Audi recalls 850,000 vehicles for air bag glitch

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Amid growing concerns about air bags, Volkswagen AG’s luxury Audi unit recalled 850,000 vehicles worldwide Thursday — though the recall is not linked to exploding air bag callbacks by other automakers.

The recall covers 101,900 2013-2015 Audi A4, S4 and all-road models in the United States, 15,100 in Canada,.

In rare cases, it is possible that the front airbags in the affected vehicles may not deploy in a crash as designed, due to an improper algorithm/coding within the air bag control module. Front seat occupants may not have the intended protection from the frontal air bag system in a secondary impact, putting them at risk for injury, said Brad Stertz, a spokesman for Audi of America.

There have been no reports of accidents or injuries as a result of this concern in the United States.

The issue was discovered during routine quality assurance testing. Dealers will reprogram the air bag software.

The air bags were not produced by Takata Corp., which has seen its airbags recalled in more than 16 million vehicles worldwide since 2008. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week warned owners of 7.8 million vehicles recalled since 2013 to get them fixed immediately, citing the risk of injuries in high humidity areas.