VW Recalls 679,000 U.S. Vehicles Over Rollaway Risk

On Friday, Volkswagen Group announced the recall of 679,000 U.S. vehicles that could roll away due to an electrical problem. Apparently, silicate buildup can accumulate on the shift lever micro switch and trick the car into thinking the vehicle is in park.

As a result, some customers might be able to remove their key before the car has actually been made stationary — creating problems among the highly inattentive.

Documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the recall covering a bevy of VW models manufactured after 2011. Impacted autos include the 2012-2019 Beetle and Beetle Convertible, 2011-2018 Jetta, 2015-2016 and 2018-2019 Volkswagen Golf, 2015-2019 Golf GTI, and 2017-2019 Golf SportWagen. All affected vehicles will have automatic transmissions.

While we doubt the defect will catch out anyone with a little experience in vintage trash, some drivers may not expect a key to even be capable of coming out of the ignition before a car has been fully immobilized. Fortunately, VW claims it isn’t aware of any injuries relating to the issue and noted that some models could produce warning sounds or error messages that help tip the driver off that something’s not right.

The fix involves installing an additional switch and circuit board, something VW dealerships will do free of charge once the recall gets rolling. Customers that previously had to repair their vehicle due to the flaw will also be eligible for reimbursement, even if the job was done while the car was out of warranty.

Expect customer notifications to begin after October 11th. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or go to www.safercar.gov and put in their VIN. Use NHTSA recall campaign code 19V615000.

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