In the United States, Volkswagen recalled 143,000 of its large Atlas SUVs because a defective sensor on the front passenger side can turn off the airbag system in certain circumstances. VW tells owners not to let anyone ride in that seat until the problem is fixed.
The initiatives of Volkswagen
The issue is described as “sporadic” in documents that Volkswagen submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, overseeing vehicle recalls.
Weight sensors in the front seat of most modern passenger cars can tell if a small person, like a child, is riding in that seat. Small children may sustain injuries from airbags because they inflate rapidly in the event of a crash. The airbag is turned off if these sensors detect a small person seated there.
However, the so-called “passenger occupant detection system” in some Atlas SUVs may deactivate the airbag due to faulty sensors. It could leave front-seat passengers without the airbag’s protection in a crash.
Volkswagen knows nothing about any wounds that could have come about because of the issue, VW representative Imprint Gillies said. A warning light will appear inside the vehicle if this issue arises.
According to documents VW submitted to the NHTSA, they have not yet determined how to resolve the issue, but once they do, repairs will be carried out without charge. By mail, Atlas SUV owners will be informed of the recall.