VW recalls more than 220k Atlases, Atlas Cross Sports for airbag defect

Volkswagen has issued yet another recall for its Atlas SUV, this time for side airbags that may not deploy correctly in an accident due to a problematic connection in one of the vehicle’s wiring harnesses. The campaign covers 222,892 Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport models built for the 2019-2023 model years. 

The issue stems from a connection with the wiring harness that runs from the A-pillar into the door. VW says that harnesses produced by one of its suppliers were not built with additional measures to prevent movement at the connection point. Small movements can cause abrasion of the metal contacts which could lead to a whole host of electronic misadventures, including the potential for airbag deployment to be delayed in a crash. 

“Micro-movement of the wire harness (terminal A-Pillar to front door) can result in damage to the wire terminal surface. Damage to the surface can [result] in fretting corrosion which may cause sporadic interruption in the electrical connection to the components of the front door,” VW said in its defect notice.

“The airbag warning light may illuminate if a malfunction is detected. Other symptoms of a sporadic interruption of the affected electrical connection can be: inadvertent rolling down windows, inadvertent park brake engagement at low speeds (below approx. 3km/h or 1.8mph), warning regarding faulty door sensor,” VW said. 

Not every model built within the range defined above is subject to the recall; terminals from other suppliers were manufactured with the necessary safeguards in place. If you own a 2019-2023 Atlas or Atlas Cross Sport, keep your eyes peeled for a notification from VW regarding the campaign, likely some time in early-mid May. 

PHEV problems

Across the Atlantic, the VW Group mothership confirmed that it will recall more than 100,000 plug-in hybrid models to address a fire risk. The recall will cover PHEVs build by VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda, Reuters reports, including the Volkswagen Passat, Golf, Tiguan and Arteon — plug-in variants of which are not sold in the United States. 

The recall was launched in response to 16 reported incidents of fires stemming from insufficient insulation of the PHEV battery pack that allows the engine cover to make contact if it is not completely secure. If that happens, the heat from the battery can ignite the engine cover. 

Further clarification on which models will be covered by the campaign has not yet been provided, however Porsche’s absence from the list of impacted brands could indicate that Audi’s U.S. models (which utilize similar architectures) would be exempt from the recall, but Autoblog reached out to Audi for clarification. 



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