hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,000 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

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2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Owner Comments

problem #1

Jun 132016

Jetta SportWagen

  • 75,000 miles


The clock spring got debris in it, pushing the ribbon off the guide wires and causing a kink. This causes a fault in the airbag controls as there is unreliable connectivity with the computer. Thus, the driver's side airbag within the steering column turns itself off. VW voluntarily recalled 420,000 cars for this exact problem, including some vehicles within our same year and model. From VW's recall notice: On certain vehicles, the steering wheel clock spring could become contaminated with long hair or long fibers which may cause a displacement of the internal guide loops. When the guide loops are dragged out of position, they may apply tension to the internal flat cable and cause it to tear. Should the cable tear, the electrical connection to the driver's front airbag may be lost, causing the airbag monitoring indicator light to illuminate. In a crash that warrants a driver front airbag deployment, the airbag will not deploy, leading to a risk of driver injury. This is exactly what happened to our vehicle, verbatim. Our vehicle was not part of the affected recall. I was told by a VW tech that our vehicle was not part of the recall because the part includes a computer module for the highline display. This controls all steering column-mounted buttons (radio, etc), and must be manually reprogrammed for each model it's installed in. The part cost increases from $115 to $375 and the labor for installation increases from $100 to over $400. So by not replacing the highline modules, VW will save several million dollars. Meanwhile, people are riding around without functioning airbags because VW can't design a steering column that keeps long hair from getting tangled in their clock springs. The design flaw isn't in the clock spring itself but in the steering column assembly that can't block debris from getting down into the clock springs to begin with.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

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