Your vehicle’s ability to stop quickly is a crucial element in keeping you safe, so your brakes must be in perfect working order. But when your vehicle stops for no reason, it could cause an accident. Tap or click here for a Google app that detects car crashes and dials 911.
Unfortunately, 250,000 Volkswagen sports utility vehicles (SUVs) have the potential for their brakes to engage unexpectedly. Impacted models are now subject to a recall, and you must take action.
Read on to find out what is causing the problem and what you should do about it.
Here’s the backstory
It is terrifying when you drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic and your SUV suddenly starts to behave strangely. The windows can roll down automatically, the dashboard lights flicker on and off and alarm bells screech. Like a scene from a horror film, it would be easy to think that your vehicle is possessed.
But don’t be too frightened. If you drive a Volkswagen Altlas and it’s acting up, most likely it’s due to faulty wiring. The German manufacturer recently issued a nationwide recall for the following models:
- Atlas SUV – Models ranging from 2019 through 2023
- Atlas Cross Sport – Models ranging from 2020 through 2023
Volkswagen owners have complained 47 times to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the affected models suddenly braking and displaying the signs described earlier.
In one such complaint, a VW Altas driver from Delaware noted to the NHTSA that “the car forced itself to brake without warning” and that it happened “on multiple occasions any time I slowed down or came to a stop.”
In the recall documentation, it details that corroded wires on either side of the front doors can cause electrical interruptions resulting in:
- The late deployment of side airbags
- Windows rolling down automatically
- Multiple warning lights coming on
- The parking brake to initiate unexpectedly
What you can do about it
Volkswagen said in the recall notice that “the remedy is currently under development” and will send out recall notices to the affected owners starting May 10. Once a fix is ready, owners can expect a second letter from VW.
General advice would be:
- Take your vehicle to a Volkswagen dealership to have the front door wiring inspected.
- Check all electrical wiring for possible corrosion.
- Don’t drive your VW SUV if you experienced any of the problems listed. While your vehicle might only have a window issue, it could lead to the parking brake engaging unexpectedly.
If you have any specific questions about the recall, you can contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298.