VW informed U.S. regulators last month that it added nearly 38,000 examples of the 2015-2016 Beetle and Beetle Convertible to the seemingly ever-growing list of cars equipped with defective Takata airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration allowed OEMs to recall vehicles equipped with Takata's notoriously deadly, humidity-sensitive airbag inflators in waves, starting with older vehicles in warm, humid climates, then working forward to drier states and newer models.
This expansion follows the inclusion of 2012-2014 Beetles, which were first added to the list in December 2020. VW says the inflators don't pose an immediate threat, but the chances of failure increase with time and exposure to moisture.
"The Takata SDI-D driver frontal airbag inflators installed in the recalled vehicles currently do not pose an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety to drivers of affected vehicles," VW's recall report said. "Based on its prior conversations with NHTSA, Volkswagen understands that the Agency is concerned that after additional time, the airbag inflator may not perform properly in the event of a crash. Out of an abundance of caution, Volkswagen agrees to recall certain vehicles specified herein that contain SDI-D phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (“PSAN”) airbag inflators, which are desiccated inflators containing 2004 propellant."
Automakers continue to urge owners of vehicles with an open Takata recall to avoid driving their cars and have them repaired (at no cost) as soon as possible.
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