Ignition coils produce a high-voltage current that fires the spark plugs. If a coil fails, like in the case of many VW engines, the spark plug won't fire and the engine will lose power. This can lead to shaking or hesitation and leave the driver in a vulnerable position.
NHTSA Investigation on VW Ignition Coils
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary evaluation on failing ignition coils in Volkswagen engines. According to the Wheels blog at NYTimes.com, the investigation is focusing on almost 200,000 2002-2003 VW Passats, depending on the results this could open into a full-sledged defect investigation.
What is the Ignition Coil?
The ignition coil provides the necessary spark to the spark plugs, made possible by the coil's voltage-amplifying feature where it converts battery voltage into the required electrical energy. In older cars, there is one ignition coils that sends the spark to a distributer, which then sends the spark to the waiting spark plug. Newer Volkswagen cars, however, there is one ignition coil for every spark plug which opens up the possibility of more coil failure.
Modern VW ignition coils should be monitored carefully, since it is in essence the heard of the ignition system. In other words, this simple mechanism triggers your vehicle's ability to stay in motion.
Symptoms of a Faulty Ignition Coil
Potential problems from a faulty or failing ignition coil are: startup issues, loud engine cranks, backfires, stalling, engine hesitation, decreased fuel economy, increased emissions or engine fires! Engine problems are always dangerous and can leave driver's in a vulnerable position:
It began last year with my car 'shaking', yes shaking, on occasion when it was idle. Then earlier this year it became worse. It became a general rule in my car that you would just expect it to shake two or three times every time you were sitting at a light or stop sign.
Then this last January while on my way to pick up my child from school my car began to shake so much so that I thought it was going to break down right then and there. As the light turned green and I pulled into the intersection the car both felt as if it could stall and accelerate at the same time. Talk about a safety hazard! I drove the two blocks to the school and by the the time I got there I was petrified. The car had not stopped shaking the entire time.my03lemon, Carmichael, CA
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Actions You Can Take & Possible Recalls
This step is crucial. Don't just complain on forums; The sites below actually manage your complaint in ways that allow useful statistics and they report dangerous trends to the authorities. Law firms often contact these sites for help with Class Action lawsuits. Make sure to file your complaint on all three sites, we can't stress that enough.
Step 1: File Your Complaint at CarComplaints.com
CarComplaints.com is a free resource dedicated to uncovering car problem trends and informing car owners. Major class action law firms use our data when researching cases. File on Complaints.com
Step 2: Notify the Center for Auto Safety
The Center for Auto Safety is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits. Notify the CAS
Step 3: Report a Safety Concern to the NHTSA
The NHTSA is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Unfortunately they only handle issues directly related to vehicle safety, so severe defects won't get their attention unless causing injury or death. Report to NHTSA
Have Your Say
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