A 2018 Audi Q7 in black, facing forward

Audi is recalling almost 95,000 Q7 SUVs because the pillar located behind the rear door opening may not have enough interior padding to protect an occupant’s head during a crash.

According to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an unbelted passenger in certain vehicles may be at an increased risk of head injury if their head strikes a rear pillar—known as a C-pillar—during a crash.

Audi told NHTSA that the vehicle’s curtain airbags would “adequately protect” passengers in such a case but still initiated a recall without further investigation “out of an abundance of caution.”

An Audi spokesperson told Consumer Reports that the problem was discovered during routine compliance testing, in which automakers and suppliers subject vehicle components to inspections to ensure they continue to meet federal safety standards during production. In this case, the interior padding on the C-pillar failed to meet those standards during a compliance test conducted in April.

Audi said in documents provided to NHTSA that interior padding manufactured after April 2020 meets federal safety standards, and that the supplier that manufactured the faulty part has improved production monitoring processes and quality to prevent similar problems in the future. 

The Details

Vehicles recalled: 2018 through 2020 Audi Q7 SUVs manufactured between July 24, 2017, and March 5, 2020.

The problem: An improperly manufactured piece of interior trim may not provide enough padding to meet federal safety standards for head injury prevention. The part was manufactured at an Austrian factory by automotive interior supplier Grupo Antolin. Audi says the factory has put new processes in place to ensure the parts it manufactures will comply with safety regulations.

The fix: Audi will replace the parts with improved ones, free of charge. The recall and repairs are expected to begin in late December 2020.

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

NHTSA campaign number: 20V658. Audi’s own number for this recall is 70H8.

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 this 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.

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