Volkswagen Group of America (VW) will recall almost 10,000 vehicles whose air conditioning systems can interfere with airbag deployment.
The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based manufacturer notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Aug. 15, 2018 they will recall 9,685 2018 Volkswagen Atlas vehicles built between Nov. 17, 2016 and Aug. 18, 2017.
The affected vehicles contain air conditioning evaporator drain tubes that were possibly twisted during assembly. Twisted drain tubes can let water drain into the passenger compartment and onto the airbag control module. This can damage the module, causing inadvertent airbag deployment and increasing crash risk.
Engineers first presented the problem to Volkswagen’s product safety committee on Aug. 30, 2018. The company’s recall chronology stated the only problems reported by consumers included wet carpet or an illuminated airbag warning lamp with a deactivated airbag control unit. The committee and the NHTSA initially considered the problem “not safety relevant,” but the company learned of a related inadvertent airbag deployment on June 14, 2018. Engineers returned to the product safety committee on Aug. 8, 2018 with the new information. The committee determined a safety risk existed and initiated a safety recall.
Volkswagen will notify owners and dealers will inspect the air conditioning drain tube and, if it is twisted, replace the tube and airbag control module free of charge. Some of the affected vehicles have had their drain tube previously replaced but did not receive a new air bag control module; the airbag control module will be replaced in these vehicles. The recall will begin October 14, 2018. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 87F9.
Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 46H6. Concerned consumers can also visit the NHTSA’s website and enter their VIN to see if their vehicle is included in any recalls.
Your vehicle’s manufacturer is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.
If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide your recalled vehicle’s loss value, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to help you. Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.
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