Volkswagen to Recall Over 245,000 SUVs Due to Unexpected Braking Defect.
According to an online news report posted on lowellsun.com, Volkswagen has initiated a recall of over 245,000 SUVs in the United States and Canada due to faulty wiring harnesses that can cause dangerous, unexpected braking while in traffic. The dangerous defect could result in motor vehicle accidents with injuries or deaths. According to news reports, the recall was started three days after an Associated Press report stated that about 47 people had filed complaints with U.S. safety regulators. Some of the reports state the Volkswagen SUV owners complained that they were nearly rear-ended by other motor vehicles because of the unexpected braking issue. Customers also complained to safety agencies that the vehicles’ warning alarms and lights would suddenly go off, the side windows on the drivers’ side would suddenly and automatically roll down, and the SUVs would unexpectedly and abruptly brake while driving in traffic.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that the recall affects certain Atlas SUVs manufactured from 2019 through 2023 and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs with model years 2020 through 2023. The documents also state that the electrical contacts contained in a wiring harness in the front doors can corrode, causing electrical connection interruptions. This issue can also cause the SUVs’ side airbags to deploy too late during a crash, and the SUVs’ parking brakes can turn on unexpectedly.
Volkswagen reported in internal company documents that the SUVs’ parking brakes brake could turn on at speeds under 1.8 miles per hour. However, many of the customer complaints state that the SUVs were suddenly braking while driving on city streets, and the issue was putting them at risk of serious accidents. One driver from Mansfield, Ohio, stated in their complaint to the NHTSA that the unexpected braking occurred several times at speeds of 25 to 70 MPH.
Company documents filed with the federal government show that Volkswagen began receiving these complaints in 2020. The news report states that an analysis of the issue shows that Volkswagen initially handled the concern as a common quality issue. In 2021 Volkswagen started analyzing parts taken from the affected SUVs, and it discovered the corrosion problem in their lab.
In February of 2022, the NHTSA requested that the agency and Volkswagen meet and review consumer complaints. Volkswagen decided to initiate the recall prior to the meeting “out of an abundance of caution.” A repair is being manufactured, and affected owners will receive letters explaining the problem. A second letter will be sent as soon as the repair is available.
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