A total of 3,540 Volkswagen vehicles are being recalled in the United States and Canada. The hitch assembly in some 2022 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport models may fail due to a loose bolt, thus owners should avoid towing with their vehicles.
After starting to receive bolts from a new source, the automaker's Chattanooga factory first became aware of the issue in April. VW began investigating the issue on April 29 after noticing a spike in production failure rates. By August, it had been discovered that the trailer hitch's bolt was not fastened securely.
Between April 19 and June 6, 2022, 3,334 Atlases will be produced, of which 206 will be Atlas Cross Sport vehicles, the five-seater SUV.
The issue may be audible to Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport owners if they hear rattling emanating from the rear of their car. If the problem continues, the bolt and the remainder of the hitch could fail, and the driver might lose their trailer. Other drivers are put in serious danger if it occurs while they are moving. VW advises owners to refrain from towing until a repair has been deployed.
VW is not aware of any claims pertaining to this problem, and a simple fix should be available. On August 28, it intends to begin contacting owners and requesting that they visit the dealership to have their trailer hitch bolts tightened an additional 90 degrees in order to prevent it from coming free down the road.
In a recall report, Volkswagen said: “Although it is extremely unlikely, experience gained during durability testing shows that a bolt over-stress failure (load transferred from a lost bolt to the remaining tight bolts) while towing cannot be completely ruled out,”