— Volkswagen is recalling more than 679,000 vehicles to prevent them from rolling away because the keys can be removed from the ignitions when the transmission gear shifters are not in PARK.
- 2015-2019 Volkswagen GTI
- 2015-2016 Volkswagen Golf
- 2018-2019 Volkswagen Golf
- 2012-2019 Volkswagen Beetle
- 2012-2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
- 2017-2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
- 2011-2018 Volkswagen Jetta
VW says all the recalled vehicles are equipped with automatic transmissions, manual handbrakes and keyless entry systems. The recall is necessary due to a build-up of silicate on the shift lever micro switch contacts that may enable the key to be removed from the ignition when the transmission shift lever isn't in PARK.
Volkswagen says it studied the problem between July and December 2018 and engineers found multiple factors and a high level of complexity were involved. The automaker knew only certain vehicles had control units capable of diagnosing problems with the micro switches.
In August, engineers determined the micro switch can fail due to increased resistance caused by silicate contamination on the contact surface of the switch.
VW dealers will install additional switches and circuit boards during the recall, and to avoid electrical current spikes a limiter was created to be installed into the wiring harness of the gear selector assembly.
Every vehicle will get a new switch (located outside of the gear shift lever housing) and an additional control unit will be installed. Additionally, the micro switch at the shift lever (already present in the vehicle) will be disabled.
Volkswagen customers who already paid for repairs will be offered compensation for the expenses.
In some of the models drivers will hear warning sounds and see warning messages and lights while driving if the switches fail.
The recall is expected to begin October 11, 2019, but concerned customers may call 800-893-5298. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 37M2.