Porsche Issues Recall Over Defect Passenger Detectors

Atlanta, GA – Mar. 28, 2017 – Porsche Cars North America has recalled more than 17,800 vehicles equipped with defective passenger seat detectors, according to documents from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The recall affects Macan GTS, Turbo and S sports utility vehicles produced between March and October of 2015.

The Defect

Impacted models have defective occupant detection systems that may not deploy in the event of a crash. Consequently, these fixtures fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard safety codes. The indicator reading “Passenger Air Bag Off” illuminates in affected vehicles. The NHTSA and Porsche advise owners with vehicles subject to the recall to heed this warning and reseat passengers elsewhere, as these individuals will not have protection should an accident occur.

Timeline of Events

Porsche field investigators discovered a string of crashes involving illuminated “Passenger Air Bag Off’ lights during inspections in October 2016, according to the NHTSA. The automaker looked into the problem further and found that the indicator was a symptom of damaged occupant detection system features, specifically the sensor mats installed beneath the passenger seat. Engineers from Porsche’s Research and Development group analyzed defective parts from the field throughout February 2016. The team determined that the sensor mats included cracked conductive fabric prone to failure.

The Porsche product safety committee reviewed the findings Feb. 23, 2016 and decided to issue a voluntary recall.

The Solution

Porsche will recall affected vehicles to workshops and install new sensor mats and seat cushions, free of charge. The German car company does not intend to directly reimburse owners, as the repairs will be covered under preexisting warranties. Porsche has implemented new sensor mat models within its production facilities. There is no timetable for owner notification.

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