Volkswagen Passat and CC Vehicles Subject of Defect Investigation
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a defect investigation into certain model year 2012 Volkswagen Passat and CC vehicles.
NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received a total of 9 reports from consumers alleging steering wheel clock spring/steering column control module (SCCM) failures in the Passat and CC vehicles in question.
The SCCM is a module within the steering column that incorporates a spiral conductor (a ribbon cable) to electrically connect the steering wheel to the vehicle's electrical system while allowing for the turning of the steering wheel. Typical steering wheel mounted electrical components include the airbag as well as the horn and other electronic controls for such things as the radio.
A failure of the SCCM results in a loss of connectivity of the steering wheel electrical devices to the rest of the vehicle, potentially affecting the performance of the driver side airbag, as well as the other steering wheel mounted components.
The consumer complaints that ODI has received indicate that the alleged failures occurred during normal driving conditions and were sometimes accompanied by an audible noise from the steering column. Drivers also report an airbag warning light illuminated on the dash of the vehicle.
If a vehicle with a failed SCCM were to be involved in a crash severe enough to require airbag deployment, the driver airbag may not deploy properly, posing a significant injury risk.
NHTSA is opening this investigation to assess the scope, frequency, and potential safety-related consequence of the alleged defect.
An estimated 30,000 Volkswagen Passat and CC vehicles could be impacted.
The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at on SaferCar.gov under the following identification (ODI) numbers: 10691906, 10683944, 10682136, 10672715, 10670517, 10669312, 10628549, 10575783, 10552113.