Audi Cars Recalled Due to Airbag Problem

A cable for the seat heater can disable the passenger airbag 

2020 Audi S4 driving
2020 Audi S4
Photo: Audi

Audi is recalling 208,332 cars due to concerns that a seat heater cable problem can disable the front passenger airbag. This action includes certain 2017-2020 A4 Allroad, A4 Sedan, 2018-2019 RS5 Coupe, 2019 RS5 Sportback, and 2018-2020 A5 Cabriolet, A5 Coupe, A5 Sportback, S4 Sedan, S5 Cabriolet, S5 Coupe, and Audi S5 Sportback vehicles. Models not included in this recall are already equipped with improved parts. 

These cars feature a passenger occupant detection system in the front seats, as required by regulations in Canada and the U.S. The problem relates to a potential fault in the wiring that connects to the occupant detection system. It can cause the passenger airbag to be deactivated, even if there is a passenger present. Should this occur, an airbag indicator light will display “passenger airbag off.” There will also be an acoustic warning and an error message in the instrument cluster.

If the passenger airbag is disabled, it will not protect occupants in the event of a crash. 

Audi advises that owners who experience this problem should take their vehicle to their local dealership as soon as possible. 

This recall is an expansion of recall 19V-547 (74D9). Vehicles previously repaired under 19V-547 will need to return for the new remedy.

Owners will be notified in early January 2022.

The Details

Vehicles Recalled

  • 2017-2020 A4 Allroad, A4 Sedan
  • 2018-2019 RS5 Coupe
  • 2019 RS5 Sportback
  • 2018-2020 A5 Cabriolet, A5 Coupe, A5 Sportback, S4 Sedan, S5 Cabriolet, S5 Coupe, and Audi S5 Sportback

The problem: The cable connecting the seat heater to the Passenger Occupant Detection System may have a contact fault, causing the software to misdiagnose a malfunction and disable the passenger airbag.

The fix: Depending on the seat type, the connecting cable and the seat heating mats, including the entire seat cover will be replaced at no cost to customers. The remedy components have been built with a newly developed shielded connecting cable. Audi will offer a reimbursement program under this recall for previous repairs paid for by the owners.

How to contact the manufacturer: 800-253-2834

NHTSA campaign number: 21V874000. Audi’s number for this recall is 74E3.

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. 

2018 Audi A4 Allroad
2018 Audi A4 Allroad

Photo: Audi Photo: Audi

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).