Over 200,000 Audis Have Been Recalled for Disabled Airbags


Takata’s faulty airbag saga is behind us, but other OEM suppliers have trouble with their life-saving airbags too. Pompously described as “a global leader in automotive safety sensing systems for occupant detection,” the peeps at IEE S.A. are blamed for the issue that affects more than 200,000 Audis in the United States, namely cars ranging from the A4 to the RS 5.

In July 2019, the automaker’s Product Safety Committee decided to call back A4 and A5 vehicles due to an issue that had not been fully understood. Fast forward to December 2020, and the aforementioned committee received a plethora of reports of repairs performed after the initial recall.

The root cause appeared to be the so-called PODS cable, with PODS referring to the passenger occupant detection system. Somewhat curious for the Volkswagen Group, the failure mechanism was unclear and the phenomenon couldn’t be properly reproduced. Additional investigations through October 2021 revealed the root cause as a contact error leading to a deactivation of the passenger detection system, which is connected to the Body Sense control unit under the passenger seat through the PODS cable.

Audi introduced a shielded cable into production in November 2019 yet Audi took until November 2021 to announce a recall. That’s a sloppy Product Safety Committee, but on the other hand, the whole Volkswagen Group continues to be slipshod in the aftermath of the Dieselgate scandal.

Depending on the seat’s design, Audi will replace the heating mats including the cable or the seat cover including the cable. Reimbursement will be offered under this recall, and retailers will be informed of this fiasco on January 7th as per the attached NHTSA Part 573 Safety Recall Report.

A grand total of 208,332 vehicles are called back in the United States of America, starting with the 2017 to 2020 model year A4 Sedan and A4 Allroad. The list further consists of the 2018 to 2020 S4 Sedan, S5 Cabriolet, S5 Coupe, S5 Sportback, A5 Cabriolet, A5 Coupe, A5 Sportback, 2018 to 2019 RS 5 Coupe, as well as the 2019 model year RS 5 Sportback.