Auburn Hills, Mich. – March 14, 2018 – The Volkswagen Group of America has recalled more than 3,700 vehicles equipped with incorrect air bag assemblies, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017-2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited sport utility vehicles manufactured between May 24, 2017, and Jan. 16, 2018. The German automaker suspects all of the models named in the action contain the incompatible parts.
The affected vehicles contain driver-side air bags that were not approved for use in the U.S. market and therefore may not perform as required in the event of an accident. These fixtures violate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, which states that all air bags must be tested and “meet the frontal crash protection requirements … in a perpendicular impact, with respect to anthropomorphic test devices in each front outboard designated seating position restrained only by … seat belt assemblies.”
The unapproved air bags installed in the recalled vehicles could malfunction during an accident, which makes them serious hazards to occupants. However, Volkswagen has not received reports connecting the features to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
Volkswagen in January 2018 received a communication from engineers at an American assembly plant indicating that some of the vehicles manufactured at the facility may have been fitted with air bag and steering wheel components not approved for use in the U.S. market. The car company issued a stop order and launched an investigation to pinpoint the root cause of the production error and the potential implications.
The Volkswagen Product Safety Committee reviewed the issue Feb. 2, 2018, and determined that the features violated FMVSS, potentially putting passengers at risk, and therefore a voluntary safety action was required.
Volkswagen intends to direct dealers to replace the unapproved components installed in the recalled vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. The car company will notify both dealers and owners April 10, 2018. Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can connect with Volkswagen customer service personnel by calling (800) 893-5298. Callers should use the internal recall reference code 69V2. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA using the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.