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Volkswagen Expands Recall Over Ignition Switch Problems

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Volkswagen recalled about 18,500 U.S.-sold 2009 Routan minivans Friday due to ignition switches that can be knocked into accessory mode during bumpy driving conditions, thus shutting off the engine.

The announcement doubles the total number recalls of the Chrysler-made minivan, whose 2010 model was recalled in 2011 for similar issues, bringing the total to over 30,000 affected vehicles. A Volkswagen spokesperson said the problem has not been linked to any accidents, injuries or deaths, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, the German auto manufacturer is advising drivers to remove items from their key rings, while Chrysler is encouraging drivers to ensure there is enough room between their knees and the ignition.

Chrysler had filed documents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in late June stating that the 2009 Routan minivan, like the nearly 700,000 other minivans Chrysler recalled earlier that month, was also affected by ignition switches that could unexpectedly flip off. The faulty switch may cause stalled cars and the loss of airbag, steering and braking functions.

In total, Chrysler has recalled about 1.7 million vehicles for ignition issues since 2011.

Problems with ignition switches shot into the national spotlight after General Motors recalled 2.6 million cars with defective ignition switches, linked to 13 deaths. GM has recalled roughly 15 million additional vehicles for similar issues this year alone.

The recall is expected to begin later this month.

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