2011 Volkswagen Jetta

A lot of things happen when two cars are close to colliding, a driver’s pulse quickens, muscles tighten and the driver might reach for the horn in a final attempt to avoid an accident. That last reaction might just be a mistake if that driver is behind the wheel of a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta.

VW announced Monday that there will be a recall on its new Jetta sedans because honking the horn might cause the engine to turn off.

The problem is tied to a wiring issue with the security system in the car. Using the Jetta’s horn can cause a short circuit on a converter box, which would stall the engine.

The recall is for 71,043 cars that were built between March 2010 and March 2011. If you have a new Jetta and are unsure if your car qualifies for the recall service, call your local dealer and the service department can look into the issue for you. Otherwise, Volkswagen’s website has a section where you can enter the car’s vehicle identification number and find out if it has any outstanding recalls. VW will also be sending a notice to affected owners.

Volkswagen has said that no injuries or accidents have been reported as a result of this issue.

The Jetta was redesigned for the 2011 model year. Recalls are nothing particularly new, especially in the first model year of a new design, but VW’s quality has been disputed recently. J.D. Power gave Volkswagen the sixth lowest score for overall vehicle dependability in its 2011 test.

Earlier this month, VW issued a recall on its Routan minivan because it also had stalling issues. The culprit there was an ignition lock. The key could switch itself off while driving.

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J. Mark Sternberg is an automotive journalist, car enthusiast and writer with a degree from the University of Arizona. Mark is a devoted Formula 1 fan and also enjoys boating, flying and attending the occasional track day.

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