Volkswagen is recalling more than 11,000 Audi A3 and S3 vehicles from the 2017 model year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that some of those vehicles may suffer from a software glitch that could cause airbags to deploy with greater force than necessary.
The software in question is associated with the airbag control module, which was manufactured by Continental Corporation in South Carolina. NHTSA documents say that the software issue may prevent the front passenger airbag from deploying properly during a low-speed collision "if the front seat passenger is sitting on the edge of the seat or is laying in the seat with the seat reclined."
More specifically, a passenger who's riding in an unusual position may confuse the control module's software and cause it to trigger a more forceful deployment of the airbag--one that would ordinarily be associated with a more severe crash. As a result, there's greater risk of injury to the passenger.
The recall affects 11,618 vehicles registered in the U.S. Audi expects to email recall notices to owners of those vehicles this month. After receiving notices by mail, owners will be able to take their vehicles to Audi dealerships for service. Dealers will update the airbag control module software at no charge.
If you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to call Audi customer service at 1-800-253-2834 and ask about recall #69Q3. If you prefer, you can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at -888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #17V-196.