Volkswagen is recalling 20,676 2009 and 2010 model-year Routan minivans because defective ignition switches may inadvertently move into the “off” or “accessory” positions – a condition that could disable air bags, power steering or power brakes during a crash.
Until the recall repairs are completed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises drivers to remove all items from their key ring, leaving only the ignition key. The key fob should be removed as well because any added weight raises the risk level.
The advice, of course, is reminiscent of statements issued during last year’s much-publicized General Motors ignition switch recalls. The Routan, built by Chrysler, ceased production in 2012.
Rough road conditions or other factors that shake the vehicle also might trigger the Routan ignition switch to move out of the “run” position and turn off the engine.
Dealers will replace the ignition switch and key fob, free of charge. The recall affects vehicles manufactured from June 25, 2008, to June 10, 2009, and from Oct. 1, 2009, to Aug. 11, 2010.
The recall gets under way this month for 2009 Routan minivans. For the 2010 models, the recall is set to begin in August.
This safety recall campaign supersedes two previous ones (11V151 and 14V396). Vehicles that earlier received an ignition switch trim ring as a remedy must receive the new fix. Routan minivans that have already received a new ignition switch, however, aren’t covered by the new campaign.
Vehicle owners can reach Volkswagen customer service at (800) 822-8987. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 28H1.