Are Airbags Safe? Not for These 30,000 Volkswagen Drivers

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If you purchased a 2015-2016 Volkswagen Tiguan crossover or CC sedan, you need to be aware of a safety recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued the recall for almost 30,000 vehicles due to a faulty airbag.

A flawed capacitor in the airbag’s control unit is the culprit behind the recall. The faulty part, which was supplied by ZF/TRW, can prevent the airbags from working when they are needed–or even cause them to randomly deploy while you are driving.

The part also hinders the seat belts from working correctly, making a crash even more dangerous for anyone in the vehicle.

Watch for Warning Lights

If your car’s capacitor is faulty, the warning light should turn on to show you that there’s a problem. According to the official NHTSA report, “In the majority of the known field cases, the airbag warning light was on.”

If your warning light does come on, you should immediately take your car to a Volkswagen dealership to have it tested.

Recall Details

Thankfully, only about 1% of the total Volkswagens produced contain the defective capacitor. The total number is just under 30,000, however, with the majority of the affected vehicles being Tiguans. Specifically, these vehicles may be part of the recall:

  • 2015-2016 CC cars built from May 6, 2015, through Dec. 17, 2015.
  • 2015-2016 Tiguan SUVs built from March 12, 2015, through Dec. 19, 2015.

The first reported case of this issue happened in 2017, with at least 2 more incidents of faulty airbags since then. There are no known injuries related to the recall, however.

Volkswagen plans to begin fixing the vehicles by installing new software to test the capacitor. If a fault is found, the company will replace the part starting in September.

Yet Another Airbag-Related Recall

This recall is separate from the massive and ongoing Takata airbag recall, which impacted other Volkswagen models including the Passat and Eos. The defective airbag inflators made by Takata have led to the deaths of at least 23 people worldwide, in addition to hundreds of injuries.

More than 10 million vehicles have been recalled in the United States, with up to 70 million cars and trucks worldwide potentially needing to be recalled over the next year.