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Audi Recalls A3, S3 | Passenger airbags becomes inactive

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More than 150,000 Audi brand vehicles from years 2015 through 2020 are being recalled because the passenger-detection system may not always detect a passenger.

Volkswagen Group of America has issued a recall announcement for 153,152 Audi A3, RS3, and S3 cars over a problem with the passenger-side airbag setup. The automaker said the cars’ passenger occupant detection system, or PODS, may erroneously shut off the airbag even when someone is sitting in the passenger seat.

List of Vehicles affected:

Makes/Models/Model Years:

  • AUDI/A3/2015-2020
  • AUDI/A3 ETRON/2016-2018
  • AUDI/RS3/2017-2020
  • AUDI/S3/2015-2020

The problem affects:

  • 113,164 U.S.-market 2015–2020 Audi A3s,
  • 9573 of the 2016–2018 A3 e-tron
  • 14,532 2015–2020 S3s
  • 4147 2017–2020 S3 sedans

according to the automaker’s statement provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The 2013–2019 A3 was previously recalled for this problem, in 2019, at which time Audi installed a “new, more robust PODS connector and optimized cable routing.” Complaints came in again in 2020 on vehicles despite of the repair.

Audi has been unable to find the “root cause” of the problem, and believes that there is “an additional issue . . . within the PODS system, beyond the issue addressed” in the first recall. Audi emphasized that no accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of the issue.

Audi has yet to provide a solution. starting May 21, owners of affected vehicles will be notified about the problem. Owners can check the NHTSA recall site for updates or to find out if their vehicle is included. 

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