Audi recalls vehicles with defective ECU software


Auburn Hills, Mich. – Sept. 8, 2017 – The Volkswagen Group of America has recalled more than 8,300 vehicles possibly equipped with defective engine control unit software, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017-2018 Audi A3 cabriolets and sedans. The German automaker suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective software.

The Defect

Affected models are equipped with problematic ECU software that facilitates an engine air and fuel mixture burning stability strategy, which is prone to cause stalling during start-up or low-RPM maneuvers. Specifically, when the engine flywheel begins to rotate, the software misinterprets this movement as “knocking,” which triggers engine shutoff. This poses a serious hazard to occupants, as vehicles could lose power when traveling at high speeds, therefore increasing the likelihood of an accident. That said, Audi has yet to receive reports linking the defect to any accidents or injuries.

In the event of an engine stall, the “Engine Stop While Driving” light will illuminate. Drivers can immediately restart their vehicles to regain operability.

Timeline of Events

Earlier this year, Audi began receiving internal reports outlining sudden engine shutoffs in new production vehicles. These documents described instances in which vehicles would stall when accelerating out of complete stops or slow rolls. Over the course of April and May 2017, the car company received multiple claims from owners. Claim volumes further increased during the summer months, the majority of which seemed to come from owners living in regions with high temperatures. Audi initiated an internal investigation in response to these filings, and discovered that virtually all of the claims originated from owners in cities with warm climates. It also found that the stalling behavior was a result of problematic ECU software.

On Aug. 9, quality assurance personnel at automaker decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall. Audi notified dealers of the action Sept. 6.

The Solution

The car company has directed dealers to replace the ECU software in affected vehicles free of charge, according to documents submitted to the NHTSA. Audi plans to notify owners Sept. 27. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Audi customer service staff at (800) 253-2834. Callers should use the internal recall reference identification code 24DF. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA via the organization’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Audi recalls SUVs prone to gas leaks


Auburn Hill, Mich. – May 3, 2017 – The Volkswagen Group of America has recalled more than 240,000 sport utility vehicles with defective fuel pump flanges, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The recall, which is an expansion of two earlier campaigns, affects Audi Q7 SUVs produced between May 2012 and July 2015, as well as Q5 models that rolled off the assembly line from July 2012 to March 2017. The automaker estimates that this problem affects 100 percent of these vehicles.

The Defect
The vehicles named in the recall are equipped with defective fuel-pump flanges that are prone to cracking. Should fissures develop, fuel could leak into the engine compartment and catch fire, posing a serious risk to occupants. Owners are likely to smell fuel while operating the vehicle or standing near it when leakage has occurred. There have been no accidents or injuries linked to this defect.

Timeline of Events
Earlier this month, Volkswagen recalled a large number of Porsche Macan crossovers due to the same issue, CNET reported. However, this fuel flange problem can be traced back to a recall initiated in September of last year that included the Audi Q7 and Q5, according to the NHTSA.

In the fall of 2015, the automaker became aware of customer complaints and NHTSA filings that mentioned the possibility of fuel leakage. Engineers investigated these assertions and found that the vehicles mentioned in the reports had faulty fuel flanges that tended to develop fissures. Further evaluations took place over an eight-month period between December 2015 and July 2016. Unfortunately, inspectors were unable to discover the root cause. However, Volkswagen developed a workable solution to the problem: a butyl rubber film that could cover the fuel pump flange and seal off leaks.

In September of 2016, the Audi Product Safety Committee chose to issue an official recall. Volkswagen has since discovered the defect in other vehicles, including the Porsche Macan, and has expanded the campaign to account for new models.

The Solution
Volkswagen has ordered dealers to reinforce the fuel pump flanges on affected vehicles with protective butyl rubber film. However, models that exhibit extensive cracking will receive replacement fuel pump flanges of a new, more durable design. This latest recall extension involving the Audi Q7 and Q5 is expected to begin in July, according to Volkswagen. Owners in need of more immediate assistance prior to the official campaign launch date are advised to contact the NHTSA. Those with affected vehicles will receive notification via first-class mail.

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Volkswagen recalls Audi vehicles with forceful air bag deployment risk [Video]

Volkswagen has a new recall action in motion. Around twelve thousand Audi S three sedans, all of which are from model year 2017, could feature a dangerous bug that deploys air bags more forcefully than necessary.

This fault comes from the in-vehicle control module software. If this software has the wrong parameters in it, the air bags may deploy with a heavy impact. This not only puts vehicle occupants at risk but could also fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number two hundred and eight.

Production for the earliest of these vehicles began in July 2016. To fix the problem, dealers will update the software in the vehicle modules with a new version developed during February. This action will fall under vehicle warranty. Both owner and dealer notification is scheduled for April.

Thank you for watching.

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Volkswagen Recalls Convertibles with Defective Safety Belts

Auburn Hill, Mich. – March 20, 2017 – Volkswagen Group of America has recalled more than 1,600 vehicles equipped with defective safety belts. The recall affects Audi A5 and S5 cabriolets produced between June and November 2016, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The Defect

Impacted vehicles have safety-belt pretensioners that could detach during a high-velocity crash. Consequently, the microgas generators contained within these fixtures may also disconnect and become airborne within the cabin, putting passengers at risk. While the pretensioners addressed in this recall are installed in a whole range of Audi models, engineers have discovered that microgas generators only come loose in A5 and S5 cabriolets. This is a result of ineffective crimping unique to these vehicles.

Timeline of Events

In December 2016, Autoliv, the OEM manufacturer that supplied the safety belt pretensioner assemblies, notified Volkswagen that its products were defective due to an assembly line oversight. It also communicated that a 573 report on its pretensioners and microgas generators was forthcoming. Members of the car maker’s Product Safety Committee discussed the matter over multiple sessions that took place throughout December 2016 and January 2017. The group ultimately decided there was not enough data to call for a voluntary recall and asked Autoliv to supply further information.

The parts producer submitted specific serial numbers for installed pretensioners and microgas generators in January. Volkswagen engineers reviewed the information and conducted field tests that lasted through the following month. On March 1, the auto manufacturer decided to initiate a voluntary recall for Audi A5 and S5 models, both of which performed poorly in trials.

The Solution

Volkswagen will order dealers to replace defective safety belt pretensioners and microgas generators. It does not plan to reimburse owners for these repairs. There are no timelines for dealer or owner notification.

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