WASHINGTON — Volkswagen Group of America is recalling 20,676 2009-'10 Volkswagen Routan minivans to replace the ignition switch and key fobs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Some of the vehicles may have been repaired under a previous recall campaign, but must be fixed again under this new campaign.
The defect can affect the safe operation of the minivan's airbag system.
"Until this recall is performed, customers should remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the ignition key," said NHTSA in its recall summary. "The key fob should also be removed from the key ring. Road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine.
"If the ignition key inadvertently moves into the Off or Accessory position, the engine will turn off, which will then depower the various key safety systems, including, but not limited to, airbags, power steering and power braking. Loss of functionality of these systems may increase the risk of a crash and/or increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash."
Volkswagen of America spokesman Mark Gillies told Edmunds there are no injuries, crashes or fatalities linked to the recall.
The affected 2009 Routan minivans were built from June 25, 2008 to June 10, 2009. The affected 2010 Routan minivans were built from October 1, 2009 to August 11, 2010.
Volkswagen dealers will replace the ignition switch and key fobs.
The recall is expected to begin in April for 2009 Routan minivans and in August for 2010 Routan minivans.
Vehicles that previously received an ignition switch trim ring as a recall remedy must be fixed again under this new recall. Vehicles that have already received a new ignition switch are not covered by this campaign and do not need to be fixed.
Owners can contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-822-8987.
Edmunds says: Owners of these vehicles should follow NHTSA's instructions and promptly schedule a service appointment once they receive their official recall notice. But those with immediate concerns should contact their dealer now.