Volkswagen is recalling some 246,000 Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs in the U.S. and Canada due to a problem with the airbags. Of those, 23,192 are on Canadian soil.
The problem actually touches on more than just the airbags. A failure in the wiring can lead to problems with the airbags, but also with the windows and the parking brake. Specifically, on some vehicles, corrosion of the wiring harness that runs from the windshield pillar to the front door can cause sporadic interruptions of electrical connections. In some side impacts, this can delay the deployment of the side airbags.
This, of course, presents a real injury risk for vehicle occupants.
As for other problems that could arise from wiring faults, the windows could roll down by themselves and the electronic parking brake may inadvertently activate at low speeds (3 km/h or less).
At the time of writing, Volkswagen does not yet a have fix in place for the problem. Owners of vehicles affected by the issue may notice that the airbag light is on or see a dashboard warning about a faulty door sensor.
The recall affects 2019 to 2023 model-year Volkswagen Atlas SUVs, as well as 2020 to 2023 model-year Atlas Cross Sport models.
Volkswagen will notify owners and dealers by mail beginning May 10, 2022, if their vehicle is included in the recall. The company will contact them again when a fix is finalized, so they can get their model repaired.