Volkswagen is recalling more than 679,000 VW Beetle, Jetta, GTI, Golf and other vehicles, due to a risk that they may rollaway after a driver believes the vehicle is parked, posing a risk of serious injury for occupants existing the vehicle or bystanders.
The Volkswagen recall (PDF) was announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) late last week, due to a problem that may allow the ignition key to be removed when the shift lever is not in park, which could cause the vehicle to roll away.
The recall is only for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission, manual parking brake, and keyless entry system.
The problem stems from a switch that indicates the position of the shift lever. Silicate can build up on the switch, causing it to fail, which may allow the key to be removed from the ignition when the vehicle is not in park.
If the driver removes the key from the ignition when the vehicle isn’t in park, the risk of Volkswagen rolling away is increased. A rollaway vehicle can lead to a crash and injuries.
So far, Volkswagen is not aware of any crashes, injuries, or fatalities linked to the recall problems, but similar issues with other auto makers have been linked to multiple reports of severe injuries or deaths.
The Volkswagen recall includes 2012 to 2019 Beetle coupes, 2012 to 2019 Beetle convertibles, 2015 to 2016 Golf hatchbacks, 2018 to 2019 Golf hatchbacks, 2017 to 2019 Golf SportWagens, 2015 to 2019 GTI hatchbacks, and 2011 to 2018 Jetta sedans.
Dealers will fix the problem by installing a new ignition switch and circuit board to fix the problem. Installation and replacement parts will be provided at no charge to owners.
The recall is expected to begin Oct 11, 2019, and VW will contact vehicle owners. In the meantime, owners may contact Volkswagen at 800-893-5298.
Vehicle owners can check to see if their vehicle is involved in an open recall by visiting the NHTSA’s website and searching their 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN).
There have been several similar major recalls this year. Earlier this summer, Porsche recalled nearly 100,000 Cayenne and Panamera vehicles. The recall was initiated because of defective shifters that could fail to engage the parking brake and lead to a rollaway risk and potential crash.
In April, Fiat Chrysler recalled more than 300,000 Dodge Darts. The recall was initiated because of defective transmission cables that can detach causing the vehicle to rollaway when owner’s thought the car was parked.