Audi A4 exterior

Audi is recalling 144,092 of its 2017 and 2018 A4 and A5 models because of a problem with the system that detects whether a passenger is in the front seat. A cable might rust over time, causing software to misdiagnose a malfunction. This problem could result in the passenger airbag being disabled, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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If there is a malfunction caused by the cable, passengers will receive multiple warnings: the illumination of the airbag warning light, an audible warning sound, an error message displayed in the instrument cluster in front of the driver, and by the illumination of the Passenger Airbag Off indicator light, Audi says.

An Audi spokesperson told Consumer Reports by email that the automaker was not aware of any injuries related to this problem.

The Details

Vehicles recalled: 144,092 Audi cars, convertibles, hatchbacks, and wagons, including:

  • 2017 to 2018 A4 cars built from March 10, 2016, through July 27, 2018

  • 2017 to 2018 A4 cars built from Nov. 4, 2015, through July 30, 2018

  • 2017 to 2018 A4 Allroad wagons built from June 16, 2016, through July 26, 2018

  • 2018 A5 Cabriolet convertibles built from Feb. 17, 2017, through July 30, 2018

  • 2018 A5 Coupe cars built from Nov. 17, 2016, through July 25, 2018

  • 2018 A5 Sportback cars built from Feb. 7, 2017, through July 26, 2018

  • 2018 S4 cars built from Nov. 25, 2016, through July 30, 2018

  • 2018 S5 Cabriolet convertibles built from March 2, 2017, through July 28, 2018

  • 2018 S5 Sportback cars built from Feb. 12, 2017, through July 27, 2018

  • 2018 S5 Coupe cars built from Dec. 3, 2016, through July 26, 2018

The problem: A connecting cable in the Passenger Occupant Detection System might become oxidized (rust) over time, which could cause software to misdiagnose a malfunction in the airbag system and disable the passenger-side airbag.

The fix: Dealers will update the software that controls the airbag in affected vehicles at no charge to owners. 

How to contact the manufacturer: Owners can call 800-893-5298. The recall is expected to begin Sept. 15, 2019. Audi’s number for this recall is 74D9.

NHTSA campaign number: 19V547.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has a recall that needs 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 one. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly. 

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.

Audi A4 dashboard