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NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Air Bag Clockspring Failure

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA18003

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: April 18, 2018
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags: Clockspring
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

  2. INVESTIGATION: Air Bag Clockspring Failure

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ17009

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: November 13, 2017
    • Date Closed: May 04, 2018
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Air Bags: Clockspring
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

  3. INVESTIGATION: Air Bag Clockspring Failure

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE15010

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal
    Electrical System

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened an investigation based on consumer allegations of steering wheel clock spring/steering column control module (SCCM) failures in model year (MY) 2012 Volkswagen Passat and CC models.The SCCM is a module within the steering column that incorporates a spiral conductor (a ribbon cable) to electrically connect the steering wheel to the vehicle's electrical system while allowing for the turning of the steering wheel.Complainants alleged that that the clock spring failed while driving and without warning.When the SCCM fails electrically, an air bag warning light is illuminated on the dash of the vehicle.If a vehicle with a failed SCCM were to be involved in a crash of sufficient severity to require deployment, the driver air bag may not deploy properly, or deploy at all.As the result of an Information Request response from Volkswagen, ODI determined that the same SCCM was used in several vehicle models and MYs including: 2010-2013 CC, 2010-2013 Eos, 2011-2013 Golf, 2012-2013 Jetta and Jetta SportWagen, 2010 and 2012-2014 Passat and 2011-2014 Tiguan.ODI identified a total of 29 NHTSA complaints across all affected vehicles potentially indicating a failed SCCM.Drivers often indicated that an audible noise was heard from the steering column when the unit failed. Some drivers also mentioned that there was a noticeable but minor resistance to turning of the steering wheel after the failure with noises coming from the steering column.The average failure mileage is approximately 30,500 miles and failures often occur outside of the factory warranty.There were no reported crashes or injuries identified in either the NHTSA or Volkswagen data as a result of SCCM failures.On July 30th, 2015 Volkswagen notified ODI that it would conduct a safety recall (15V-483) to remedy the SCCMs in 415,825 MY2010-2014 vehicles.According to Volkswagen, the SCCM can become contaminated with human hair or similar fibers entering the unit between the steering wheel and steering column.Over time this can cause the electrical cable to tear and lose connection between the steering wheel and vehicle.Volkswagen will install a cover that attaches over the SCCM to help prevent contaminants from entering the unit.A new SCCM designed to reduce outside contamination intrusion was previously introduced into new vehicle production during the 2014 model year; accordingly vehicles equipped with the new design SCCM are not included in the recall.The recall action initiated by the manufacturer addresses the safety risks identified by the investigation.Accordingly, the investigation is closed.The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at under the following identification (ODI) numbers: 10760644, 10758777, 10748922, 110734168, 10731545, 10721424, 10717651, 10715305, 10713742, 10713139, 10712295, 10711945, 10704830, 10704221, 10702926, 10702212, 10701406, 10691906, 10683944, 10682136, 10672715, 10670517, 10669312, 10628549, 10607240, 10575783, 10561143, 10552113, 10397670.

  4. INVESTIGATION: Partial Loss of Exterior Lights

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE13036

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Fuses And Circuit Breakers
    Exterior Lighting
    Exterior Lighting:Back Up Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Back Up Lights:Switch
    Exterior Lighting:Brake Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Brake Lights:Switch
    Exterior Lighting:Fog Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Fog Lights:Switch
    Exterior Lighting:Hazard Flashing Warning Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Hazard Flashing Warning Lights:Switch
    Exterior Lighting:Hazard Flashing Warning Lights:Unit
    Exterior Lighting:Headlights
    Exterior Lighting:Headlights:Concealment Devices
    Exterior Lighting:Headlights:High/Low Beam Dimmer Switch
    Exterior Lighting:Headlights:Switch
    Exterior Lighting:Tail Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Tail Lights:Switch
    Exterior Lighting:Turn Signal
    Exterior Lighting:Turn Signal:Flasher Unit
    Exterior Lighting:Turn Signal:Switch

    Summary: Volkswagen Group of America (VW) is conducting a safety recall of approximately 62,155 model year (MY) 2009-2011 Volkswagen Tiguan vehicles to address a partial loss of the exterior lighting (see NHTSA recall 13V-569 for more information).These vehicles' exterior lighting system is protected by two separate fuses contained in a fuse box located in the engine compartment.According to VW, high thermal cycling and soft-coated fuse coating material used at the F16 (also referred to as SB16) location causes movement between the fuse blade and socket, resulting in abrasions on the fuse coating material.This increases resistance and results in overheating of the fuse and disruption of electrical current flow to roughly half of the vehicle's exterior lighting circuits. Examples include loss of one of each of the following: low beam headlight, high beam headlight, brake light, and turn signal light involving the front and rear of the vehicle.VW has stated that the subject F16 fuse in the Tiguan model was used in several other Volkswagen models.According to VW, the temperature of the vehicle's engine and the fuse box varies by vehicle model.ODI found that the complaint and warranty rates for the MY 2009-2010 Tiguan are more than four times greater than that of MY 2009-2010 Volkswagen Jetta sedans.ODI is aware of VW's plan to take a service action of some, but not all, of the other vehicle models.The action will cover MY 2009-2010 Jetta sedan and MY 2009 GTI vehicles.ODI will monitor complaints to NHTSA on all other Volkswagen models equipped with the same subject fuse and take further action if warranted.The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at under the following identification numbers: 10362206, 10471503, 10490408, 10501271, 10504495, 10508638, 10512642, 10520573, 10521147, 10522909, 10523748, 10526032, 10534679, 10538004, 10538410, 10543629, 10544805, 10545540, 10547334, 10547530, 10547775, 10549584, 10550140, 10550903, 10551486, 10551503, 10551538, 10551776, 10551816, 10551848, 10551853, 10552153, 10552322, 10552740, 10552811, 10552866, 10553122, 10553299, 10554352, 10554441, 10554443, 10554730, 10554890, 10555047, 10555080, 10555527, 10555540, 10555988, 10556475, 10558014, 10559441, 10559447, 10561642, 10562693.

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