• Jun 16, 2010


2009 Volkswagen Routan – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chrysler recently announced the recall of 285,000 2008 and 2009 Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans because of an improperly routed wiring harness in the sliding doors. If you were thinking that your Volkswagen Routan, which is almost completely identical to the Chrysler minivans, was somehow immune to this issue, think again.

VW is recalling 15,902 Routans built between June 2008 and July 2009 for the exact same issue as it's domestic-branded siblings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the minivan's lower sliding door hinge bracket can make contact with the harness. That contact could eventually wear through the wire insulation, potentially causing a "high resistive short circuit within the latch mechanism located inside the sliding door." As a result of the condition, the latch can overheat, leading to the possibility of a fire inside the rear sliding door.

Affected owners can take their Routan to the nearest VW dealer for a free inspection. Any damaged parts will be repaired or replaced as necessary. Hit the jump to read over the NHTSA press release.



[Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration]

Show full PR text
Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
VOLKSWAGEN / ROUTAN 2009

Manufacturer: VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC Mfr's Report Date: JUN 08, 2010

Component: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:WIRING
Potential Number of Units Affected: 15902

Summary:
VOLKSWAGEN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2009 ROUTAN VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM JUNE 2008 THROUGH JULY 2009. THESE VEHICLES MAY HAVE BEEN BUILT WITH AN IMPROPER ROUTED WIRE HARNESS THAT MAY HAVE A CONDITION WHERE THE LOWER SLIDING DOOR HINGE BRACKET CAN MAKE CONTACT AND WEAR THROUGH THE WIRE INSULATION. CONTACT WITH A 12V POWER FEED CIRCUIT WITHIN THE HARNESS MAY CAUSE A HIGH RESISTIVE SHORT CIRCUIT WITHIN THE LATCH MECHANISM LOCATED INSIDE OF THE SLIDING DOOR.

Consequence:
THIS COULD RESULT IN AN OVERHEATED LATCH AND A FIRE WITHIN THE REAR SLIDING DOOR COULD OCCUR.

Remedy:
VOLKSWAGEN WILL INSPECT THE SLIDING DOOR WIRE TRACK WIRE ASSEMBLY AND THE SLIDING DOOR POWER DRIVE UNIT WIRE ASSEMBLY FOR DAMAGE, REPAIR/REPLACE AS NECESSARY, TIE STRAP THE TWO HARNESSES TOGETHER AND ROUTE THE HARNESSES UNDER THE SLIDING DOOR WEATHER STRIP. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING JUNE 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Damn that German engineering!
      • 4 Years Ago
      We've had our Routan for almost a year now, our 9th VW, and we absolutely love it! Yes, a true Microbus would be ideal, but this is the perfect (available) vehicle for our family.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I always said that the Routan should have being "badge engineering" from the Sienna and not from the T&C...

      Imagine: German tuning with a Toyota gas pedal...

      Minivahn for Autobahn!! :-D
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Routan is not badge engineered. If it just said Volkswagen on the side instead of Chrysler, you'd be right, but it doesn't, it has vastly different exterior styling, completely different dash (and the rest of the interior for that matter), the suspension components are different along with the handling characteristics.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Joseph: A reskin of a vehicle for another manufacturer is very close to badge engineering... That's the case of the Routan or of the Pontiac Vibe, of the Mercury Villager... That's far away from platform sharing!!

        The marketing guys at Vdub did't say "We have changed the sheet metal and the plastic interior of a T&C! Look like a supersized Passat wagon! You will like it!"

        But, it's the reality. (BTW, I don't mean that the Routan is worst, equal or better than a T&C... At least the Routan look is better!)

        VW didn't change a lot of thing on the mechanics: they use the same shock absorber, strut assembly, brake discs and pads...
      Jenni Freis
      • 1 Year Ago
      BEWARE!!! My van was bought new at almost $37000 in 09 its 13 just after warranty and its completly falling apart. Brake on rear left have had problems 2 times and this time I have to pay cause after warranty even though it was faulty while under warranty and the door on one side doesn't properly work a problem other side had when under warranty so now its my problem. So beware of buying a VW this is our third VW and last! quality has gone out the window. This is also not just my problem everywhere I go I hear my Routan had ..... problems with it. BEWARE!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow...I forgot all about this car lol. DO people even buy this? I mean no one can be in danger if they dont sell LOL
      • 4 Years Ago
      The shocking thing is that they sold 16,000 of them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Luis

        Like I said, I might pay a few hundred more...

        @Mr Knowitall

        "even though they seem to have a terrible time fixing actual VW's"

        LOL!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Frank- When your Chrysler breaks, you take it to your nearby Chrysler service center. They fix it. When your VW badged Chrysler breaks, you take it to the VW dealer 3 towns over and hope he can fix your Chrysler- even though they seem to have a terrible time fixing actual VW's
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Frank: I agree, it looks better than the Chrysler/Dodge versions, but still...considering the competition.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know. Who would buy this???
        Dear dealers: please just keep them when you do the recall.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is really old news
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love my Routan. With what other car can I point to and loudly proclaim that; my Volkswagen Routan was engineered in United States, redesigned in Germany, manufactured in Canada, by a company owned by the Italians and the United States Treasury!

      It's truly a "Peoples Car"
        • 4 Years Ago
        @aa[ro]n

        Fiat is still an owner at 20% as is the U.S. Treasury (25% ) and the UAW (55%).

      • 4 Years Ago
      It's been said many times but that thing with pigs (Chrysler) and lipsticks (VW sign) still stands....
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 4.0 Liter Routan is a blast to drive. Cool features and German handling. The cable they referring to is a retractable power door operator that is wrapped in a heavy plastic. It is unlikely to be punctured. I'm glad they are being proactive and checking to be safe.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The 4.0 Liter Routan is a blast to drive"

        And there goes ALL your credibility...
      • 4 Years Ago
      @ some1: Your Schwinn is calling you. The teen forum your looking for in tigerbeat.com.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This was VW's worst move ever. Ugh/

      WE WANT MICROBUS!! GIVE US MICROBUS!!
      http://www.thetorquereport.com/2001_vw_microbus_concept.jpg
        • 4 Years Ago
        indeed, I always thought the microbus concept was pretty cool.
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