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 .