Recall Alert: 2009 Volkswagen Routan


Vehicles Affected: Nearly 19,000 model-year 2009 Volkswagen Routan minivans

The Problem: Road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the Run position, turning off the engine. If the key inadvertently moves into the Off or Accessory position, the engine will shut down, causing a power loss to key safety systems such as airbags, power steering and power brakes, and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Volkswagen will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will modify the ignition switch for free.

What Owners Should Do: The automaker advises owners to remove all items from their key rings, including the key fob, leaving only the ignition key, until the recall is complete. For more info, owners can call Volkswagen at 800-822-8987, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | August 8, 2014 | Comments (1)

Which Cars Fit Three Car Seats?

UPDATE 10/15/2013:
Parents are often searching for the automotive holy grail: a car that's not a minivan and can fit three child-safety seats across the backseat. It's a short list.

In the more than three years that editors have been installing car seats into test vehicles, we've come across several vehicles that can hold three car seats across a backseat.

The newest vehicle to make our list is the 2014 Honda Odyssey. The minivan has loads of room and plenty of accessible Latch anchors.

As we come across more cars that fit three child-safety seats, we'll add to this list. For now, here are the cars from our Car Seat Checks that can fit three car seats in the second row:

By Jennifer Newman | October 15, 2013 | Comments (101)

Volkswagen Routan Still Hangs by a Thread


Volkswagen's Routan minivan — yes, the one originally touted by actress Brooke Shields — is on life support. Production of the Chrysler Town & Country-based minivan, which is assembled through a joint partnership between the two automakers since mid-2008, has been suspended since July at Chrysler's Windsor, Ontario, plant. Volkswagen spokesman Scott Vazin told Bloomberg News it's still up in the air whether Chrysler will continue building the Routan at Windsor, though VW's agreement with Chrysler extends through 2014.

Unsurprisingly, VW dealerships have few Routans in stock. Volkswagen doesn't report inventory by individual model, but has just 992 Routans in its national new-car inventory — a fraction of the Honda Odyssey (22,912 new-car listings), Toyota Sienna (14,373) and Dodge Grand Caravan (14,597) minivans available.

Volkswagen sold just 836 Routans in November and 9,923 through the first 11 months of 2012. Chrysler has sold more than 23 times the Town & Country and related Dodge Grand Caravan minivans while CEO Sergio Marchionne questioned the need for two near-identical models in the same showroom. Year-to-date sales for the Chrysler twins are up a combined 25.1%; sales for the Routan are down 16.9%.

By Kelsey Mays | December 13, 2012 | Comments (11)

Recall Alert: 2012 Volkswagen Routan

Volkswagen is recalling a small number of model-year 2012 versions of the Routan minivan due to problems with rear hub bearing assemblies, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Only 15 vehicles are affected by the recall; they were manufactured from Nov. 15 through Nov. 21, 2011, and use right rear hub and bearing assemblies that were not fully machined. This could lead to wheel separation and an increased risk of crash.  You can check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb.

Volkswagen will notify owners this month, and dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts free of charge. Owners can call VW at 800-822-8987 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 11, 2012 | Comments (0) Family Reviews the 2012 Volkswagen Routan


There’s no denying that the 2012 Volkswagen Routan screams mom-mobile, but this minivan comes with some serious perks, says Family contributor BreAnn Ahara. The upscale Routan is loaded with so many storage spaces that BreAnn and her husband lost their house keys and camera in the minivan for more than an hour because neither of them could remember which cubby held their stuff.

2012 Volkswagen Routan Review

By Jennifer Newman | February 17, 2012 | Comments (1)

Chrysler, Dodge, VW Minivans Earn IIHS Top Safety Pick

2012 Chrysler Town & Country
Chrysler’s pair of near-identical minivans — the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan — as well as the Chrysler-built but Volkswagen-branded 2012 Routan have been named Top Safety Picks in the minivan category by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The trio join the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.

To earn the award, a vehicle must earn the top rating of Good in front, side, rear and rollover crash tests. The vehicle also must be equipped with electronic stability control, which is standard on all 2012 vehicles.

The vehicle also must pass the institute’s roof-strength test. To pass, the roof must withstand a force equal to four times the vehicle's weight before it caves in five inches. Ratings for the Town & Country, Grand Caravan and Routan are based on a roof-strength test conducted for the Town & Country alone. The Town & Country can withstand 4.51 times its own weight.

By Colin Bird | November 1, 2011 | Comments (1)

2011 Volkswagen Routan: Car Seat Check


This Car Seat Check was originally published in March 2011 on

Volkswagen entered the minivan market in 2008 with the Routan. If it looks familiar, that's because it's related to the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. The Routan comes with two captain's chairs in the second row and a three-seat bench in the third.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.

By Jennifer Newman | November 1, 2011 | Comments (6)'s Ultimate Minivan Shootout

A team of five experts — all parents themselves — and a family of five tested six all-new or significantly redesigned minivans in our latest Shootout. They put the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest, Toyota Sienna and Volkswagen Routan through their paces on the road, with car seats and kids, to see which one was truly the ultimate minivan.

Find out which van won, what you get for your money and how each performed in our mileage challenge. Ultimate Minivan Shootout

By David Thomas | May 23, 2011 | Comments (34)

Recall Alert: 2010 Volkswagen Routan

Volkswagen RoutanVolkswagen is recalling 12,612 2010 Volkswagen Routans over a problem with the ignition system, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recalled vehicles could experience inadvertent ignition key displacement from the Run to Accessory positions while driving, causing the engine to shut off. This could increase the risk of a crash.

This recall is related to a similar recall by Chrysler for nearly 250,000 vehicles last week. The Volkswagen Routan is essentially a rebadge of the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Town & Country. The recall affects vehicles built between October 2009 and June 2010. You can check your car's build date on a sticker affixed to the driver-side doorjamb.

The recall is expected to being in April. Dealers will replace the faulty modules free of charge. For more info, owners can call Volkswagen at 800-822-8987 or NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236.

By Colin Bird | March 10, 2011 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen Offers March Lease Deals

2011 TouaregLike Honda, Volkswagen doesn’t typically offer big cash-back incentives to move cars off dealer lots; it instead relies on special lease rates. For March, the German automaker is offering attractive leasing and financing incentives on most of its lineup with its “Going, Going, Gone Event.”

Financing incentives include zero-percent financing for 72 months on vehicles like 2010 New Beetle and 2011 Routan minivan.

Newer vehicles like the redesigned 2011 Touareg (including hybrid and TDI diesel variants) also get attractive financing rates.

If you’re looking to get a deal on the fast-selling 2011 Jetta, the automaker is offering a $179 a month lease, though we’ve seen better rates from competitors like the Chevrolet Cruze and Toyota Corolla.

If you’re looking for a used Volkswagen, the company is also offering 1.99% APR financing on its entire certified pre-owned inventory for 48 months or 2.99% financing for 60 months.

The deals below are VW’s national deals. There are some regional and dealership incentives that might be more advantageous for people who are looking to finance or pay with cash rather than lease.

Most of the deals highlighted below expire at the end of March.

By Colin Bird | March 9, 2011 | Comments (5)

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