Volkswagen recalls vehicles with defective occupant detection systems


Auburn Hills, Mich. – July 2, 2018 – Volkswagen Group of America has recalled almost 140,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective passenger occupant detection systems, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The recall affects multiple models across the Audi brand, including:

  • 2012-2018 Audi A6 sedans produced between April 4, 2011, and April 30, 2018.
  • 2012-2018 Audi A7 sedans produced between Jan. 27, 2011, and April 6, 2018.
  • 2014-2018 Audi RS7 sedans produced between July 25, 2013, and April 4, 2018.
  • 2013-2018 Audi S6 sedans produced between June 25, 2012, and April 26, 2018.
  • 2013-2018 Audi S7 sedans produced between June 27, 2012, and March 23, 2018.

The German automaker suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective components.

The Defect

Affected vehicles contain PODS with control modules that are prone to overstress and failure. In the event that this occurs, the PODS system may not deploy passenger air bags during collisions. As a result, this defect poses a serious hazard to passengers. However, Volkswagen has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

Volkswagen on Sept. 14, 2016, initiated an internal investigation after an active field monitoring program centered on the PODS modules indicated increased failure rates. Between October 2016 and April 2017, the automaker investigated the issue. Then, in December 2017, the car manufacturer requested engineering staff to develop potential solutions and called for a life-time field monitoring initiative.

The Audi Product Safety Committee reviewed the matter in January 2018. The group then re-evaluated the issue May 28, 2018, and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

Volkswagen will direct dealers to install PODS repair kits in affected models free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The automaker intends to notify both dealers and owners July 31, 2018. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact Audi customer service personnel at (800) 253-2834. Callers should use the internal recall campaign identification code 74D5. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen recalls vehicles with defective occupant detection systems