The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a recall query for certain Volkswagen ID.4 electric crossovers built between 2021 and 2023. This was prompted by 12 complaints that say doors opened while on the move for vehicles that had already been subject to two earlier door handle-related recalls.

Around 51,500 vehicles could potentially be affected by this defect. The report submitted by the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) says, “Some consumers report the vehicle’s door intermittently opens while driving with no reasonable detectability. Consumers also report the vehicle door handles will not allow occupants to enter or exit the vehicle. Vehicle doors opening while driving have a high risk of occupant ejection or excessive intrusion in a side impact collision. No injuries or fatalities have been connected to this issue to date.”

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We thought the ID.4's door handles had been fixed

The NHTSA investigation is looking at some 51,500 potentially affected ID.4s that were previously subject to two different door-related recalls for water ingress into the door handles.

The previous door-related ID.4 recalls were meant to fix problems with water ingress into the door handles (there were two recalls because VW had two different suppliers for the door handles), which were found to not meet manufacturer specifications. Water getting into the electronic handles is likely the cause of the new issue with doors now flying open. It can cause the door handles to get an “open door” command, which they should typically only get when the user issues this command by pulling on the interior and exterior door handles.

The NHTSA notice for this defect says, “the door could open unexpectedly when the vehicle is subject to high lateral forces at speeds below 9 mph/ 15 km/h” and “a vehicle software update is performed to update the door handle operating parameters.” This means physically replacing the faulty door handles may not be necessary. However, they will still suffer from water ingress, which could potentially cause other problems.

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Since it was introduced in the US in 2021, theVolkswagen ID.4 has been subject to numerous recalls. Many were software-related and were fixed via updates, but the car was also found to have incorrectly assembled components, including airbags, steering racks, seat belts, and caps on the backs of the headlights, among others. Sales have been good but not great, and the ID.4 saw a 37% year-over-year drop in Q1 2024.

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