Over 227,000 VW and Porsche Cars Recalled for Seatbelt, Airbag Software Problem

Certain vehicles are reportedly at risk of deploying their airbags for no reason.

byJames Gilboy|
Over 227,000 VW and Porsche Cars Recalled for Seatbelt, Airbag Software Problem

Though not initially implicated in a massive, 12 million-vehicle airbag malfunction debacle that surfaced this April, Volkswagen and Porsche will not escape 2019 without being stung by airbag problems of their own. The two automakers are reportedly being asked to recall 227,000 vehicles due to faults in the control modules of crucial safety systems that could cause them to malfunction.

Stuttgarter Zeitung reported Thursday that Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority has found issues with a control unit that could lead to "limited function of the airbag and the belt tensioner." Volkswagen confirmed to The Drive that a faulty capacitor in the airbag control module may render the airbags inoperative, or in rare cases, cause their unexpected deployment. SG reports such three cases, though no injuries or collisions resulting from these unintended activations have been reported.

Affected Volkswagen models include Tiguans, CCs, and Sharans built in 2015, together totaling approximately 203,400 vehicles. Porsche Boxsters, Caymans, 911s, and Panameras built in 2015 or 2016 are also affected, though their numbers total a smaller 23,550 cars. Only about 56,100 of the vehicles are reportedly located in Germany, meaning the rest were sold abroad, many of them in the United States.

In its public recall database, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists active recalls for faulty airbag ECUs for both the 2015 and 2016 Tiguan and CC, potentially effecting 27,822 vehicles. 2016 and 2017 model year Porsche models of the same group listed above are the subject of a similar, but smaller NHTSA recall thought to concern 7,517 vehicles. Model year 2017 Tiguans are also the subject of active recalls, but for other safety restraint systems.

Volkswagen advises owners of the above vehicles who see their airbag warning lights come on to bring their cars in for expedited service. Regardless of whether a light comes on, Volkswagen suggests that owners of affected vehicles bring their vehicles in for inspection, and if necessary, service.