Audi Q5 SUVs Recalled After Side Airbags Explode Into Pieces

Audi recalls 234,000 Q5 SUVs after reports that side head airbag inflator canisters ruptured.

Posted in Recalls

— Audi Q5 SUVs are recalled because the side head airbag inflators can explode and send metal fragments into the passenger compartments and the occupants, but it has nothing to do with the recalls of millions of Takata airbag inflators.

Affected are more than 234,000 model year 2011-2017 Audi Q5 SUVs with panoramic sunroofs that can leak and damage the foam surrounding the airbag inflator canisters.

If the water drainage system of the panoramic sunroof becomes damaged, water could enter the side head airbag canister and be absorbed by the foam around the inflator. The moisture can cause corrosion of the airbag inflator and fracture the metal canister even without the airbag deploying.

Audi says an incident was reported in June 2016 in China and parts were inspected in Germany and China after the automaker bought back several vehicles for testing. While this was taking place, another incident was reported in Israel and engineers finally determined what was causing the problem and how to fix it.

Dealers will look for evidence of water damage, examine the sunroof drainage systems, take apart the headliner and trim, remove the foam and inspect the side head airbag canister for any evidence of corrosion.

The airbag inflator canister will be replaced if technicians see evidence of corrosion. If no corrosion is present, a coating will be applied to the canisters to protect them from water damage.

The Audi Q5 recall is scheduled to start in February 2017, but customers with questions should call the automaker at 800-253-2834. Audi's number for this recall is 69P1.

A separate recall was announced involving the Q5 and other Audi vehicles, but that recall was ordered to make sure fires don't occur near the engine compartments.