Volkswagen recalls Beetles due to exploding Takata airbags

Auburn Hills, MI – February 5, 2023 – Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) is recalling 37,558 cars over an ongoing Takata airbag issue. The issue has resulted in close to 30 deaths and at least 400 injuries due to the propensity of these airbags to explode when deployed in a crash.

The recall comes on the back of a U.S. government investigation and affects the following vehicles:

  • 2015 – 2016 Volkswagen Beetle
  • 2015 – 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

Recall summary  

The inflator, a pyrotechnic device that sets off the driver side airbag, might break apart during deployment because it contains Phase Stabilized Ammonium Nitrate (PSAN) – which is considered a “highly combustible and unstable chemical.” PSAN degrades after exposure to fluctuating temperatures and humidity, among other factors.

The resulting explosion can send sharp metal fragments flying through the cabin, increasing the risk of an injury. 

Recall risks

With more than 42 million cars being recalled over Takata airbag issues so far, all risks have already been well documented and thoroughly described

Background of the recall

These airbags were made by Takata, a now-defunct Japanese manufacturer which is best-known for being the culprit behind the largest recall in the automotive history. The recall is part of 187 recalls that have come out of an ongoing investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into airbag explosions.

About a year ago, Volkswagen paid out a $42 million settlement to current and former owners of Audi and Volkswagen cars with Takata airbags for lost wages, childcare and other related expenses that came on the back of Takata recalls. However, the cars that are part of this recall were not included in the settlement.

Other Volkswagen recalls

Coincidently, one of the latest Volkswagen Beetle recalls, which dates back to January 2021, was caused by the same Takata airbag issue.  

More recently, in November of last year, Volkswagen recalled nearly a quarter of a million vehicles over a faulty tire pressure monitoring system

The repair

Dealers will replace the driver’s airbag with an upgraded one, which is not susceptible to moisture-driven degradation. The repair is free of charge. 

Vehicle owners will be notified on February 17, 2023. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

This Volkswagen airbag recall affects almost 40,000 Beetles. To do a Volkswagen recall check and see if yours is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

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