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November 20, 2020 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 20V724000
Front Seat Belt Webbing May Tear in a Crash
A torn seat belt may not adequately restrain the seat occupant during a crash, increasing their risk of injury.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V724000
Manufacturer Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Components SEAT BELTS
Potential Number of Units Affected 10,835
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2018 Tiguan LWB vehicles. In the event of a crash, one or both of the front seat belt's webbing may tear.
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the front seat belts and replace them as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 19, 2021. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 69BH.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

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Some tidbits:

Seat Belt Webbing Failure
Date Opened July 03 2018

In December 2017, NHTSA conducted two New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) tests on the 2018 MY Volkswagen (VW) Tiguan. Both tests were 35 mph, full frontal impacts into a rigid
barrier with a 50th percentile male dummy seat-belted in the driver position and a 5th percentile female seat-belted in the right front-passenger position. The tests were conducted on December 8, 2017 at MGA Research Corp. in Wisconsin (MGA) and December 13, 2017 at the Transportation Research Center of Ohio (TRC).

During both crash tests, the driver seat belt webbing completely separated in tension where it
looped through the seat belt latch tongue (see attached photos). Based on its analysis of the
NCAP test results, VW asserted that the test dummy umbilical cord exerted additional forces
on the seat belt system causing the separation. To support this theory, VW conducted several
sled tests.

The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a Preliminary Evaluation (PE18-001) on
01/10/2018 to evaluate the two (2) incidents of seat belt separation. ODI and NCAP reviewed
the sled test data submitted by VW in support of their theory. Micro analysis, conducted by the
Materials Laboratory at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), verified the seat belts failed in tension and not due to cuts or abrasion.

ODI is upgrading PE18-001 to an Engineering Analysis to further examine seat belt behavior in
the subject vehicles and to determine, among other things, a root cause for the seat belt
separation . ODI will perform a thorough review of any vehicle and seat belt design changes for the new 2018 MY Tiguan platform and their effects on the performance of the seat belt system.

Descriptive Information :
Vehicles included in this recall may have received seat belt assemblies with seat belts
from the same production lot as the two MY 2018 Tiguan vehicles tested by NHTSA
NCAP in 2017. Vehicles not included in this recall were manufactured with seat belts
out of a different production lot.

Production Dates : JUL 08, 2017 - OCT 27, 2017

VIN Range 1 :
Begin : 3VV2B7AX0JM010843 End : 3VV3B7AX7JM062295 ✔ Not sequential

Tiguan LWB vehicle count:

Estimated percentage with defect:

Description of the Cause :
Volkswagen could not identify a final root cause for the seat belt ruptures but believes an outside influence may have contributed to the seat belt ruptures in the 2 NHTSA NCAP tests. These ruptures differ from several other NCAP-style tests run by Volkswagen in which the seat belts perform well. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, and to exclude influence on the seat belt performance due to potential deviations in the production lot of the seat belts of the Tiguan vehicles tested by NHTSA NCAP, Volkswagen decided to recall all vehicles built with seat belt assemblies out from the same seat belt production lot as the tested vehicles.

Description of Remedy Program :
The driver, front passenger, or both seat belt(s) will be replaced at no cost to owners. Volkswagen will not offer a reimbursement plan under this recall.
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