Audi Vehicles With Dangerous and Explosive Takata Airbags

A large number of Audi vehicles have been recalled because they contain dangerous airbag inflators made by Takata. The shrapnel-hurling inflators have been recalled in over 37 million vehicles (and counting).

Takata’s inflators use a chemical called ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbag during a crash. The ammonium nitrate can become unstable when exposed to temperature fluctuations or high humidity, causing the inflators to explode with an unexpected amount of force. How much force? Enough to rupture the metal cannister during a deployment and spray sharp fragments out into the cabin during a crash.

Accornding to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 15 drivers have been killed and 250 people injured by an exploding Takata inflator.

Which Audi Vehicles Have Been Recalled?

Given the scope of these recalls, NHTSA decided to spread out the recalls to get replacements to owners in the highest-risk regions or zones first. The last wave of inflator-related recalls is expected to begin in early 2020.

A zone is a group of states and territories where a vehicle was originally sold or registered at some point in time.

  • Zone A: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Zone B: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Zone C: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

A few notes about zones:

  1. A vehicle can be recalled in more than one zone.
  2. When no zone is defined, the recall was more widespread. Possibly internationally.
  3. If you find this all very confusing, you’re not alone my friend.

Story Timeline

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OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, you can help make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

This is the ultimate don't take any chances scenario. Whether you think your car is involved or not, there are a few things you can do to make sure. And trust me, you want to be sure.

“Consumers that are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can contact their manufacturer’s website to search, by their vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm whether their individual vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed.”

It starts with finding your vehicle indentification number (VIN). There are a few ways to do this – find the tag on the lower driver-side corner of the windshield (best read from the outside). Or grab your vehicle registration or insurance documents. It will be there, scouts honor.

Take your VIN and punch it into NHTSA's VIN lookup tool.

Recall Lookup Tool

My Vehicle Has Been Recalled But I'm Still Waiting

You're not alone. With up to 70 million affected cars (in the US alone) spread out over most major manufacturers there's a huge queue to wait for parts.

Other suppliers are stepping in to increase assembly capacity but there's still a wait for many owners. Make sure to call your local service dealership often to check, but please don't get mad at them if they say there's still a wait – they are just as frustrated as the rest of us.

I'm Concerned About Driving

There are a few options, none of them particularily good ones (sorry).

  • If the recall on your car involves only the front passenger-side airbag, don’t let anyone sit in that seat
  • Minimize your driving (I know this isn't a realistic option for most)
  • Call your local service dealer or automaker and ask about rental options