Issues with the coolant pump, airbags, or seatbelt pre-tensioners can cause potential safety issues.

Audi and Volkswagen are issuing three recalls in the United States for a total of 582,822 vehicles. Two of the campaigns address potential problems with how the airbags function in a collision.

The largest of the three recalls affects 342,867 vehicles from Audi because debris can block the electric coolant pump, cause it to overheat, and potentially lead to a fire. The campaign covers the following vehicles with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine:

Audi dealers will update the vehicles’ software so that the system cuts power to the coolant pump if the part becomes blocked by debris. The company will begin the recall February 20, 2017.

In a separate recall, Audi will recall 234,054 units of the 2011-2017 Q5 because of a possible rupture in the inflator for the side curtain airbag for protecting occupants’ heads. According to the automaker, damage to the drainage system for the panoramic sunroof can allow water to leak into the foam that also touches the airbag canister. This can eventually cause the part to corrode.

Audi received the first report of this issue when its Chinese joint venture FAW-VW received a report of an incident on June 14, 2016. The company got another report of another occurrence of the problem in Israel on November 11. The automaker’s chronology shows no accounts of the issue happening in the U.S.

Audi dealers will remove the foam surrounding the sunroof and inspect the inflator. Depending on the condition, the company will either coat it or replace the part. The automaker will begin the recall February 2017.

VW and Audi will also recall 5,901 vehicles in the U.S. for a separate problem with the airbags or seatbelt pre-tensioners depending on the model. The campaign means the frontal, passenger, and head airbags may not deploy on the:

The seatbelt pre-tensioners might not deploy on the:

  • 2017 Audi A4
  • 2017 Allroad
  • 2017 Q7
  • 2018 Q5

According to the automakers, Autoliv supplied the airbags and pre-tensioner igniters. The parts might not meet manufacturing specifications for the mixture of chemicals that make them activate, and this can cause them not to work in a crash.

Dealers for the automakers will replace the airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners on the respective vehicles. The companies don't yet know when the repairs might begin.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, [2], [3]

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