Volkswagen Group of America has announced a voluntary recall for the Atlas SUV. Covering a total of 222,892 units, which include both the Atlas and the smaller Atlas Cross Sport, the voluntary recall aims to fix a possible side airbag problem.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released the documents supporting the said recall. According to NHTSA's Part 573 Safety Recall Report, the SUV's side airbag "may deploy later than designed." Needless to say, this poses a safety risk in events when side airbag deployment is necessary.
Gallery: 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Review
According to the report, the main cause of the fault are small movements of the wire harness from terminal A-Pillar to the front door, which can damage the wire terminal surface. The damage to the surface can result in corrosion that can then cause interruption to the electrical connection to the components of the front door.
Affected vehicles may have their airbag warning light illuminated, though extreme cases could see unexpected rolling down of windows, park brake being engaged at low speeds, and warnings regarding faulty door sensors.
The recall report states that 113,899 units of 2021-2023 VW Atlas FL manufactured from October 4, 2019 to February 10, 2022 are covered in the recall. Meanwhile, 32,720 units of 2019-2020 VW Atlas are also included, made from August 1, 2019 to March 6, 2020. On the other hand, 76,273 units of 2020-2023 VW Atlas Cross Sport are also part of the recall, manufactured from September 25, 2019 to February 10, 2022.
Dealers and owners will be notified by the company by May 10, 2022. VW said that it will offer a reimbursement program under this recall.