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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Volkswagen’s Audi Recalls 40,000 Q5s Worldwide on Trim Fault

Volkswagen’s Audi Recalls 40,000 Q5s Worldwide on Trim Fault
Share Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A By Tom Lavell

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG’s Audi luxury division is recalling about 40,000 Q5 sport-utility vehicles worldwide to fix an interior-trim component that may come loose when side head-protection air bags deploy.

The recall, affecting models built from December 2008 through May 2009, involves replacing faulty attachments on side columns’ plastic coverings to reduce the risk of trim breaking free and injuring occupants, Stephan Oeri, a spokesman for Ingolstadt, Germany-based Audi, said in a phone interview today.

The flaw was detected through internal testing and “there were no incidents with customers,” Oeri said. Any repairs will take half an hour at most to complete, he said, declining to specify which company supplied the component.

U.S. recalls related to interior molding in the past decade include a 545,311-vehicle program in 2002 to fix panels in Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler minivans built by the then DaimlerChrysler AG as well as repairs that year to seat trim in 16,500 Ford Motor Co. Thunderbird cars. Audi asked owners of 36,000 A8 sedans worldwide in 2006 to bring in the cars to fix driver’s-side air bags because of an inflation fault.

Audi announced plans on Dec. 28 to add eight models, boosting its lineup of cars and SUVs to 42 by 2015 to challenge Bayerische Motoren Werke AG as the largest maker of luxury cars. New vehicles will include the A1 compact due to be introduced in mid-2010, the A7 large luxury coupe and a hybrid-version Q5.

The carmaker will invest 7.3 billion euros ($10.5 billion) on new models and plant upgrades through 2012, with spending on vehicle development accounting for about 5.9 billion euros.

The side-column covering flaw may affect about 8,000 Q5s in Germany, Oeri said. The retail price of the model starts at 36,500 euros in the country, according to Auto Motor und Sport magazine’s 2010 Auto Katalog yearbook.

The recall in the U.S. involves 6,054 SUVs, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration online statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Lavell in Frankfurt at tlavell@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: December 30, 2009 06:46 EST

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