VW Recalls 679,000 U.S. Vehicles Over Rollaway Risk

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
vw recalls 679 000 u s vehicles over rollaway risk

On Friday, Volkswagen Group announced the recall of 679,000 U.S. vehicles that could roll away due to an electrical problem. Apparently, silicate buildup can accumulate on the shift lever micro switch and trick the car into thinking the vehicle is in park.

As a result, some customers might be able to remove their key before the car has actually been made stationary — creating problems among the highly inattentive.

Documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the recall covering a bevy of VW models manufactured after 2011. Impacted autos include the 2012-2019 Beetle and Beetle Convertible, 2011-2018 Jetta, 2015-2016 and 2018-2019 Volkswagen Golf, 2015-2019 Golf GTI, and 2017-2019 Golf SportWagen. All affected vehicles will have automatic transmissions.

While we doubt the defect will catch out anyone with a little experience in vintage trash, some drivers may not expect a key to even be capable of coming out of the ignition before a car has been fully immobilized. Fortunately, VW claims it isn’t aware of any injuries relating to the issue and noted that some models could produce warning sounds or error messages that help tip the driver off that something’s not right.

The fix involves installing an additional switch and circuit board, something VW dealerships will do free of charge once the recall gets rolling. Customers that previously had to repair their vehicle due to the flaw will also be eligible for reimbursement, even if the job was done while the car was out of warranty.

Expect customer notifications to begin after October 11th. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or go to www.safercar.gov and put in their VIN. Use NHTSA recall campaign code 19V615000.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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  • Dividebytube Dividebytube on Aug 26, 2019

    My wife and I had a recent Jetta rental - the one with the 1.4T engine - I was impressed enough with the mileage and handling (and legroom!) that I thought it would be a good city car to buy for her. With a manual... apparently. But I still fear the long-term mechanical worthiness though.

  • Turbo_awd Turbo_awd on Aug 26, 2019

    If I'm understanding this correctly - you could turn off the car and pull the key without being park, thus leaving the car in drive or neutral, which might cause issues? But, if you actually put it in Park, THEN shut it off, nothing strange should happen? I.e. the problem is in a "nanny" circuit that shouldn't impact any driver actually paying attention?

  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.
  • AMcA The '70 Continentals and Town Cars may have been cousins to the standard body Fords and Mercurys, they didn't have to be disguised, because they had unique, unbelievably huge bodies of their own. Looking at the new 1970 interior, I'd say it was also a cost savings in sewing the seat. Button tufted panels like the 1969 interior had require a lot of sewing and tufting work. The 1970 interior is mostly surface sewing on a single sheet of upholstery instead of laboriously assembled smaller pieces. FINALLY: do I remember correctly that the shag carpet shown under these cars was a Photoshop? They didn't really go so peak '70s as to photograph cars on shag carpets, did they?
  • Inside Looking Out Toyota makes mass market cars. Their statement means that EVs are not mass market yet. But then Tesla managed to make mass market car - Mode; 3. Where I live in CA there are more Tesla Model 3s on streets than Corollas.
  • Ltcmgm78 A lot of dirt must turn before there's an EV in every driveway. There must be a national infrastructure plan written by other than politicians chasing votes. There must be reliable batteries that hopefully aren't sourced from strategic rivals. There must be a way to charge a lot of EVs. Toyota is wisely holding their water. There is a danger in urging unplanned and hasty moves away from ICE vehicles. Do we want to listen to unending speeches every election cycle that we are closer than we have ever been to 100% electrification and that voting for certain folks will make it happen faster? Picture every car in your town suddenly becoming all electric and a third of them need a charge or the driver will be late for work. This will take a lot of time and money.
  • Kendahl One thing I've learned is that cars I buy for local errands tend to be taken on 1,000 mile trips, too. We have a 5-speed Focus SE that has gone on longer trips than I ever expected. It has served us well although, if I had it to do over again, I would have bought an ST. At the time of purchase, we didn't plan to move from 1,000 feet elevation to 6,500. The SE is still adequate but the ST's turbo and extra power would have been welcome.