AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Volkswagen of America Inc. is recalling nearly 225,000 VW and Audi cars and SUVs to fix faulty tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) that may not function properly if all four tires lose pressure at the same time and at the same rate.
Since the TPMS doesn't function properly, the vehicles fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 138, which relates to TPMS, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
VW told NHTSA that the TPMS will still warn drivers of unsafe tire pressure, even if the timing of the warning does not comply with federal safety standards. The problem is fixable through a software update.
VW told NHTSA it is not aware of any warranty claims, injuries or crashes related to the issue.
VW petitioned NHTSA in 2020 for an "inconsequential" defect ruling, claiming it does not pose an unreasonable safety risk. NHTSA denied VW's petition in October, leading to the car maker's decision to recall the vehicles now.
The vehicles affected by the recall are:
• Audi A3 sedans manufactured between Nov. 26, 2018, and Jan. 24, 2020;
• Audi A3 convertibles manufactured between Nov. 26, 2018, and July 12, 2019;
• Audi Q3 SUVs manufactured between May 21 and July 30, 2019;
• VW Atlas SUVs manufactured between Nov. 27, 2018, and Jan. 17, 2020;
• VW Atlas SUVs manufactured on April 28, 2021;
• VW Atlas Cross Sport SUVs manufactured between April 19, 2019, and Feb. 25, 2021;
• VW Golf hatchbacks and Golf Alltrack station wagons manufactured between Nov. 26, 2018, and Oct. 25, 2019;
• VW Golf R hatchbacks manufactured between Jan. 25, 2019, and Aug. 19, 2019;
• VW Golf Sportwagen station wagons manufactured between Nov. 26, 2018, and Aug. 27, 2019;
• Volkswagen Jetta sedans manufactured between Nov. 26, 2018, and Oct. 23, 2019; and
• Volkswagen Tiguan SUVs manufactured between Nov. 28, 2018, and Aug. 17, 2019.
VW described the problem thus: The targeted vehicles were built with a specific hardware/software combination (brake control unit with related software) in a specific time frame. Due to a software error, if all four tires deflate at the same time and at the same rate, the TPMS warning may not illuminate in time to meet federal motor vehicle safety standards.
To fix the problem, Volkswagen and Audi dealerships will perform a free software update designed to resolves the issue.
VW will contact owners of affected vehicles by mail starting Dec. 30. Owners may contact Volkswagen at 800-893-5298 or Audi at 800-253-2834. The NHTSA campaign number is 22V815.