Volkswagen Warns Owners of Recalled SUVs: Don’t Sit in … – Consumer Reports

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The front passenger airbags in certain Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport vehicles might not deploy in a crash
Volkswagen is recalling some 2018 through 2021 Atlas and 2020 Atlas Cross Sport SUVs because of a problem with the front passenger airbag. A wiring fault means that the airbag might not deploy in a crash, which could increase the risk of injury to anyone sitting there. Over 143,000 vehicles are being recalled.
Volkswagen says that nobody should sit in the front passenger seat of these vehicles until dealerships perform a free fix, which isn’t yet available.
Learn what to do when there’s no fix for your car’s recall yet.
Not all Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport vehicles are included in the recall, so owners should go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recalls page and enter their 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) to see whether their vehicle will need a repair. Some of these vehicles have already been recalled more than once for airbag issues, and will need another fix.
This problem has to do with a short circuit in the wiring of the airbag sensor. The driver may notice a warning light and an error message in the instrument panel behind the steering wheel, along with a warning sound. If this happens, Volkswagen says that the vehicle should be brought to a Volkswagen dealership as soon as possible.
In documents provided to NHTSA, Volkswagen says that it uncovered the issue after warranty claims and an internal investigation. The automaker tells Consumer Reports there have not been any crashes or injuries related to this issue.
Learn more about car recalls at CR’s guide to recalls.
Vehicles Recalled 
• 2018 to 2020 Volkswagen Atlas SUVs manufactured between Aug. 19, 2016, and Aug. 30, 2019
• 2021 Volkswagen Atlas SUVs manufactured on July 17, 2019
• 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross sport SUVs manufactured between Apr. 19, 2019, and July 24, 2019
The problem: a sensor in the front passenger seat that determines whether the airbag should deploy. In the recalled vehicles, a short circuit in that connection could incorrectly switch off the airbag even if someone is sitting in the front passenger seat.
The fix: Volkswagen does not yet have a fix available. The automaker will contact owners directly by mail once a fix is available.
How to contact the manufacturer: Owners may contact Volkswagen at 800-893-5298. 
NHTSA campaign number: 23V215. Volkswagen’s own number for this recall is 69FB.
Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.
If you plug your car’s VIN into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any open recalls. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly to see whether your vehicle has had a recall issued.
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Keith Barry
Keith Barry has been an auto reporter at Consumer Reports since 2018. He focuses on safety, technology, and the environmental impact of cars. Previously, he led home and appliance coverage at Reviewed; reported on cars for USA Today, Wired, and Car & Driver; and wrote for other publications as well. Keith earned a master’s degree in public health from Tufts University. Follow him on Twitter @itskeithbarry.
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