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Audi airbag, coolant recalls affects 583,000 vehicles

Q5 SUV most affected, but also A4, A5, A6, A7, Q7 and a couple VWs

Joe Duarte
Published: January 29, 2017, 9:30 PM
Updated: February 3, 2017, 4:18 AM

2014 Audi Q5 TDI - front 3/4 motion

2015 CBB Retained Value Award Winner - Audi A5 Cabriolet - Luxury Car – Audi A5: The Audi A5’s overall shape hasn’t changed much since its introduction, but it still ranks as one of the most beautiful designs to hit the streets. And its stylish and sumptuous cabin remains the industry’s target. It's exclusively available with a torque-rich turbo-four and most get Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system.  The Hyundai Equus is runner up here in its first full year on sale and the Lexus GS is third.

Audi is recalling some 583,000 vehicles in North America to address issues with airbags and cooling systems.

The biggest one deals with 342,867 Audi Q5 compact sport utilities and A5 Coupes and Cabriolets from model years 2013 through 2017, A4 sedans and Allroad wagons (2013-2016), and A6s from 2012-15. All the cars are powered by the turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylnder engine and could have a water pump malfunction arising from debris in the cooling system. The pumps could become blocked and overheat, potentially resulting in an underhood fire.

2013 Audi A4 - Front

Audi became aware of the potential problem in 2015 and 2016 and concluded its evaluation of the issue in December 2016. It is not aware of any fires or injuries arising from the problem. Owners will be asked to return affected vehicles to dealers, who will update software to disable the pump should it become blocked. The resultant trouble light will alert drivers to take the vehicle to a dealer for pump repair/replacement.

The Q5 is also named in another recall to address problems with the side-impact airbags, arising from poor drainage from the vehicle’s sunroof. The recall affects 234,054 SUVs from model years 2011 through 2017.

The sunroof drainage system may allow water to seep into the foam around the side-curtain airbag inflator canisters, leading to corrosion and the possibility of a rupture that could spray shrapnel into the cabin (a process very similar to that of the massive Takata front airbag recall problem).

Audi Q7 - 2016 Audi Q7 Perhaps smarting after letting its three-row seven-passenger Q7 wither on the vine, Audi has ignored trying to play catch-up with its competitors. Its second-generation Q7 goes on a strict diet, meaning over 325 kilograms lost thanks to more aluminum and other lightweight materials. The current supercharged gasolie V-6 and optional turbodiesel V-6 engines carry over, but an all-new diesel-based plug-in hybrid with 373 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque will become a market first for Canada. Now it looks more like a station wagon than before, but the interior features Audi’s new impressive MMI technology, along with the expected lovingly executed craftsmanship.

Audi became aware of the issue through incidents in China and Israel, and is asking owners to return the vehicles to dealerships, which will remove the foam pieces and inspect the canisters for corrosion, replacing them as needed.

2016 Q5s are named in a smaller airbag recall over front airbags and front seatbelt pretensioners. The Q5’s pretensioners may not activate properly, which would result in the seat occupants’ not being properly restrained in a crash situation. The recall also affects Q7 full-size SUVs, and A4 and Allroad models, all from 2017.

Volkswagen Tiguan - Europeans will get the next Volkswagen Tiguan early in 2016, but we’ll have to wait another year for it to arrive in Canada. When it comes, it will be only the long-wheelbase version.

The A4s are also affected by the other part of the same recall — driver and front passenger airbags that may not deploy properly in a front crash. A7 and A6 sedans, as well as Volkswagen Golf, e-Golf and Tiguan (all vehicles from 2017) are also covered by the action, which affects 5,901 vehicles in total.

Dealers will inspect and replace the flawed components.