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Audi Q5, Volkswagen Tiguan recalled for faulty Takata airbags

Takata airbags have been linked to 10 deaths worldwide and prompted recalls of about 24 million vehicles in the United States. 

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    The Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept plug-in hybrid is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in January. The 2015 Tiguan is part of a recall of 5 million additional vehicles worldwide that were outfitted with faulty airbags.
    Tony Ding/AP/File
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Some of you may have seen the headline above and thought, "Oh, Volkswagen must've finally figured out how to fix some of its 3.0-liter diesels". But no, those plans were only submitted to the California Air Resources Board on Tuesday, and it'll be a while before they're approved (or possibly, refused).

Today's recall of the Tiguan and Q5 stems from another scandal, one that's been making headlines for much, much longer -- the one involving Takata's fatally flawed airbags.

Those airbags have been conclusively linked to ten deaths. The most recent -- which was the first to occur in a non-Honda vehicle -- has spurred an additional five million recalls. That brings the total number of U.S. vehicles affected to around 24 million.

The Tiguan and Q5 recall is notable because it involves late-model vehicles (Initially, the problem with Takata's ammonium-nitrate powered inflators was associated with older models.) It's also designed to replace driver- and passenger-side devices across the country -- a nice change from the way that the confusing recall used to be.

Thankfully, today's recall is tiny compared to most. It includes 734 crossovers manufactured during narrow windows of time:

  • 2015 Audi Q5 vehicles built between January 13, 2015 and February 3, 2015
  • 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan vehicles built between January 15, 2015 and January 21, 2015

Volkswagen will mail recall notices to owners, asking them to take their vehicles to the appropriate VW or Audi dealer, who will replace the side air bag modules at no charge. If you have questions in the meantime, you're encouraged to contact Audi customer service at 800-822-2834 and ask about recall #69M1, or call VW customer service at 800-893-5298 and inquire about recall #69L9.

If you prefer, you can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #16V045000

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