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.
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 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.