Volkswagen is recalling 27,822 Tiguan crossovers and CC sedans due to faulty airbag electronic control units (ECUs) that could create dangerous situations for drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the airbags could be completely deactivated or could unexpectedly deploy.
The Volkswagen CC is again in the news for an airbag-related recall. This time, however, it is not tied to the dangerous Takata airbag inflator recall, which claimed another 1.7 million vehicles earlier this year. The Takata-related recall affected the 2015 Passat, 2015-2016 Eos, 2015-2017 CC, 2016-2017 TT Roadster and coupe, and 2017 Audi R8 Coupe and Spyder. This recall, however, only deals with 2015-2016 CCs and Tiguans.
NHTSA recall No. 19V535000 says 27,822 vehicles, 2,583 CCs and 25,239 Tiguans, might be affected by a defective power supply capacitor in the ECU. The possibly defective Tiguans were built between March 12, 2015, and Dec. 19, 2015, while the CCs were built between May 6, 2015, and Dec.17, 2015. Volkswagen estimates about 1% of the vehicles recalled are defective.
The control unit was supplied by ZF/TRW. Should the capacitor go haywire, it could "cause an increasing Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) and may result in a deviation at the 5V power supply." If that happens, the airbags could be deactivated, or the airbags and/or safety belt pretensioners could unexpectedly deploy. The problem might be indicated by an airbag warning light in the cars.
Volkswagen will replace any airbag control modules that are found to be defective. The recall officially begins Sept. 13, 2019.