HERNDON, Va. – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VW) has agreed to recall certain model-year 2019-2023 Volkswagen Atlas sport utility vehicles (SUV) with faulty wiring-harness installation which could lead to late activation of side airbag and inadvertent activation of the electronic parking brake.
The 222,892 SUVs affected by the recall have a wiring harness installed in such a way as to it developing corroded contacts, thus leading to the delayed airbag deployment and parking-brake malfunction.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration recall acknowledgment letter: “door wiring harness electrical contacts may corrode, disrupting the electrical connection and delaying the deployment of the driver or passenger front side air bag during a side impact crash.”
The letter added the potential safety issue as, “A delayed air bag deployment can increase the risk of injury.”
In describing the potential warning signs the corrosion might have occurred and the wiring harness was compromised, NHTSA Part 573 Safety Recall Report 22V-152 stated, “The airbag warning light may illuminate if a malfunction is detected. Other symptoms of a sporadic interruption of the affected electrical connection can be: inadvertent rolling down windows, inadvertent park brake engagement at low speeds (below approx. 3km/h or 1.8mph), warning regarding faulty door sensor.”
Recently, there were media reports NHTSA had received 47 complaints about inadvertent braking and other issues similar to the symptoms described in the airbag recall at driving speeds, at times causing near collisions.
No specific relationship has been determined linking the complaints to the recall.
NHTSA further reported VW is currently developing a remedy for the issue and will provide two notices to its owners and franchised VW dealers: the first, an interim notice informing them of the safety risk, will go out by May 10th, the second notice will be sent when a remedy has been determined.