Models across the lineup are suffering a plethora of safety-related recalls.
The Volkswagen Atlas and its swoopier Atlas Cross Sport sibling are at the center of a potentially dangerous issue. A total of 222,892 examples of the 2019-2022 model year German SUVs are being recalled due to a faulty wiring harness, which may cause a delay in the deployment of the driver or passenger front side airbag in a side-impact collision.
The NHTSA issued a recall notice after it was discovered that the electronic contacts for the door wiring harness may corrode, disrupting the electrical connection. The ramifications of this failure are plain to see; buyers often opt for SUVs due to their perceived safety and the possibility of a delayed airbag deployment is the difference between life and death. Of the nearly 230,000 vehicles affected, 100% are estimated to be affected.
As per the NHTSA recall report, all afflicted vehicles have been manufactured with terminals from one supplier and "have no additional measures against micro movement."
Of the 222,892 affected Atlas models, 32,720 were built between August 01, 2019 and March 06, 2020. A further 76,273 Atlas Sport models produced between September 25, 2019 and February 10, 2022 are also being recalled. The biggest group, however, is the facelifted Atlas model, with a staggering 113,899 vehicles manufactured between October 04, 2019 and February 10, 2022 forming part of the recall.
Owners are expected to be notified, via mail, by May 10, 2022. Dealers will remedy the situation by securing or, if required, replacing front door wiring harnesses showing a fault code, says the agency.
But it doesn't end there for the Volkswagen Group. Reuters reports the Wolfsburg-based automaker is embroiled in a tempestuous storm, with over 100,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles at risk of fire globally. More than 42,000 Golf, Tiguan, Arteon, and Passat models are affected worldwide, along with 24,400 Audi and numerous Skoda and Seat vehicles.
A spokesperson for the automotive group has said the risk of fire stems from improperly insulated high-voltage batteries in PHEVs.
These serious recalls follow two others in recent months, with Volkswagen having to recall more than 10,000 Taos and Tiguan SUVs over a faulty rear suspension knuckle. The component may crack and disintegrate, causing a loss of control and, potentially, a nasty crash. Elsewhere, the performance Golf GTI and R hatchbacks were tainted by the recall curse after it was found that a loose engine cover may cause an engine fire.
Thankfully, the affected batch of hot hatchbacks is far smaller than the Atlas incident, with 4,269 GTI and R models recalled. While all serious in their own way, the Atlas recall is by far the most pressing. Aside from the sheer amount of vehicles involved - and the staggering 100% affected estimate - faulty airbags are not something you expect in a brand new car.