Volkswagen recalls sedans with improper hear restraints


Auburn Hills, Mich. – April 28, 2017 – The Volkswagen Group of America has recalled a number of sedans with improper head restraints, according to documents filed with National Highway Safety Administration. The recall affects Volkswagen CC four-door models produced between November 2015 and June 2016. The automaker estimates 100 percent of the models named in the campaign include the problematic part.

The Defect
The affected models include head restraints that do not comport with U.S. vehicle safety codes, specifically Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards section 202a, which states that head restraints should meet certain design and performance qualifications, according to the Department of Transportation. The assemblies installed in these vehicles do not comply with these regulations and were instead made for use with Volkswagen vehicles that would be sold in foreign markets. Most notably, the installed head restraints allow occupants to rotate more than 12 degrees while seated, a range of motion deemed unsafe in the FMVSS.

While the head restraints pose no immediate danger to drivers or passengers, they do lead to an increased risk of injury in the event of an accident. However, Volkswagen has yet to receive in reports of injuries connected to these fixtures.

Timeline of Events
Volkswagen engineers first detected the incorrectly installed head restraints in May of last year. Roughly one month later, quality control personnel reported the problem to technical teams and initiated an internal review. Over the course of these investigations, the manufacturer’s employees learned that the head restraints destined for international models had been installed on American CC sedans, due to a stocking issue. Assembly crew members at one of Volkswagen’s primary U.S. production facilities had mistakenly brought head restraint assemblies marked “RoW” – an acronym meaning “rest of world” – to the shop floor, where they were installed.

In early April, engineers met with the Volkswagen Product Safety Committee to determine the extent of the error. Weeks later, these two parties met once more and determined that American CC models equipped with RoW head restraints should be subject to recall.

The Solution
Volkswagen has ordered dealers to replace the head restraints, free of charge. The campaign is scheduled to begin in June. The automaker has agreed to notify dealers and owners after the official launch date. Individuals who require assistance prior to the recall are encouraged to contact the NHTSA.

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