Audi Recalls 80,000 Vehicles For Side Marker Issues
Marc Stern's picture

Audi Recalls 80,000 Vehicles To Fix Side Marker Light Software Glitch

Audi, a division of Volkswagen, has recalled several 2015-17 models to fix a software glitch that turns off the side market lights. It only happens when the headlights or parking lights are turned on, usually at night, when all lights are needed for visibility.

When the first Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) appeared in the mid-1970s, one of the earliest was the side marker lamp requirement. Side marker lamps are the small front and rear lights on the left and right front fenders, as well as on the left and right rear quarter panels.

Side Marker Light Violation

Their purpose has always been to make cars more visible at night. Before they were required under FMVSS 108, cars were nearly invisible from the sides as there were no lights mandated to illuminate the side outlines of the vehicles. The only lights that the industry believed were necessary, before the standard, were the headlights, taillights, turn signals and brake lights.

So, from the front and rear cars were pretty visible – even if the light output of the standard sealed-beam units at the time was pretty weak. However, from the sides, the visibility was not so good as the vehicles are nearly invisible. As noted, FMVSS 108 changed that. It was entered into the regulation book about 1977 and has been there ever since.

With that said, Volkswagen has announced the recall of about 80,000 2015-17 Audi models to fix a software problem that affects side marker lighting. The problem is that when an operator flips on the headlamps or parking lights, the side markers are turned off. This makes the affected vehicles “less visible at night,” said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on whose website,, the announcement appeared. Because they are less visible, the “risk of a crash” is increased. The problem results from software that may have been loaded into the vehicles’ systems.

Vehicles With Side Marker Light Issues

The vehicles affected by the recall include:

• 2015-17 Audi Q3
• 2016 Audi TT Roadster
• 2016 Audi A3 Cabriolet
• 2016 Audi A3 sedan
• 2016 Audi A3 e-tron
• 2016-17 Audi TT Coupe
• 2017 Audi A4 sedan
• 2017 Audi Q7

Audi has recalled a total of 79,895 vehicles and will mail recall notices to the owners or lessees of those vehicles. The notices ask them to bring their vehicles back to their dealerships for a free software update.

For further information, you can contact Audi’s customer service line at 800-253-2834, asking about recall 97CB. Or, you can call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 and ask about campaign 16V6420000.

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