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.
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.
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.