2020 Audi A3 Airbag Recall Problems

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Lemberg Law is investigating complaints regarding a lack of availability of recall repair parts for the 2020 Audi A3. Vehicle owners are reporting that components for the Audi A3 airbags, due for replacement, still aren’t available more than a year after the recall was announced. 

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Airbag Problems

There is a recall notice published on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website: NHTSA Campaign Number 21V198000 dated March 22, 2021. It states that the airbag may deactivate, increasing the risk of injury if the car is involved in a crash. The problem is that the passenger occupant detection system (PODS) may malfunction. When this happens, it switches off the passenger airbag even when someone is in the passenger seat.

As many as 153,152 A3 vehicles may be affected. They include A3 Sedan, A3 Etron, and A3 Cabriolet vehicles manufactured between 2015 and 2020. Audi did not release a 2021 A3 model, and there is not currently a recall related to deactivating airbags for the 2022 model. There is, however, a 2022 model recall relating to front passenger air bags not deploying properly.

Owners of affected vehicles were notified by mail about the recall in December 2021. They were told that the PODS control module and PODS sensor mat would be replaced by dealers free of charge. But complaints to NHTSA, as recent as March 16, 2022, state that the part for the recall is not yet available.

Most of the complaints are from owners who have tried, unsuccessfully, to have the faulty airbag parts replaced. The resounding issue is that “the manufacturer has exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair.” However, they also report airbag malfunctions.

Here are some examples of what NHTSA complaints say.

An owner from Florida states:

“While driving approximately 65-70 mph with a passenger seated in the passenger’s seat, the “Air bag Off”, “Malfunction, air bag off” warning light illuminated intermittently.”

The failure recurred during the journey, and the warning light remained illuminated.

The incident happened on October 13, 2021 when the car had 9,500 miles on the clock. The dealership told the owner of the car about the recall. However, they said that the parts for the recall repair were not yet available.


The first complaint states that there wasn’t a failure. But both the local dealer and VIN tool confirmed that parts were not available.

The most recent complaint lodged in March 2022 says while driving on September 1, 2021, “the front passenger’s side airbag alarm would chime intermittently.” This owner knew about the recall and “made the dealer aware of NHTSA Campaign Number: 21V198000 (Air Bags)” only to be told the recall repair wasn’t available yet.

The third Florida-based complaint states that on January 14, 2022, when the 2020 Audi A3 had about 7,000 miles on the clock, the airbag warning light came on. But, again, “the part to do the recall repair was unavailable.”

A North Carolina owner tried to get the recall repair on November 17, 2021. “Nothing has happened (yet), but Audi has still not come up with a fix for this problem since March 2021. This is a real safety concern for front passengers in the 2020 Audi A3 autos.”

In keeping with the other complaints, a Georgia owner complained in October 2021 that the airbag recall was initiated in March 2021.

What Should You Do If You Are Unable to Get Recall Repairs for Your 2020 Audi A3?

Lemberg Law understands that because of parts shortages, there’s a low number of recalled Audi A3 vehicles that have been repaired. If you agree that Audi has exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair, you are welcome to contact us.

All you need to do is fill out our contact form or call us for a free case evaluation. In circumstances like these the law requires Audi to pay the legal fees for your claim.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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