Recalls used to be something you were afraid to laugh about, for fear of offending someone whose third cousin had been severely traumatized in a case of “manufacturing defaults.” The latest VW recall has no defense, because if you honk your horn in a 2011 Jetta, you might just shut off your engine, and despite our best diplomacy, that’s hilarious.
Volkswagen, despite their characteristically German attitude toward conquering the entire car industry, announced yesterday afternoon (probably while going a bit red) that 71,000 2011 Jetta sedans were being recalled. Somewhere, probably lurking behind the dash, is a little piece of electronic architecture called a converter box. Since the converter box supplies power to the engine controller and the horn, the slightest confusion in its green plastic-and-solder brain could actually shut down the car if you honk at the Smart ForTwo that just (somehow) cut you off on the expressway.
Don’t be afraid to snicker. No one’s third cousin has been affected, as VW hasn’t gotten any reports of related accidents yet. If you’re one of the Jetta owners in question (we’re laughing with you), VW has stated that you can call 1.800.822.8987 with any questions or concerns. If your car was affected by the recall and needs to be taken to the dealer for “corrective measures”, just keep your cool on the way there.