Volkswagen is scheduling a recall for more than 370,000 vehicles equipped with Takata airbags over the next four years. This was supported by a statement released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, saying the recall will begin at the end of the year.
The NHTSA earlier announced that it will not order the recall of 56,000,000 inflators from the controversial brand, except for certain vehicles from the Volkswagen lineup. According to the agency, the Volkswagen vehicles have an increased risk of airbags not working properly years after they were built.
On top of investigations on the Takata airbags in relation to explosions and release of deadly metal fragments, the NHTSA also looked into inflators that contain a chemical substance known as phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN). PSAN inflators have the tendency to degrade after exposure to high temperature and humidity, which is why manufacturers build them with a desiccant or drying agent.
The massive recall is divided into three phases because the problematic inflators have varying rates of degradation. This means that it is not necessary for the airbags to be replaced all at once.
The first phase of the Volkwagen’s safety recall is set to begin at the end of the year and covers the VW Beetle and Beetle convertible from the 2012 to 2014 model years. The second phase follows on January 1, 2023, involving the 2015 to 2016 Beetle and Beetle convertible. On January 1, 2025, the third phase will begin and will affect the 2017 to 2019 Beetle and Beetle convertible as well as the Passat from 2011 to 2014.
Owners of the affected models are advised to check the NHTSA website for more information.