A Volkswagen Beetle with an automatic transmission

Volkswagen is recalling 679,027 Jetta sedans, Beetle coupes and convertibles, GTI hatchbacks, and Golf hatchbacks and wagons because it may be possible to remove the ignition key when the shift lever isn't in Park, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall is only for the vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission, a manual parking brake, and keyless entry. If the driver removes the key from the ignition when the vehicle isn't in Park, there's a risk that the vehicle may roll away, which could result in a crash, NHTSA says.

A VW spokesperson told CR that the company isn't aware of any crashes, injuries, or fatalities related to this problem. 

The Details

Vehicles recalled: 679,027 Volkswagens.

  • 2012-2016 Beetle coupes manufactured from June 10, 2011, through July 29, 2016
  • 2017-2019 Beetle coupes manufactured from July 15, 2016, through June 4, 2019
  • 2012-2016 Beetle convertibles manufactured from Feb. 15, 2012, through July 28, 2016
  • 2017-2019 Beetle convertibles manufactured from July 7, 2016, through June 4, 2019
  • 2015-2016 Golf hatchbacks manufactured from March 29, 2014, through July 23, 2015
  • 2018-2019 Golf hatchbacks manufactured from April 9, 2018, through May 9, 2019
  • 2017 Golf SportWagen wagons manufactured from June 23, 2016, through July 12, 2017
  • 2018-2019 Golf SportWagen wagons manufactured from June 26, 2017, through May 13, 2019
  • 2015-2017 GTI hatchbacks manufactured from Feb. 11, 2014, through July 23, 2017
  • 2018-2019 GTI hatchbacks manufactured from July 17, 2017, through May 9, 2019
  • 2011-2014 Jetta sedans manufactured from March 18, 2010, through July 18, 2014
  • 2015-2018 Jetta sedans manufactured from July 11, 2014, through Dec. 9, 2017

The problem: A switch that indicates the position of the shift lever may fail. If this happens, it may be possible to remove the key from the ignition when the vehicle isn't in Park, raising the risk that the vehicle could roll away.

The fix: Dealers will install replacement parts at no charge to owners.

How to contact the manufacturer: The recall is expected to begin Oct. 11, 2019. Owners may contact Volkswagen at 800-893-5298. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 37M2.

NHTSA campaign number: 19V615

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has a recall that needs to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly.

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