Volkswagen to recall 271,000 U.S. vehicles over possible air bag issue

(Reuters) – Volkswagen is recalling over 271,000 vehicles in the United States due to a potential wiring fault that may deactivate front passenger air bags when the seat is occupied, the U.S. auto safety regulator said on Wednesday.

The recall affects the German automaker’s certain 2021-2024 Atlas and 2020-2024 Atlas Cross Sport vehicles where the passenger occupant detection system (PODS) may experience a fault in the wiring and affect front passenger air bags.

The Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport are among the best-selling vehicles for the carmaker in the U.S.

The company’s dealers will replace the PODS sensor mat and wiring harness, free of charge for affected customers, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said.

Until the recall repair has been performed, the regulator advised affected vehicle owners to avoid the use of the front passenger seat whenever possible.

The issue also affects nearly 36,000 vehicles in Canada, a memo sent by Volkswagen to its dealers, which was attached with NHTSA’s recall notice, showed.

Volkswagen did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Earlier this year, Volkswagen had issued a recall of more than 261,000 vehicles in the U.S. due to an issue with a jet pump seal inside its fuel tank.

Reporting by Shivansh Tiwary and Kanjyik Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber