Audi A3 Recalled Because Passenger Airbag Could Be Deactivated

Action includes convertibles, hatchbacks, and sedans from 2013 to 2020

2017 Audi A3 Audi

Audi is recalling all A3s built from 2013 to 2020 to address the risk that the passenger occupant detection system (PODS) may malfunction and turn off the airbag when someone is in the front passenger seat.

more on recalls

A “passenger airbag off” warning will illuminate in the instrument panel when the airbag is not active. If the warning appears, Audi recommends not using the passenger seat and taking the vehicle to an Audi dealership as soon as possible because there is an increased risk of injury to the front passenger in a crash. However, Audi is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this problem.

If there is no warning, the airbag is working as intended.

This announcement expands on a previous recall (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration campaign 19V474) that covered A3s from 2015 to 2019. Any vehicle repaired under that recall must return for a new remedy.

The automaker has not yet determined the root cause of this problem, and the investigation is ongoing. This generation of A3 is no longer in production.

Audi will notify owners of this risk and send a second notice once a fix becomes available.

The Details

Vehicles Recalled

  • 2015 to 2020 Audi S3 Sedan, A3 Sedan
  • 2016 to 2018 A3 E-Tron
  • 2017 to 2020 RS3 Sedan
  • 2015 to 2019 A3 Cabriolet

The problem: The front passenger airbag can be deactivated when someone is sitting in the front passenger seat.

The fix: A remedy is still being developed.

How to contact the manufacturer: Owners may contact Audi customer service at 800-253-2834.

NHTSA campaign number: 21V198000. This is an expansion of NHTSA 19V474. Audi’s number for this recall is 69BY.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any open recalls. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly to see whether your vehicle has had a recall issued.

Stay informed about recalls that might affect your vehicle by using our Car Recall Tracker. Create a free account now to become a CR member.

Jeff S. Bartlett

A New England native, I have piloted a wide variety of vehicles, from a Segway to an aircraft carrier. All told, I have driven thousands of vehicles—many on race tracks across the globe. Today, that experience and passion are harnessed at the CR Auto Test Center to empower consumers. And if some tires must be sacrificed in the pursuit of truth, so be it. Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSBartlett).