The recall announced by Volkswagen Group of America involves no less than 113,164 A3s built between the 2015 and 2020 model years, 9,573 units of the 2016-2018 A3 e-tron, 14,532 2015-2020 S3s, and 4,147 RS3s built between 2017 and 2020.
According to the car manufacturer, the passenger occupant detection system (PODS) of impacted vehicles may shut off the airbag, even if someone is sitting in the passenger seat.
Interestingly, 2013-2019 A3 models were already recalled for this same issue in 2019 with Audi determining that there was a widening of the plug-in contacts at the connector underneath the seat, potentially triggering a malfunction of the PODS system and switching off the passenger airbag.
Following complaints about vehicles already outfitted with the fix, Audi has decided to recall the A3, S3, and RS3 once again, stating that it believes an additional issue exists with the PODS system, although it is not sure yet what that problem is.
Audi stated that it is continuing to investigate the root cause and says it is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue. The car manufacturer will notify owners of affected vehicles about the defect starting May 21 and, in the meantime, will continue to work on a solution.