Volkswagen Atlas SUVs Called Back Over Malfunctioning Airbags
Volkswagen is calling back nearly 150,000 Atlas sport utility vehicles over a serious safety issue.
A problem with sensors on passenger-side airbags may make the safety devices inoperable, the automaker recently told federal regulators. The sensor may not detect that a passenger is in the seat, according to VW.
“A contact fault may occur at the cable connecting the seat heater to the passenger occupant detection system (PODS) control unit,” the company said in a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “This may cause the diagnostic system of the PODS to detect a fault and the PODS being deactivated.”
Passengers should not ride in the front seat of recalled vehicles until the problem is fixed, VW said.
“In the event of a crash with frontal airbag deployment, there would be an increased risk of injury to the occupant seated in the front passenger seat if the passenger frontal airbag is switched off or not working,” the company told NHTSA.
The recall covers certain model year 2018-2021 Volkswagen Atlas and model year 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vehicles. VW said it plans to contact owners of recalled cars by May 26 and will ask them to bring their vehicles to a local dealer for inspection and repair.
Vehicle occupants will be notified if the airbag sensor malfunctions “by illumination of the airbag warning light, an acoustic warning sound, an error message displayed in the instrument cluster and by the status of the Passenger Airbag OFF indicator light” VW said. In these situations, owners should take their vehicles as soon as possible to an authorized dealer for inspection and repair, according to the company.
How the California Lemon Law Protects Car Owners
Car recalls like these are all too common among VW and other major auto manufacturers.
The good news is that California car owners have some valuable rights when it comes to defective and malfunctioning vehicles. The state’s lemon law requires car manufacturers to perform a wide range of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty.
Also known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the lemon law forces carmakers to buy back vehicles that they are unable or just refuse to fix. That means compensating the owner for the car’s purchase price, as well as financing charges, rental car costs and other related expenses.
A manufacturer can instead offer to replace the vehicle under the law. It is up to the owner, however, to decide whether to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.
An experienced lemon law attorney can help you understand your rights and explore your options. The law forces manufacturers to pick up the tab for certain legal fees incurred by car owners while enforcing their rights.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.