VW Jetta horn, alarm problem prompt 71,000-car recall

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A blue 2010 Volkswagen Jetta.

This 2010 Volkswagen Jetta and over 71,000 others are subject to a VW recall involving faulty wiring. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Steven Lyon/Flickr)

CNN Money reports that a wiring problem in newer Volkswagen Jetta sedans built for the U.S. market between March 2010 and March 2011 may cause the car to shut off if the horn is used. While no accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of wiring problems related to the horn or anti-theft alarm systems, the German automaker decided to enact a Jetta recall of 71,043 U.S. Jettas.

VW won’t blow its horn over Jetta recall

Volkswagen revealed through its online newsroom that under rare circumstances, applying the horn in a 2010 or 2011 Jetta can produce a short circuit that could cause an electronic part, the converter box, to disconnect from the vehicle’s power supply. The converter box is responsible for transferring power to various systems within the car, from headlights and wipers to engine function. Without a solid converter box connection, the engine will shut off.

Lauren Abdel-Razzaq reports for Autoweek that a common fuse appears to be the problem.

“The current electrical wiring layout has the horn wiring protected by the same fuse as the converter box wiring,” said VW spokeswoman Sheriece Matias. “So if there was an electrical short in the horn it could cause the converter box to be disconnected from the power supply.”

Despite the common wiring connection, the problem that prompted the VW recall rarely occurs, said Matias. “It would have to be a bunch of rare instances for this to happen, but if it did, it could cause the car to stall,” she said.

What 2010-2011 VW Jetta owners should do

Volkswagen has stated that owners of 2010-2011 VW Jettas affected by the recall will be notified by mail within the next few weeks. Customers will be advised to take their Jettas to VW dealerships so that the wiring can be separated, free of charge. It’s about an hourlong process. Those with further questions are asked to contact Volkswagen’s Customer Care Center at 800-822-8987.

On the heels of VW minivan recall

Roughly two weeks before the announcement of the Jetta recall, Volkswagen announced that 12,600 Routan minivans from model year 2010 were being recalled because the ignition key could move while the vehicle was being driven and potentially shut off the engine.

Sources

Autoweek

Bloomberg Businessweek

CNN Money

Volkswagen Newsroom

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