What do you need to know? Read on.
Having a car roll away unexpectedly can be extremely dangerous. Famous actor Anton Yelchin was killed tragically when his Jeep failed to shift into 'Park' before the SUV was fixed under recall. No automaker is immune to rollaway risks, and even Aston Martin recently recalled 5,000 vehicles for this issue. Volkswagen has now become the most recent automaker to issue a recall for rollaway risk, with 679,000 vehicles sold in the US involved.
The recall impacts Jetta, Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Golf, Golf Sportwagen, and Golf GTI models from various model years between 2011 and 2019 specifically sold with the combination of an automatic transmission, manual handbrake, and no keyless entry. So if your VW has a manual transmission, automatic handbrake, or keyless entry, you should be safe from the recall.
The vast majority of the cars being recalled are either a Jetta (541,376 cars) or a Beetle (94,474 cars) of both the hardtop and convertible body styles. VW says drivers may be able to take the keys out of the ignition without placing the car into Park. This drastically increases the risk of a rollaway, especially if the car is left in neutral with nothing there to stop it from moving.
Most drivers don't put on the handbrake when parking a modern automatic car, so there is room for concern here. VW says the issue has been pinpointed to a build-up of silicate on the shift lever micro switch, causing the car to not engage Park.
The full breakdown of the affected models is as follows:
2012-2019 Beetle (65,727), 2012-2019 Beetle Convertible (28,747), 2015-2016 Golf (5,534), 2018-2019 Golf (1,847), 2017-2019 Golf Sportwagen (14,518), 2015-2019 GTI (18,278), 2011-2018 Jetta (541,376).
If you own one of these cars, be on the lookout for a recall notice from VW. Dealerships will install an additional switch as well as a new circuit board and disable the faulty micro switch. No injuries or fatalities have been reported from this issue.