More than 35,000 Volkswagen and Porsche vehicles have been recalled, due to an electrical defect that may cause the air bags to deactivate or inadvertently deploy, posing an increased risk of a crash and injury to drivers and occupants.
The Volkswagen and Porsche airbag recalls were announced this month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), after the German automaker determined the capacitor from a mutual parts supplier was not designed to specification, potentially causing the airbags to malfunction.
According to the two separate airbag malfunction recalls, the vehicles are equipped with an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that may have a defective power supply capacitor. In the event the capacitor fails, the ECU may fail to activate the air bags in the event of a crash, posing an increased risk of injury. In rare circumstances, failure of the capacitor may cause the airbags to unexpectedly deploy while the vehicle.
The Volkswagen recall includes approximately 27,822 model year 2015 through 2016 Tiguan and CC models manufactured between March 2015 and December, 2015. The vehicles were distributed for sale throughout the U.S. to licensed dealers.
The Porsche recall includes an estimated 7,517 model year 2016 through 2017 911, 2016 through 2017 Boxster, 2016 Cayman and 2016 Panamera models.
Vehicle owners are being warned to be alert for the airbag warning light illuminating on the dashboard cluster, as this could be an indicator that the airbags have become deactivated from a capacitor failure. Customers with impacted vehicles that experience this illumination on the dashboard should take their vehicles to a licensed dealer for inspection without delay.
Both Porsche and Volkswagen are working to mail a recall notice to customers with instructions on how to schedule a free repair at their local dealer, where dealers will be instructed to install new software and replace the airbag ECU as necessary, free of charge.
Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall are encouraged to contact either Volkswagen Customer Service at 1-800-822-8987 and reference the recall number 69Z5, or Porsche Customer Service at 1-800-767-7243 and reference the recall number AKB4.