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Florida residents who drive an Audi A5 coupe or convertible or Q5 SUV may soon receive recall notifications in the mail. The German car maker has announced that 576,921 vehicles are being recalled due to overheating engines and leaky sunroofs. The recalls, which are expected to begin on Feb. 20, were prompted by reports made to the NHTSA about smoldering engines and airbags that deployed unexpectedly.

Audi is recalling 342,867 A5 and Q5 models featuring the company's popular turbocharged four cylinder engine manufactured between 2013 and 2017. The cooling pumps on some cars equipped with this engine have become blocked by debris, and technicians will update the pump's software so that power is cut off in these situations. NHTSA says that the recall was announced due to concerns over possible engine fires.

A further 234,054 Audi Q5 SUVs are being recalled due to sunroof drainage problems. When this fault develops, water can drip into the canisters housing the vehicle's side-curtain airbags. Moisture in airbag canisters can cause corrosion over time, and the NHTSA says that it has received a number of complaints from Audi Q5 owners about side-curtain airbags deploying unexpectedly. When this happens, vehicle occupants can be seriously injured by flying metal shards or other debris. Audi plans to address the issue by inspecting the components involved and replacing them when necessary. Technicians will also apply a wax seal to prevent the problem from recurring.

Car manufacturers may face auto product liability lawsuits when their products cause injury, loss or damage, but establishing responsibility in these lawsuits can be challenging for personal injury attorneys. Manufacturers often claim that the plaintiffs in these cases used their products incorrectly or modified them in some way, and attorneys may study accident reports, recall notices and NHTSA announcements carefully for information that could be used to counter these arguments.

Source: Autoweek, "Over 576,000 Audis recalled for fire and airbag-rupture risks", Jay Ramey, Jan. 30, 2017

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