Volkswagen recalls over 100,000 cars equipped with Takata airbag inflators

Auburn Hills, MI – January 4, 2020 – Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) has recalled 105,652 Beetles and Beetle convertibles whose driver-side Takata airbag inflators could explode, hitting the occupants of the vehicle with its potentially lethal metal fragments.

This is the latest in the series of widespread Takata airbag recalls. General Motors and Nissan recently announced their own recalls associated with these dangerous airbags.

This round of recalls involves the following model years:

  • 2012 Volkswagen Beetle compact cars, as well as the 2013 and 2014 models
  • 2012 Volkswagen Beetle convertibles, as well as the 2013 and 2014 models

Recall summary

Cars involved in this ever-growing Takata airbag recall were made with Takata inflators that may blow up during a crash and hurl metal fragments at the driver and passenger, injuring or killing them. 

The airbags on these Volkswagen Beetle convertible and compact cars are no exception, despite being made with a desiccant, or drying agent, that was designed to prevent moisture – which is one of the factors in the explosion – from getting into the airbags.  However, while the addition of the drying agent does help, it does not fully prevent these inflators from degrading, resulting in a high risk of an explosion. The risk becomes higher as the inflators age, according to a study submitted to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) on behalf of the manufacturers involved in the Takata recall in 2019.

Volkswagen’s internal efforts failed to show that these airbags were dangerous. However, the manufacturer agreed to recall the cars “out of an abundance of caution.”

To read more about the background of the Takata airbag recall, please see the following article about a recent General Motors’ recall due to the same issue.

Risks

Exploding inflators pose a serious threat to the safety of car occupants. More than 25 people have been killed and at least 250 injured so far in the Takata airbag recall, which has turned into the biggest automotive recalls in U.S. history. 

The report provided by NHTSA to the public about the recall does not furnish any information about injuries associated with this particular Volkswagen recall.

Additional recalls

This is only the first round of Volkswagen recalls to replace desiccated Takata airbag inflators. The manufacturer has agreed to issue further recalls as vehicles age. The next recall, which will take place in 2023, will include 2015-2016 Volkswagen Beetles and Beetle convertibles. 2017-2019 Beetles and convertibles will be recalled in 2025, along with 2011-2014 Passats.

Repair

Volkswagen dealers will replace the airbag with one that does not contain ammonium nitrate. The repair is not yet available. Owners will be notified by mail starting February 12, 2021.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 100,000 vehicles are included in this Volkswagen recall. Use MotorSafety’s free lookup tool to see if your vehicle is affected. 

Rebecca RandVolkswagen recalls over 100,000 cars equipped with Takata airbag inflators

Volkswagen recalls Audi Sportbacks for faulty wiring

Auburn Hills, MI – December 21, 2020– Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) has recalled 5,426 Audi Sportbacks whose wiring may become damaged in a crash, preventing the doors from being opened from the outside. Hazard lights may also fail, increasing the risk of an injury and death to the occupants of the vehicle.

The recall includes:

  • 2020-2021 Audi A5 Sportbacks
  • 2021 Audi RS5 Sportbacks
  • 2020-2021 Audi S5  Sportbacks

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the wires in the rear of the car that control the rear lights and supply power to parts of the car. Due to a supplier error, these wires were not built with scuff protection and may become damaged in the event of a crash.

Safety concerns

The damage – that could occur during a rear crash at 50 miles per hour – could affect the vehicle’s power supply, making it impossible to turn on the hazard lights or open the car doors from the outside. Both of these problems increase the risk of injury in the case of a crash. Hazard lights serve to warn approaching drivers of a stopped or a slowed car, preventing rear-end crashes.

Inability to open doors from the outside may result in the death or injury of the driver and passengers, especially if they are incapacitated and the car is burning.

The repair

Audi will notify owners of the recall by Jan 22, 2021. As a free fix for this Audi Volkswagen problem, dealers will apply adhesive tape to protect the wires.  This repair is not yet available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 5,000 vehicles are included in this Volkswagen recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandVolkswagen recalls Audi Sportbacks for faulty wiring

Volkswagen 2018 Tiguans recalled for potential seat belt tear

Auburn Hills, MI – December 9, 2020Volkswagen Group (NASDAQ:VWAGY) has recalled 10,835 vehicles, due to an issue with the front seat belts. If a crash occurs, a seat belt’s webbing may tear, and the belt will not properly restrain the occupant.This Volkswagen (VW) recall includes certain 2018 Tiguan LWB SUVs.

Recall summary  

A seat belt tear (referred to by Volkswagen as a rupture) was initially noted during tests performed by the NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) in December 2017. 

  • During each test, the vehicle was driven at 35 mph into a full frontal impact, and the front driver side seat belt ruptured. 
  • The seat belt webbing separated completely in the area of the seat belt latch.

In 2020, Volkswagen ran a series of tests but could not determine the root cause of the seat belt issue uncovered by NHTSA. Despite that, VW recalled the vehicles “out of abundance of caution.” Vehicles that are being recalled may have received seat belts from the same production lot used in the NHTSA test.

Risks 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “[m]otor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the U.S.” More than half of the fatalities in people aged 13-44 years occurred when they were not buckled into a seat belt. 

If a seat belt malfunctions and does not restrain the occupant, the individual may be injured inside of the car or thrown from the vehicle.

The repair

To fix this potential 2018 Tiguan problem, dealers will replace front seat belts with seat belts from a different production lot. The repair is free of charge. Volkswagen expects the recall to begin on January 19, 2021. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 10,800 vehicles are included in this Volkswagen recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydVolkswagen 2018 Tiguans recalled for potential seat belt tear

Audi recalls Q7 SUVs over higher risk of head injury in event of crash

Pleasanton, CA – November 27, 2020 – Volkswagen AG (NASDAQ:VWAGY) has recalled nearly 10% of its 2018-2020 Audi Q7 luxury SUVs due to inadequate padding on one of the pillars – a structure that supports the roof of the car. This issue may translate into a higher risk of a head injury in the event of a crash. Around 94,000 vehicles are affected by this recall.

Part number for the deformation element is 4M0 880 619.

Recall summary

C-pillar is one of the four or five pillars that support the roof of the car and is located towards the back of the car. Recalled vehicles do not have enough padding on this pillar, due to a production error made by a sub-supplier based in Austria.

Risks

Inadequate padding may result in a head injury if a passenger who is not wearing a seatbelt hits his or her head during an accident. Until your car is repaired, pay special attention to your surroundings to protect your loved ones.

The repair

Dealers will replace the non-conforming element of C-pillar free of charge. It is not clear from the recall documents if that element is padding.

The recall started on November 17 but it is uncertain when the remedy will be available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 94,000 vehicles are included in this recall. To see if your Q7 is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Aleks SnesarevaAudi recalls Q7 SUVs over higher risk of head injury in event of crash

Volkswagen Jettas recalled for fuel leak issue

Pleasanton, CA – November 19, 2020 – Volkswagen AG (NASDAQ:VWAGY) has recalled 218,192 Volkswagen Jetta vehicles, due to a manufacturing error that may cause a fuel leak. The recall includes 2016-2018 Volkswagen Jetta sedans.

Recall summary  

A fuel rail is a high-pressure tube that delivers fuel to the vehicle’s fuel injectors. In recalled cars, the bolts that secure the fuel rail are not properly tightened. That can cause them to loosen over time, which can result in a leak.

Risks 

A fuel leak may cause a fire, particularly if it occurs near the sedan’s ignition source. When a leak takes place, drivers may notice fuel leaking from the engine compartment or smell a fuel odor.

A vehicle fire creates a tremendous safety risk for sedan occupants, other drivers and pedestrians. In 2017, for example, vehicle fires were the second most fatal after residential fires, according to a report by the U.S. Fire Administration.

What to do in the event of a vehicle fire

If you suspect that an engine fire is occurring, follow these important steps.

If other people attempt to approach the sedan, warn them to stay away until first responders arrive. Do not attempt to remove any items from the car before exiting. 

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to inspect the fuel rail and the fuel rail bolts. Both of these parts will be replaced, if necessary. The repair is free of charge and Volkswagen expects the recall to begin on December 20, 2020.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 218,000 vehicles are included in this Volkswagen Jetta recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydVolkswagen Jettas recalled for fuel leak issue

Volkswagen Passat recall for airbag with excessive force

Pleasanton, CA – September 2 2020 – Volkswagen Group of America (NASDAQ:VWAPY) has recalled 1,829 Passat vehicles whose airbags do not deploy correctly in the event of a crash. The recall includes 2020 Volkswagen Passat vehicles.

Recall summary  

The frontal air bag on the passenger side may not have been folded correctly, which may cause it to deploy “too forcefully” in a collision. These airbags are in noncompliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standard number 208 “Occupant crash protection”.

Risks 

Airbags provide cushioning to protect passengers during a crash and keep the occupant from being thrown outside of the car during a collision.

When a crash is severe enough to deploy the air bags, sensors inflate the bags with gas in less than a second. If the airbag deploys with too much force, the passenger may be injured.

According to documents found on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration if a small child is standing on the passenger floor, the child may be injured when the faulty airbag deploys.

The repair

Volkswagen with notify owners and dealers by October 30. To fix the issue, the latter will  replace the airbags free of charge when the repair is available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 1,800 vehicles are included in this Volkswagen Passat recall. Use MotorSafety’s VIN look up tool to discover if your vehicle is affected by this recall.

Nate GouldsbroughVolkswagen Passat recall for airbag with excessive force

Volkswagen recalls six models with potentially dangerous backrests

Pleasanton, CA – Aug 27, 2020 – Volkswagen (OTCMKTS: VWAGY)  has recalled 4,854 vehicles with faulty front-seat backrests that may break in the event of a crash. The recall includes:

  • 2020 Volkswagen Jetta compact cars
  • 2020 Audi Q5 and SQ5 compact SUVs
  • 2021 Volkswagen Atlas SUVs
  • 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUVs
  • 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan SUVs

Recall summary  

The seat-back adjustment mechanism on these vehicles’ front seats was not “welded properly” and may break if the car is rear-ended.

Volkswagen discovered the issue in July during a road test but it is not the first time the company faces backrest woes.

Risks

If the backrest breaks during a rear-end crash, the occupants of both the front and back seats may be hurt by the instability. 

The breakage is especially perilous for children in the backseat who could suffer the worst of the injuries and even be killed. In a 2016 verdict, Volkswagen’s Audi unit was ordered to pay $124.5 million to the parents of Jesse Rivera Jr. after a weak driver’s seat broke during a crash and collapsed into the seven-year-old, leaving him with permanent brain damage.

The company argued that neither the driver – the boy’s father – nor the child wore seat belts, a fact that the family denied.

A 1960s standard 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) standard for seat back strength has not been updated since the 1960s and – as of 2016 –  the bar was set so low that even a cheap banquet chair could pass.  

Despite that, several manufacturers have increased the seat strength and the NHTSA may be moving in the same direction.  Last July, the agency released a study showing that the seat back rotation should be reduced to “prevent injury to the seat occupant and occupants seated directly behind it.” 

Where to put children

The backseat is still the safest place for children, though safety experts now recommend putting children behind unoccupied seats or the lightest front seat passenger.

The repair

Not all the recalled vehicles are certain to have defective backrests, but owners may be able to tell that there’s something wrong if the backrest is unstable or makes noises.  Regardless of whether anything appears wrong, it is recommended that owners contact their dealer without delay. 

Volkswagen will inspect the front seats to see if they’re defective, and will replace any seats if needed, free of charge.  This remedy is currently available, and should take less than half a day, but may take longer if a replacement seat is needed.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 4,000 vehicles are part of this Volkswagen recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandVolkswagen recalls six models with potentially dangerous backrests

Possibility of Fuel Leak Causes Volkswagen to Recall Six 2019 Atlas Vehicles

Laguna Hills, CA – Sep. 20, 2019 – Volkswagen has announced that there may have been a defect in the construction of the fuel tank on five or six 2019 Atlas vehicles, leading to a small but extremely consequential vehicle recall. On these particular automobiles, it’s possible that the suction jet in the fuel tank may have been welded in an incorrect position, which could potentially allow fuel to leak from the tank.

On a vehicle containing the defect, this is likely to cause momentum to stall as a result of uneven fuel distribution, which creates the possibility for collision. However, there are of course even more dangerous risks that come along with the defect, including the possibility of an ignition source reaching the leaked fuel and causing a fire.

The Defect

According to paperwork filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by Volkswagen, fuel tanks manufactured for the Atlas during a limited time frame may have been incorrectly welded, causing the suction jet bracket to border against the fuel tank internal wall. This error was caused during initial production of the part by the supplier, YAPP, due to “Incorrectly performed maintenance [of] the supplier’s tooling,” and was rectified shortly thereafter.

As a result of this defect, the suction jet in the fuel tank may not be located where it should be, which has the potential to cause a fuel tank leak. This significantly increases the possibility of the vehicle being involved in a crash or catching fire. Drivers of the 2019 Atlas vehicle will want to keep watch for the odor of fuel, and the sight of fuel puddles underneath the automobile.

Timeline of Events

The supplier first noted the potential for the defect in late July 2019, according to the report filed by Volkswagen. Following an investigation to determine how many fuel tanks were affected, every tank that potentially contained the defect was quarantined by both YAPP and Volkswagen. Using video of the production of the tanks, YAPP and Volkswagen are able to pinpoint exactly which objects were affected, at which point the manufacturer was able to issue a stop order for shipment and sales of all Atlas vehicles that might contain the defect.

However on July 31, Volkswagen was able to determine that five Atlas vehicles which potentially contain the defect had been sent to dealers, although at that point all five remained unsold. Following further video review on August 1, YAPP determines that at least one of the five vehicles contains the defect, with the others potentially containing it as well. At that point, Volkswagen’s Product Safety Committee was presented with the topic, and determined that a recall was necessary.

The Solution

Volkswagen plans to notify both dealers and owners of the affected Atlas vehicles of the recall either on or before Oct. 11, 2019. At that point, the fuel tank on the affected vehicles will be replaced by the manufacturer at no cost to owners. Additionally, measures have been taken by YAPP to ensure that any fuel tanks with improper welding will not make it past the factory.

For more information on automobile recalls, whether large or small in number, be sure to continue visiting MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesPossibility of Fuel Leak Causes Volkswagen to Recall Six 2019 Atlas Vehicles

Volkswagen recalls vehicles with defective airbags

Laguna Hills, Calif. — July 31, 2019 — Volkswagen Group of America has recalled almost 28,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective air bag control modules, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The voluntary safety action involves 2015-2016 Volkswagen Tiguan sport utility vehicles produced between March 12, 2015, and Dec. 19, 2015; along with 2015-2106 Volkswagen CC sedans produced between May 6, 2015, and Dec. 17, 2015. The German automaker suspects just 1% of the recalled vehicles actually contain the defective components.

The Defect

The models involved in the campaign could come equipped with air bag control modules featuring faulty capacitors.  These problematic components can cause air bag deactivation or lead to unexpected deployment and seatbelt pre-tensioner actuation. Both of these outcomes increase the likelihood of an accident. The defective parts therefore pose serious risks to owners and occupants. That said, the vehicle manufacturer has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to any collisions or injuries.

Timeline of Events

Volkswagen personnel in September 2017 received a single field report detailing an instance in which a customer’s air bag system had activated unexpectedly. The automaker’s air bag module supplier, ZF Group, based in Germany, investigated the incident and presented its findings to Volkswagen officials in January 2018. These individuals reviewed the supplier’s analyses and requested that it embark on an extended climatic test to collect more conclusive results.

In May 2018, Volkswagen received a second field notification recounting a scenario similar to the one covered in the initial report. ZF Group again investigated and reported in July 2018 that the Equivalent Series Resistance reading for the air bag control module installed in the vehicle was out of specification. Volkswagen was then notified of a third field case in September 2018. ZF Group reviewed the report and in February 2019 revealed that the ESR reading for the air bag control module in the vehicle was not up to factory specifications. This prompted Volkswagen and the vendor to embark on a root-cause investigation to determine the mechanical origin of the air bag issue and its frequency and scope across all customers.

The joint investigation concluded in June 2019, at which point the personnel involved presented their findings to the Volkswagen Product Safety Committee. The group requested additional analysis upon review. Between June 21, 2019, and July 10, 2019, Volkswagen and ZF Group technicians conducted an in-depth review of the applicable air bag control modules, assembled a list of potentially affected VINs and cataloged the possible customer consequences. The subsequent findings went to the VPSC again on July 10, 2019. The committee ultimately ruled that a voluntary recall was necessary.

The Solution

Volkswagen has directed dealers to flash the air bag control module software in affected vehicles with new programming that can detect increases in ESR. If this test shows heightened ESR levels, dealers are required to replace the air bag control modules free of charge. The automaker intends to notify dealers Sept. 13, 2019, according to NHTSA documents. It will reach out to owners on the same date, via first-class mail.

However, those in need of more immediate assistance can connect with Volkswagen customer service representatives by calling (800) 822-8987. Callers should use the recall identification code 69Z5. Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using the Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen recalls vehicles with defective airbags

Volkswagen Recalls Golf Sportwagen, Jetta, Golf and Tiguan Vehicles for Rear Coil Springs Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – April 2, 2019 – Volkswagen Group of America is recalling certain 2017-2019 Golf Sportwagen, 2019 Jetta, 2015-2019 Golf, and 2018-2019 Tiguan vehicles. The rear coil springs may fracture prematurely, which could damage a rear tire, causing loss of vehicle control and ultimately a crash. As many as 56,173 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, if the rear coil springs prematurely fracture while the vehicle is being driven, the consequences could be dire for its operator and anyone else sharing the road. A broken coil spring can damage a rear tire, thus becoming a hazard on the roadway and leading to a loss of vehicle control, putting people at risk and possibly causing damage to other vehicles on the road. The affected vehicles were assembled with rear coil springs from suppliers using materials that did not meet specifications and also did not follow process parameters.

Timeline of Events

The problem was first reported to Volkswagen AG and VW de Mexico Product Safety Committees Dec. 12, 2018. Upon determining that a manufacturing defect had occurred, the automaker decided to conduct a safety recall. In addition, further tests were assigned to assure that all affected vehicles could be identified.

The issue was then presented to VW de Mexico Product Safety Committee Feb. 15, 2019. The results of the testing were presented to Volkswagen AG and VW de Mexico Product Safety Committees February 27, and an extension of the previous recall was subsequently launched.

The Solution

The recall will begin April 19, 2019. Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rear axle coil springs, free of charge.

Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 42J5. 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 19V188000.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen Recalls Golf Sportwagen, Jetta, Golf and Tiguan Vehicles for Rear Coil Springs Issue