Takata is a nightmare we just can’t wake up from. It’s been almost five years since the first recall, yet here we are staring down the barrel of another recall expansion for exploding inflators.
This latest round of recalls affects over 10,000 A4, A6, S4, and S6. David Woods of CarComplaints.com has the full breakdown of which model years and in what zones.
The 10,000 vehicles is just a small part of the 3.3 million inflators being recalled across pretty much every major brand you’ve heard of. Recently, the inflators have been tied to new casualties and stop-driving orders.
The automaker says the cars were built with head curtain airbag assemblies that may fail to unfold properly in a crash … Audi says the curtain airbags can get caught on the trim of the A-pillars due to excess fabric on the airbags.
All the affected cars were built after December 8th 2017 and are part of the 2018 model year.
If your parking brake is engaged in an emergency stopping situation, it probably means you’re having a bad day. But thanks to a software glitch in the 2016-17 Audi Q3, it could get a whole lot worse.
“According to Audi, there is a software error in the gateway control unit that causes the brake lights to fail. The automaker discovered the problem during internal testing in March 2016 and started working on a software fix.”
No brake lights with the parking brake engaged? That is a no-no for federal safety standards and, more importantly, a good way to increase your chances of someone ramming into your back bumper.
Audi considered issuing a “service campaign” instead of going through the recall process because they weren’t sure their electromechanical parking brake was subject to the same rules as a standard parking brake. Nothing says we value our customers like trying to weasel out of a recall over a technicality. Luckily, they smartened up.
The Justice Department has found themselves a snitch. In exchange for immunity, a former employee involved with diesel engine development has named former manager Giovanni Pamio as a key part of the coverup.
“U.S. prosecutors say Giovanni Pamio was in charge of a team of Audi engineers who knew it was impossible to manufacture diesel engines that could meet strict U.S. nitrogen oxide emissions.”
According to the “cooperating witness”, Pamio worked on the scheme from 2006 to 2015 for the “sole purpose of defrauding customers and regulators about clean diesel vehicles.”
Ouch, does the immunity include witness protection?
“Pamio allegedly told employees to create software for the purpose of cheating emissions tests conducted in the U.S., then once that was accomplished, Pamio knowingly misrepresented that the affected Audi vehicles were legal.”
I’m no laundry-folding expert (just ask my wife), but if I were folding something other than t-shirts – something like, say, an airbag – I would pay close attention.
I’m guessing Audi wishes its airbag supplier would do the same.
The automaker has to recall 17,700 A7 cars because the supplier didn’t properly fold the head-curtain airbags. That means they might bind, not properly inflate, and generally do a terrible job at protecting occupants in a car crash.
The recall is expected to begin on June 9th, 2017 and CarComplaints.com has additional details. Audi wouldn’t rule out having to expand the recall to other models soon, once they check those folds too.
One way VW and Audi can win back the good graces of US consumers is through their favorite vehicle, the crossover SUV. But they’re not going to win many fans if those crossovers keep catching on fire due to a fuel pump defect.
“… Audi is expanding a previous recall involving 2013-2017 Audi Q5 and 2013-2017 Audi Q7 vehicles with fuel pump flanges that can leak gas, leading to the possibility of fires. More than 240,000 vehicles are part of the recall”
The original recall was announced in October 2016 after owners complained about smelling gas inside the cabin. This recall expansion is expected to begin in July 2017 (more details here).
“The lawsuit says illegal CO2 defeat devices were installed on Audi vehicles equipped with 8HP55 “AL 551” and DL 501-7Q “DL 501” transmissions, with the AL 551 transmissions manufactured by ZF Friedrichshafen.”
The alleged device is hidden within the transmission control module (TCM) and uses a “warm up” mode that uses significantly less fuel and power, and therefore creates less CO2 emissions. It’s perfect for those pesky emissions tests.
Once the driver turns the steering wheel by 15 degrees, the TCM switches to “road calibration” and starts spewin’ the C02 and killing fuel economy. The class-action argues this reduces resale value and it a similar setup to the diesel defeat device Audi was caught using.
Airbags keep finding ways to harm us, this time with their strict restrictions on posture.
Turns out the passenger airbags in the Audi A3 and S3 can deploy incorrectly if you’re lounging back or sitting on the edge of your seat.
The problem only happens during low-speed crashes and can be traced to a software bug.
“Continental Corporation, the supplier of the affected airbag components, determined the cause of the problems after Audi found incorrect triggering of the airbags during the second stage of a low-risk crash test.”