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.
What is the Ignition Coil?
The ignition coil provides spark for the spark plugs. Without the coils voltage-amplifying feature – where it converts battery voltage into the required electrical energy – the spark plug just becomes plug.
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
|Volkswagen||Passat||2002 / 2003 / 2004|
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.
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 NY Times, 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.
On the Record
“I bought VW Golf 6 TSI Highline and in less than 5 months the ignition coil failed twice, what a pain in the ass. Can VW really do something about these engines?”
“While the problem occurred outside of the warranty period, I would maintain that this was the result of a defective part not normal wear and tear--Have never experienced this problem in the past.”
“We had to replace the ignition coils in the famous recall 2003/2004 and now 5 years later, 2 of the 4 coils failed suddenly and we need to replace all 4 (for $800).”
OK, Now What?
Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, you can help make sure it gets the attention it deserves.
Below are a handful of steps you can take to make sure this problem gets the attention it needs.
File Your Complaint at CarComplaints.com
CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.
Notify the Center for Auto Safety
The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.
Report a Safety Concern to NHTSA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.
Spread the Word
Social media is all the rage these days. And for good reason – it can help spread a message quickly. So get out there and start spreading this page.