One thing that everyone notices, after they have been behind the wheel and having arrived at their destinations, is the alarm that issues from the vehicle’s ignition when the door opens. You may have wondered why your car beeps or dings, screaming at you to remove the key from the ignition – if your car has such a setup as many cars today are keyless. The answer is that the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) requires them.
FMVSS System Is More Than 50 Years Old
The FMVSS is a listing of more than 200 standards that apply to all areas of your car. They were established by the legislation that also created the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The standards began appearing after the auto safety scandals of the 1960s, spurred on by the publication of “Unsafe at Any Speed. The FMVSS set the tone for automotive safety half-a-century ago, and they still affect us today.
Every now and again, cars may escape from the assembly line lacking some of these necessary warning features. The warnings include, among other things, items such as the seatbelt warning alarm that sounds when you open the door, with an unfastened belt. The same circuitry sounds when your car is in gear with your belt undone. Similarly, the same circuits alert you to the fact that the key is in the ignition, though you are ready to leave the vehicle. It is a multi-function system; it also covers everything from headlights to trunk lids. As noted, sometimes, cars can escape the factory floor without all of the required features.
Volkswagen has had just such an issue. In this case, there is no warning on some sedans and crossovers that have had their keys left in their ignitions. The recall covers:
- 2018 Atlas crossovers
- 2019 Atlas crossovers
- 2018 Tiguan crossovers
- 2019 Tiguan crossovers
- 2019 Jetta sedans
Vehicles Have Standard Keyed Systems
The vehicles involved in the recall are not equipped with keyless entry – fobs left on the console (or in your pocket) through which a car starts when you press the “Start” button. Instead, they have the traditional keyed entry system, where the driver must insert the key into the ignition – the familiar way of doing things. Typically, these vehicles will sound an alarm if a key remains in place. However, in the recalled vehicles, there are no warnings when the keys stay in place.
Volkswagen has recalled more than 73,000 crossovers and sedans for this issue. What happens is that if a driver leaves a key in the ignition, the instrument cluster provides no audible warning if the driver’s door is left open – the typical chime or bell warning to which it is likely you have become used to. Since there is no warning, it means the cars don’t comply theft protection FMVSS. Volkswagen Atlases Recalled To Address Airbag Concerns.
NHTSA says this lapse might increase not only the risk of theft but also the chance there could be a crash.
The number of vehicles recalled comes out to 73,545 or:
- 10,109 Atlases
- 25,444 Tiguans
37,992 Jetta sedans
- Improper Programming Causes Problem
According to Volkswagen, the problem stems from an improperly coded data container. The ignition module fails to detect when the key remains in the ignition switch, and so there is no alert issued. VW dealers will re-program ignition control modules with a correctly programmed series of warnings. The reprogramming is free. VW will begin notifying owners after Jan. 18, 2019.
Volkswagen has not indicated whether injuries or crashes have occurred due to this problem.
Source: The Car Connection