Takata airbags that is being conducted in waves starting with the vehicles that are at highest risk of propellant degradation (older vehicles and vehicles in Zones 1, 2, and 3.)  All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from regions subject to high absolute humidity.

Timeline of Events

The filing was made as required per the NHTSA Coordinated Remedy Order. The date of determination for Audi was Jan. 2, and the date of determination for Volkswagen was Jan. 9, 2019. Volkswagen will cooperate with NHTSA to prioritize and stagger vehicle repairs by joining NHTSA’s coordinated remedy program. The remedy components for this defect are not ammonium-nitrate based accelerant air bag inflators.

According to Consumer Reports, the investigation began in 2008, after reports of exploding air bags and flying metal shrapnel surfaced. The cause turned out to be degraded propellant wafers in the air bag inflators manufactured by Takata, which were installed in millions of cars between 2002 and 2015. Vehicles made by 19 different automakers have been recalled in what may turn out to be the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.

The Solution

The recall is expected to begin in March 2019. Volkswagen will notify owners by mail, and be instructed to take their vehicle to an authorized Audi dealer. Dealers will replace the driver’s frontal air bag inflator with an alternative part, free of charge. Audi and Volkswagen are excluding reimbursement for costs associated with replacement of air bag inflators. The Audi recalled component description is 4S0.880.201, and the Volkswagen’s part numbers are 3C8.880.201 and 561.880.201

Volkswagen owners may contact customer service at 1-800-893-5298; Audi owners should call 1-800-253-2834. The number for this recall is 69S8 (Audi) and 69Y5 (Volkswagen). Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for these recalls is 19V014000.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen Recalls More Than 100,000 Vehicles Equipped With Defective Takata Air Bags

Volkswagen Recalls More Than 1,000 Vehicles Due to Potential Fuel Leak

Laguna Hills, CA – December 24, 2018 – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2018 Audi TT Roadster, TT Coupe, A3 Sedan and A3 Cabriolet vehicles due to a fault in the fuel line connection. The potential number of units affected is 1,104.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, recalled vehicles were manufactured between March 9, 2018 and April 13, 2018 and have received fuel lines built in a specific time period where dimensional deviations in production may have occurred. These vehicles are also equipped with a guiding sleeve for the assembly of the fuel line to the quick connector. Due to the dimensional deviations at the fuel line, the guiding sleeve may not be leak-proof at the connection point.

The underhood fuel supply hose quick connector may also not be securely attached to the fuel supply line, creating a risk that the fuel line may open at the quick connector, which may cause fuel to leak into the engine compartment. Leaking fuel in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire. The customer may recognize a fuel odor in the vehicle prior to fuel igniting.

Timeline of Events

On September 20, 2018, the U.S. market was made aware of a possible issue and began working to obtain additional information. On October 05, 2018, the U.S. market informed AUDI AG about a few single field cases on 2018 MY Audi A3 vehicles (vehicles with production dates in early April 2018). The regular fault elimination process was started. On November 01, 2018, Audi received information from Volkswagen AG about a similar issue occurring on certain Volkswagen brand vehicles. The Audi AG Product Safety Committee was subsequently informed.

Between November 5 and 27, 2018, Audi AG conducted an investigation of field incidents, and an analysis regarding root cause, scope, influences and impacts, and the results were such that on November 28, 2018, the Audi AG Product Safety Committee made the determination of a safety defect and decided to conduct a voluntary recall.

The Solution

Volkswagen will notify owners, and Audi dealers will inspect the affected fuel line connection. The guiding sleeve will be removed, and a tension test will be performed to assure secure locking. The dealers will secure the fuel line connection, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 20, 2018. Owners may contact Audi customer service at 1-800-253-2834. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 20BK.  Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-863.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen Recalls More Than 1,000 Vehicles Due to Potential Fuel Leak

Volkswagen Recalls a Dozen Audi Vehicles for Improperly Fastened Airbags

 

Laguna Hills, CA – December 10, 2018 – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2018 Audi A5 Sportback and 2017-2018 Audi A4 Allroad vehicles due to possibly improperly tightened airbag module mounting screws. The potential number of units affected is 12.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, one of the four passenger airbag module mounting screws may not have been torqued to the correct specification during production. In a crash with passenger airbag deployment, an improperly torqued screw may cause the airbag housing in the instrument cluster to deform. This can change how the airbag unfolds during deployment and result in the airbag not providing protection as intended, leading to an increased risk of injury to the front passenger seat occupant.

Timeline of Events

On September 25, 2018, the Audi Product Safety Committee was informed that road vehicle testing showed abnormalities in passenger airbag mounting screw connection. Between October and November 2018, the issue was evaluated. This process included detailed testing and investigation regarding root cause, impact, scope and affected vehicles. The recall condition was determined to be the result of human error during passenger airbag assembly. All affected vehicles can be traced to airbag assembly by one factory employee. The recall population was determined by reviewing screw data logs and samples tests. On all other (unaffected) vehicles, the screw connection was tightened properly. On November 19, 2018, the Audi Product Safety Committee made a determination of a safety defect and decided to conduct a safety recall. The relevant tool for airbag mounting has been modified so that this type of error cannot occur in the future.

The Solution

Volkswagen will notify owners and dealers in mid-January, and the affected passenger airbag screw connection will be inspected and, if necessary, correctly tightened to the required torque specification. Also, the screw will be replaced if necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 26, 2019. Owners may contact Audi customer service at 1-800-253-2834. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 69Y4. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-836.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen Recalls a Dozen Audi Vehicles for Improperly Fastened Airbags

124,000 electric and hybrid cars may be recalled by Volkswagen

 

Germany – Aug. 10, 2018 – More than 124,000 may be recalled from the Volkswagen, which also includes Audi and Porsche. The Volkswagen Group confirmed on Aug. 10, 2018, that they are working with the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) to rectify the situation and provide solutions for moving forward. The default is potentially found in electric and hybrid cars. There is an ongoing investigation that a charger component in these vehicles may have poisonous cadmium present.

The Defect
Battery chargers in electric and hybrid VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles may have carcinogenic components that can affect the health and safety of consumers. Each battery in the vehicles has 0.008 grams of the material in question.

According to OSHA, cadmium was first discovered in Germany in 1817 and is commonly used in lithium-ion batteries. If exposed to direct cadmium, the metal is known to increase the risk for cancer and do damage to various body systems.

The KBA states that exposure is unlikely, as the cadmium is housed inside protective metal, which is inside another layer of additional material.

Timeline of Events
Between 2013 and June 2018, an unidentified supplier delivered batteries that were potentially to be used by Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche in Germany. By July 20, the Wolfsberg Group, a non-governmental association of 13 global banks, flagged the issue and alerted authorities to the problem.

As of July 2018, production of future vehicles with the cadmium component was halted immediately until a resolution can be reached. The charger part has since been replaced with a cadmium-free component.

The Solution
Affected drivers and vehicle owners are said to not be directly in danger from this potential recall, according to the Wolfsberg Group.

Spokespeople from VW are working toward a final confirmation that these vehicles will be recalled from manufacturers and customers. Although the recall seems to be international and focused in Germany, U.S. owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean Reyes124,000 electric and hybrid cars may be recalled by Volkswagen

Volkswagen recalls vehicles with defective fuel pumps

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – July 31, 2018 – Volkswagen Group of America has recalled more than 6,600 vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuel pumps, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models across the Audi brand, including:

  • 2013-2015 Audi S8 sedans produced between June 27, 2012, and Oct. 21, 2014.
  • 2013-2015 Audi A8 sedans produced between June 11, 2012, and Aug. 1, 2014.

The German automaker suspects all of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles contain high-pressure fuel pumps with porous fuel lines prone to leakage. These fixtures greatly increase the likelihood of engine fire and therefore pose a serious hazard to occupants. However, Volkswagen has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

Audi AG began receiving field reports outlining instances of fuel leakage throughout the fourth quarter of 2016. This trend continued into 2017, leading the brand to launch an official investigation. In May 2017, members of the Audi AG Product Safety Committee reviewed the issue and directed engineering teams to collect parts from the field for further analysis. This unfolded between June and September. The tests engineers conducted over this span revealed that the high-pressure fuel pumps in affected vehicles were equipped with fuel lines that grew porous over time, leading to leakage. The Audi AG PSC evaluated these findings and called for an in-depth root cause investigation.

Between November 2017 and May 2018, Audi engineers analyzed additional field reports, all of which originated from the U.S. and Canadian markets, and conducted technical reviews of industry-standard fuel line assemblies. However, these tests failed to reveal the root cause of the defect. On June 18, 2018, members of the Audi AG PSC convened again to make a final determination on the issue. The group ultimately chose to greenlight a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

Audi will direct dealers to replace the fuel lines in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The automaker intends to notify both dealers and owners Aug. 21, 2018. Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the campaign can speak with Audi customer service personnel by calling (800) 253-2834. Callers should use the recall identification code 20AV. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly by using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

 

Sean ReyesVolkswagen recalls vehicles with defective fuel pumps