— Volkswagen says owner's manuals for nearly 55,000 model year 2018 VW Atlas SUVs are missing important details concerning the use of child restraints.
The manuals that came with the SUVs do not inform customers about the child restraint size limitations and restrictions for the second-row center seating positions. This can cause damage to the center and outboard seat belt buckles if the base of a child seat is wider than 12.6 inches.
Damaged buckles can release at any time and leave occupants unprotected in a crash.
VW learned of an employee report in May 2017 about a damaged second-row seat belt buckle, so the automaker took a look at the field for additional complaints. Complaints were found and more complaints arrived, causing engineers to test various child restraints to replicate the problem.
Volkswagen decided to issue the recall based on an increasing number of complaints and finding child restraints with a base wider than 12.6 inches have the most potential to cause damage.
VW says occupants likely won't even know there is a problem with the seat belt buckles until they fail.
The 2018 VW Atlas recall should begin August 3, 2018. Volkswagen dealers will inspect the seat belt buckles and replace them if necessary. Owners will also receive updated information to add to the owner's manuals about the proper use of child restraints.
Atlas owners with concerns should call 800-893-5298. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 69X1.
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