Volkswagen Recalls Atlas SUVs for Sudden Air Bag Explosions

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Volkswagen Recalls Atlas SUVs for Sudden Air Bag Explosions

Surprise!

Volkswagen Group of America is recalling more than 50,000 2021 Atlas and 2020-2021 Atlas Cross Sport SUVs for inadvertent airbag deployments. The air conditioning system drain tube could be blocked, causing water to leak inside the vehicle near the air bag control module. If so, water can accumulate and leak inside the vehicle. The water may damage the airbag control module. The airbag warning light may illuminate if a malfunction is detected.

Incorrectly manufactured parts at a sub-supplier, Air International Thermal of Auburn Michigan, for the air conditioning system is the cause of the safety defect. The so-called remedy component is the same part number as the recalled part which has been correctly manufactured. In an apparent attempt to limit the cost of the recall, the recalled part will be repaired if affected, not replaced. The recalled part is the Air Conditioner Evaporator Housing, part number 3QF.820.007.

Dealers will repair the drain tube and replace the air bag control module, as necessary, free of charge as required by U.S. federal law. Interim owner notification letters informing owners of the safety risk are expected to be mailed January 14, 2022. Owners will receive a second notice when remedy parts become available.

Chronology

  • July 27, 2021: VW Chattanooga receives information about a case in which the airbags deployed without an accident/impact to the vehicle. Analysis started.
  • July 2021 – September, 2021: Root cause analysis and determination of potentially affected vehicles with supplier initiated. Ongoing field monitoring.
  • September 30, 2021: Topic was presented in Volkswagen’s Pre-Product Safety Committee. Further details requested.
  • October 20, 2021: Topic was presented to Volkswagen’s Product Safety Committee. Clarification regarding scope requested.
  • November 10, 2021: Topic was presented in Volkswagen’s Product Safety Committee and a recall was decided.

Owners can contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 87H4. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or go to www.nhtsa.gov for NHTSA Campaign Number: 21V892000.

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