CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Audi recalls cars with faulty airbags, researchers list the most- and least-stolen new cars, and more scooter companies will be permitted in SF

ByMichael Finney and Simone Chavoor via KGO logo
Thursday, August 1, 2019
This is the Audi logo on a 2019 Audi automobile at the 2019 Pittsburgh International Auto Show in Pittsburgh Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.
AP

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Audio recalls over 144,000 cars for passenger airbag malfunction

Audi is recalling over 144,000 cars due to a malfunction that can turn off the passengers-side airbag.

2018 A4 and A5 models are affected by this recall, which stems from a problem with the system that detects if there is a person in the passenger seat. A cable has the potential to rust over time, which can cause an inaccurate reading on the seat. This can cause the car's software to turn off the passenger side airbag, which can increase the risk of injury or death in an accident.

A full list of affected cars can be found here. Owners who have recalled cars can call 800-893-5298 or visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website. Dealers will upgrade the car's software at no charge.

Audi is not aware of any injuries related to this issue.

Powerful, expensive cars top the most-stolen list; electric cars are the least stolen

The Highway Loss Data Institute has released its list of the most- and least-stolen new cars.

In their study, the Highway Loss Data Institute looked at the frequency of theft, or how likely an individual car is to be stolen. In looking at new cars, they noted that newer cars are harder to steal because of more sophisticated security - but they're also more lucrative. They also found that expensive cars dominated the most-stolen list; pricey trucks like the Chevy Silverado and powerhouses like the Dodge Charger topped the list.

In contrast, electric cars are among the least stolen cars. Researchers attributed this at least in part due to the fact that these cars are usually stored overnight in closed garages so they can be charged.

For the full lists, click here.

SF opens up permits for more scooter-sharing companies

Starting in October, we may see more scooters on the streets of San Francisco.

Currently, only Skip and Scoot are permitted for shareable scooters in the city; these companies were accepted into a temporary pilot program. But San Francisco has opened up its application process for more companies to deploy their fleets of electric scooters on a longer-term basis. A limited number of companies will be allowed to apply for one-year permits from the SFMTA.

Permit plans will cap the number of scooters made available on city streets, likely around 1,000 to 2,500 scooters per company. The scooters must also have locking mechanisms, have adaptations so that people with disabilities can use the scooters, and implement policies to ensure the scooters are not ridden on sidewalks.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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