Volkswagen Group of America Inc. is recalling 20,676 Routan minivans made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. The automaker is concerned that their ignition switches might cause air bags not to deploy. This came after Chrysler recalled 700,000-plus vehicles over the same issue.
The recall, which affects 18,521 Volkswagen Routan minivans from the 2009 model year and 2,155 from 2010, will address a defect that can inadvertently allow the ignition key to slip into the “off” or “accessory” position in bumpy road conditions, turning off the engine and disabling air bags and other safety systems, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a letter acknowledging the recall. Many of the affected vehicles were previously recalled last year, but the NHTSA said that the fix wasn’t sufficient and that the entire ignition switch has to be replaced.
Volkswagen said in a filing with NHTSA that it will notify owners, and dealers will replace the ignition switch and key fobs free of charge. The recall is expected to start this month for 2009 Routan vehicles and in August for 2010 Routan vehicles. Volkswagen said:
Until this recall is performed, customers should remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the ignition key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from the key ring.
According to a Volkswagen spokesman there have been no reported accidents or injuries related to the ignition switch issue. The announcement came after Chrysler said in early March that it had recalled 702,578 Dodge Grand Caravans model years 2008 through 2010, Dodge Journeys from 2009 and 2010 and Town & Countrys from 2008 through 2010 over the same issue. Like Chrysler, Volkswagen has instructed owners awaiting repairs to the affected vehicles to remove additional weight from their key rings to reduce the likelihood that the ignition will slip. Before it was discontinued in 2013, the Routan was built at the same Windsor, Ontario, plant as the Town & Country and Grand Caravan, and the three minivans share the same basic platform and many of the same parts and features.
In March 2011, Chrysler recalled nearly 250,000 of its 2010 model year Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans and Dodge Journey SUVs over the ignition defect. That recall was expanded by almost 700,000 vehicles in June, adding additional 2008 to 2010 minivans and 2009 to 2010 Dodge Journeys. The decision to expand the recall came after the NHTSA, prompted by the GM ignition switch scandal, launched two investigations into a total of 1.25 million Chrysler vehicles that had received complaints over ignition problems.
In July 2014, Volkswagen recalled 18,526 Routans from model year 2009 for the same issue, and a detent was fitted to fix it, according to the spokesman. But federal regulators said that the fix wasn’t adequate, prompting Thursday’s recall.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.