Audi recalls 21,000 2012-13 A6, A7 models to fix airbag problem

Audi today recalled 21,000 2012 and 13 luxury A6 and a7 models for airbag issues. The Occupant Detection System may keep the front passenger airbag from deploying in a crash. Failure to deploy increases the risk of accident injuries dramatically.

Volkswagen today recalled more than 21,000 luxury Audi A6 and A7 models for airbag problems. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), electrical problems may keep the airbags from deploying in a collision. The problem seems limited to models equipped with heated and cooled seats.

Specifically, the automaker is recalling 21,074 2012 and 2013 models for the problem. According to thecarconnection.com, Audi will mail recall notifications to owners beginning in February. Once owners have received the notices, they can take their cars to dealers for repairs.

According to NHTSA, the Passenger Occupant Detection System may disable the front airbags because of “stress/wear factors affecting an internal connector and/or a body-sensing mat in the seat.” If the detection system disables the front passenger seat airbag, thecarconnection.com noted, the risk of injury to anyone riding there spikes up radically.

Audi’s recall is for 21,074 A6 and A7 models built as follows:

  • 2012-13 A6 vehicles made between March 28, 2011 and March 25, 2013
  • 2012-13 A7 vehicles made between March 25, 2011 and March 19, 2013

If you have any questions relating to this recall, you can contact Audi customer service at 80-253-2834. Ask about recall #74D1. Or, you can contact NHTSA at 888-327-4236. The safety campaign is #15V823000.

This recall, coming at the end of 2015, closes what may be the busiest year in NHTSA history as automakers recalled over 80 million vehicles for a variety of problems, including what may be the biggest safety recall in history, also for airbags. However, the ongoing airbag recall – Honda, Mazda added vehicles late last week – affects airbags manufactured by Takata. At the moment, the worldwide total of vehicles involved in the Takata airbag recall stands at more than 40 million. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have also recalled well over 40 million vehicles (cars, trucks and SUVs) for ignition, gas tank and other problems.

This year marked a turning point in the agency’s recent history. Until new management took over the agency late last year, NHTSA had a very cozy relationship with the auto industry. However, when Mark Rosekind took over as administrator a year ago, the agency began to flex its regulatory muscle for the first time in many years. The result has been what may end up as a record recall year for NHTSA. Rosekind, a former manager at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was known for his proactive management style. He took this style with him to NHTSA. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Rosekind’s boss, supports Rosekind and is a safety activist himself.