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

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

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

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 2019 Beetles For Brake Warning Issue

 

Laguna Hills, CA – March 25, 2019 – Volkswagen Group of America is recalling certain 2019 Beetle and Beetle Convertible vehicles. When a brake system failure occurs, the dashboard instrument display may not provide a visual warning, which could lead to loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash. As many as 4,064 vehicles may be affected by this issue.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Report, the instrument cluster may not provide a visual warning when a brake system failure is detected. Because the driver will not be alerted by a warning light when the malfunction occurs, the driver may lose control of the vehicle during emergency braking, increasing the risk of a crash.  Vehicles without a brake pad wear indicator built during a certain production period with a specific software coding are affected, while those with brake pad wear indicators are not.

Timeline of Events

Vehicle claims concerning this issue were first received by Volkswagen Sept. 3, 2018. Analysis of the situation began immediately.

Between Dec. 7, 2018 and Jan. 8, 2019 the issue was discussed by the Pre-Product Safety Committee in Mexico, resulting in a request for more information.

The matter was then presented to the Product Safety Committee Jan. 11 in Mexico, and further details were requested.

The Joint Product Safety Committee of Wolfsburg and Mexico addressed the issue Feb. 6. After determining that the indicator-free vehicles didn’t comply with pertinent safety standards, the committee decided to conduct a recall.

The Solution

The recall began March 7, 2019. Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will update the instrument cluster software, free of charge. A very small number of vehicles will also receive a new instrument cluster.

Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 90L8. 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 19V094000.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen Recalls 2019 Beetles For Brake Warning 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 500 Golf R Vehicles Due to Potential Fuel Line Break

Laguna Hills, CA – December 27, 2018 – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2018 Volkswagen Golf R vehicles due to a potential fuel leak. Recalled vehicles have been manufactured with fuel lines built in a specific time period with dimensional deviations that may affect the correct function of the guiding sleeve. The potential number of units affected is 516.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, due to dimensional deviations at the fuel line, the guiding sleeve that is used in production to support the assembly of the quick connector may be distorted. If this happens, the connection may appear securely locked due to friction (caused by the distorted guiding sleeve) instead of being positively locked. Because of this defect, the underhood fuel supply hose quick connector may not be securely attached to the fuel supply line.

There is a risk that the fuel line may open at the quick connector, causing it to detach from the fuel supply line in the engine bay. This can result in a fuel leak which may cause fuel to enter into the engine compartment. A fuel leak in the engine compartment (and thus in the presence of an ignition source) can increase the risk of a fire. The customer may recognize a fuel odor in the vehicle if a leak occurs.

Timeline of Events

On June 23, 2018, the first loose connection was found in the field and analysis process started immediately with the first checks in factory conducted. On August 08, 2018, the first claimed field parts were received and deeper part analysis started. Between August 08, 2018 and November 05, 2018, there was intensive testing and analysis process carried out to identify the root cause of the issue. Simultaneously, additional checks were implemented in vehicle factory and at supplier. On November 05, 2018, the topic was presented in Pre Product Safety Committee of Volkswagen AG and further details were requested.

On November 09, 2018, the topic was presented in Product Safety Committee of Volkswagen AG, subsequent to which a detailed analysis was carried out regarding the root cause and a clear identification of potentially affected vehicles. On November 28, 2018, the topic was presented in the Volkswagen AG Product Safety Committee where determination of defect was made, and a voluntary recall decided upon

The Solution

Volkswagen will notify owners, and 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. This work will be performed free of charge to customers. Volkswagen will not offer a reimbursement program under this recall. The recall is expected to begin December 20, 2018. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 20Bi. 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-868.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen Recalls More Than 500 Golf R Vehicles Due to Potential Fuel Line Break

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