• Jul 7, 2009
In Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, one of the characters decries the need for a set of detailed instructions on a packet of toothpicks. Volkswagen might feel the same way now that 18,500 of its 2009 Routan minivans are being recalled because their owner's manuals don't include a required warning not to put items on or near the airbag. In the words of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
The owner's manual was printed without the required information explaining that no objects should be placed over the or near the airbag on the instrument panel. Any such objects could cause injury to the vehicle's occupants in the event of a crash severe enough to cause the airbag to inflate.
VW is sending dealers an insert to be placed in affected Routan manuals. If you don't trust yourself to handle the insert, you can take your Routan to the dealer and they'll be happy to assist.

[Source: NHTSA]

PRESS RELEASE:

Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
VOLKSWAGEN / ROUTAN 2009

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V244000

Summary:
VOLKSWAGEN IS RECALLING 18,500 MY 2009 ROUTAN VEHICLES FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 208, "OCCUPANT CRASH PROTECTION." THE OWNER'S MANUAL WAS PRINTED WITHOUT THE FMVSS NO. 208 REQUIRED INFORMATION EXPLAINING THAT NO OBJECTS SHOULD BE PLACED OVER THE OR NEAR THE AIR BAG ON THE INSTRUMENT PANEL.

Consequence:
ANY SUCH OBJECTS COULD CAUSE INJURY TO THE VEHICLE¿S OCCUPANTS IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH SEVERE ENOUGH TO CAUSE THE AIR BAG TO INFLATE.

Remedy:
DEALERS WILL SEND AN OWNER'S MANUAL INSERT CONTAINING THE REQUIRED AIR BAG INFORMATION FOR OWNER INSTALLATION OR DEALERS WILL INSTALL IN THE EVENT THE OWNER PREFERS ASSISTANCE FROM THE DEALER. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR BEFORE JULY 31, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.

Notes:
VOLKSWAGEN RECALL NO. S6. OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! This is the most stupid "recall" in history!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe not. Back in the late 80's, the Dodge Omni & Plymouth Horizon were recalled. Bad brakes? Engine fires? Seperating ball joints?

        Uh, no. The supplier who made the cover for the airbag equipped steering wheel forgot to emboss the image of a horn on it. I mean, without that federally mandated horn symbol a driver might get confused about what to push if he wanted to sound the horn. He might have to roll down his window and yell "Beep! Beep!". Can't have that now, can we?!
      • 5 Years Ago
      "We have to ask: wouldn't a simple letter in the mail with insert suffice?"

      "DEALERS WILL SEND AN OWNER'S MANUAL INSERT CONTAINING THE REQUIRED AIR BAG INFORMATION FOR OWNER INSTALLATION OR DEALERS WILL INSTALL IN THE EVENT THE OWNER PREFERS ASSISTANCE FROM THE DEALER. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR BEFORE JULY 31, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987."

      RTFPR. :|
        • 5 Years Ago
        Disregard that (I skipped a couple of words myself) - but you're talking about something the government mendates here - so of couuuuuuuurse they'll do it for you if it's too hard.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you don't know that you should keep projectiles off your airbag flap then you shouldn't have a driver's license. But then again, if you were suckered into a bloated premium for a rebadged Chrysler...
        • 5 Years Ago
        brilliant edsel, brilliant. But i really dont see the problem with it. VW just made the interior of the grand caravan livable. and slightly improved build quality overall
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a PDF of the manual here, and.... yep, it's missing from the "Stating the Obvious" chapter.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Recalled for ugliest dash ever.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Um, random, ill-fitting pieces slapped together does not a VW make. The whole center stack is an absolute disaster.
      • 5 Years Ago
      While they are at it, they should recall all cars. I have yet to see a warning that I shouldn't slam the door against my genitals. People need to know.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Volkswagen Routan recalled for... *magic 8-ball shake*... owner's manual omission?!"

      Made me laugh pretty hard. Well done.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @airswingman - the article has no bearing on the car's quality. Additionally, all sorts of automakers have no issues building quality cars in america, just as BMW or toyota.
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol, that and the thought of the 8 or so people this affects :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        any car build or assembly in the north america the quality goes down.........
        • 5 Years Ago
        @airswingman,

        The Routan, built in Chrysler's Windsor Ontario, Canada plant has been the most trouble free new car ever launched by VW. That either says a lot about Chrysler's quality or VW's. Take your pick.
      • 5 Years Ago
      if you hadn't I was going to...
      • 5 Years Ago
      ugh, i hate how sometimes automakers have to sell their proverbial souls for success. I see more chrysler routans/day than Passats. THAT is a sad state of affairs
        • 5 Years Ago
        i have not seen a single one of these in person, different markets i guess.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I do not get the magic 8 ball reference/allusion.
      Anyone car to explain it?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Buy an old Microbus instead.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They could actually 20,000 of those?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I meant to say if they actually sold 20,000 of them. I didnt see any yet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I figured it was the 2009 Routan because that was how many they sold.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I meant to say if they sold almost 20,000 of those. I didnt see any yet. This might be a repost too cause i had to repost this cause of internet problems.
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