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Owners of some 2022 and 2023 Volkswagen and Audi models should take note of a recent recall affecting more than 74,000 vehicles. The brands have announced recalls of four of their SUV models due to potentially catastrophic engine failure. The Audi recall includes 2021-2023 Audi Q5s, and Audi Q5 Sportbacks.

The Volkswagen recall is for 2022-2023 VW Atlas models, and VW Atlas Cross Sport models. Both recalls are due to potential engine failures caused by faulty connecting rods installed on their 2.0-liter engines. 

SUVs with easy-to-use infotainment systems like this Volkswagen Atlas
A 2023 Volkswagen Atlas | Volkswagen

New Volkswagen and Audi SUVs

The base model 2023 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport are powered by a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine with 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. They both are roomy SUVs, with the Atlas Cross Sport featuring first-in-class legroom. The Cross Sport’s more athletic exterior can be brought up a notch with the R-Line black trim, featuring blacked-out bumpers, mirror caps, roof rails, and grille. 

The Audi Q5 is a sleek SUV featuring high-end technology and an available hybrid engine. The 2023 Audi Q5 Sportback is a luxury SUV with driver assistance features including park assist, adaptive cruise control, and a top-view camera. It has a sloping roofline that gives it a more sleek look, and design features such as the Black Optic exterior package. Both Audi Q5 models offer 20/40/20 split-folding rear seats for a number of cargo-carrying options.  

The latest VW and Audi recall

According to Autoblog, the recall is due to faulty connecting rods in the base model SUVs engines. These rods can lead to unbalanced engine operation which could lead to catastrophic engine failure, stalling, and increased risk of a crash or engine fire. These connecting rods were not used in vehicles built after October 6, 2022. 

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) reports that dealers will inspect 2021 and 2022 Audi Q5 and Audi Q5 Sportback models, and 2022-2023 VW Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport models, for free. VW and Audi dealers will also replace the entire affected engine free of charge. Owners can expect letters in early this month (December 2022).  Contact Volkswagen at 1-800-893-5298 and Audi’s customer service at 1-800-253-2834 if you think you might be affected by the recall and haven’t received a letter. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recalls are in the engine and cooling category and are caused by damaged connection rod bearings. The recall numbers are 13i4  for VW and 13i5 for Audi. They note that if an engine failure causes an oil leak, this could lead to an engine fire. NHTSA recommends contacting your dealership as soon as possible. 

These aren’t the first well-known VW or Audi recalls

In January of 2022, Audi and Subaru recalled about 200,000 cars when a serious design flaw was discovered. If water was spilled on the back seat, it could leak down and fry the electronics. This could lead to an engine shut down while driving, and a potential crash.

Audi is also listed in Popular Mechanic’s ” 5 Most Notorious Recalls of All Time” for their first recall in 1982, when improperly installed floor mats could jam under the accelerator. 

Volkswagen is no stranger to recalls either. In March of this year, VW recalled over 200,000 SUVs in the United States and Canada for unexpected braking. The company also put off recalling the popular VW Golf model for as long as it could. Problems began when radiators began coming loose on the hatchbacks as early as January of 2021. They only officially recalled the vehicles a year and a half later. 

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