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