In an announcement unlikely to make Volkswagen Jetta owners happy, VW recently announced a recall on nearly 48,000 of the Jetta sedans produced from September 2018 to December 2019.
The German automaker filed a voluntary recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which estimates that every Jetta manufactured during that period has a physical ignition switch malfunction.
Ignition Switch Issues.
According to the Safety Recall Report, Jettas from this assembly era were built with conventional ignition switches likely to suffer polyfuse failure when operated in environments with high temperatures.
Polyfuse failure can cause the engine to stall while the vehicle is being operated, as well as an electrical system shutdown, increasing the likelihood of drivers crashing.
If the vehicle's computer detects this issue, the following warnings will display in the instrument cluster: “Ignition switch off, safely stop the vehicle,” and “Starter system faulty, please service vehicle.”
The Safety Recall Report filed by the NHTSA indicates that Jetta owners will receive a free ignition switch replacement as part of VW's recall plan. VW will be sourcing replacement ignition switch components from a different supplier than the one who provided them with the faulty components being recalled.
The report identifies the faulty component supplier as Volkswagen de Mexico. The report did not list a replacement supplier.
VW has reported that the Jettas manufactured after December 2019 have a significantly lower incident rate for physical ignition switch failure.
When This First Started.
A physical ignition switch failure was brought to VW's attention earlier in the year, launching an inquiry to look out for similar cases. In April, VW's inquiry discovered enough ignition switch failure claims to warrant a Public Safety Committee investigation.
From April to August, VW's Public Safety Committee worked with analysts and technicians to determine various factors, from the root cause of the ignition switch failures to how many vehicles were impacted by it, and to get an overall view of safety concerns.
In August, VW's Public Safety Committee determined that issuing a safety recall was the best way to proceed. Over the past four years, VW has received over 2,600 warranty claims on this Jetta.
VW notified dealerships of the recall on September 1st and will send a letter informing 2019 and 2020 Jetta owners on October 27th.
As of this writing, Volkswegen's investigation into the root cause of why these physical ignition switches failed is still ongoing.