A drain tube for the air conditioning system that could leak water onto the airbag control module prompted Volkswagen on Friday to recall nearly 10,000 2018 VW Atlas crossover SUVs.
The automaker said in government filings that it will instruct its dealers to inspect air conditioning evaporator drain tubes to see if they were twisted when the vehicles were built at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, assembly plant. If the drain tubes are found to be twisted, the automaker's dealers will be instructed to replace the drain tubes and the airbag control modules.
The fix will be performed at no cost to Atlas owners beginning in mid-October.
Volkswagen said that owners of affected vehicles may notice wet carpeting, an odor it described as "foul," or an airbag warning light. Volkswagen said that owners who notice any of these issues should contact a dealer immediately to have their vehicles inspected.
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The 9,685 recalled vehicles were among the first Atlas crossover SUVs built, between Nov. 17, 2016, and Aug. 18, 2017. The Atlas was a new addition to the VW lineup for the 2018 model year.
Volkswagen said in a government filing that it first became aware of the issue on Aug. 30, 2017, but that it and the NHTSA decided that the issue was "not considered as safety relevant."
On June 14, the automaker received a report of curtain airbags deploying "without cause" in an Atlas and it re-opened the investigation.