• Audi is recalling 317 A6 units due to improperly stitched side curtain airbags.
  • According to the NHTSA, a problem in the stitching process could cause the airbag to deploy improperly or not deploy at all.
  • Audi dealers will replace one or both side curtain airbags free of charge to comply with the recall.

The federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Audi recently announced the recall of a handful of newly redesigned 2012 A6 models due to improperly stitched airbags.

According to the NHTSA, just 317 units are affected by the recall, which covers certain 2012 A6 models manufactured between April 8 and May 26, 2011. The agency says the recall is warranted because of a problem in the stitching process of the A6's side-impact curtain airbag, which may cause a break in the airbag's seam. That could lead to the airbag deploying improperly or failing to deploy at all, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a collision.

The NHTSA says that Audi's parent company, Volkswagen, will contact owners of affected vehicles beginning next month. According to the automaker, technicians will inspect the side curtain airbags in affected vehicles and replace one or both units free of charge. Owners with questions about the recall can contact Volkswagen at 1-800-822-8987 or the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.

The all-new 2012 Audi A6 represents the brand's fourth generation midsize A6 model sold in the United States. Featuring a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a base price of just over $42,000, the new A6 is already proving to be a strong seller for Audi, with more than 1,300 units sold last month - an improvement of more than 80 percent compared to the previous model during same period in 2011.

Thanks to the A6 and several other new models including the all-new A7 and revised A8, Audi has seen a massive sales spike recently, including a year-over-year jump of more than 15 percent through November. Last month, the automaker announced it already broke its annual sales record, set in 2010, with more than five weeks left in the year.

What it means to you:

 Only a handful of 2012 A6 models are affected by the recall, so we wouldn't be worried about a rash of defective airbags.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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