Multiple Audi, VW Models Recalled Over Exploding Airbags

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI

The lovely little GTI is one of several models affected.


What's happening

More than 1,200 Audi and Volkswagen vehicles from the 2016 model year are being recalled due to airbags that could explode.

Why it matters

An exploding airbag could send sharp pieces of metal into the cabin during a crash, possibly injuring or killing passengers. Even without an explosion, improper airbag deployment could fail to aid passengers as intended.

What's next

Audi and Volkswagen dealers will replace the front-passenger airbag modules in the affected vehicles.

A whole bunch of Audi and models are being recalled due to airbags that could explode, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents published this week. Thankfully, this is not a continuation of the massive Takata airbag recall and only concerns 1,216 vehicles in the US.

All of the affected cars are from the 2016 model year. They include the , , , R8, S3 Sedan, , , , Golf, , and .

Why the large spread? "The recalled vehicles were assembled with passenger airbag inflators manufactured in the same production batch as the affected vehicle," NHTSA said. "The airbag inflator of one involved in an accident [burst] when deployed."

Audi and Volkswagen dealers will replace the entire front-passenger airbag module in these vehicles, and of course, the work will be performed free of charge. Owners will be notified by mail beginning in late September.

The 2016 Volkswagen Golf is sensibly conservative

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