HELP!!! Cannot turn off my 2012 Beetle, key won't come off the ignition cylinder


Asked by Oct 12, 2015 at 06:02 PM about the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My car is running, cannot take the key out of the ignition.
Called the dealer and they said it will cost from $500 to $700 to replace the
What are my options, can a locksmith help me for less money, I cannot afford
what the dealer is asking and my car has 70,000 miles so no more warranty.

20 Answers


Sure ,,, Google a Locksmith that does automotive work in your area code


BTW ... most road service (Locksmiths included) may be covered on your Towing ... if you have it


I called Locksmith, they don't service Volkswagens


You can buy a new igniton modual from a website such as It is listed as 32$ there right now. its under electrical switchs and relays. You can easily have a vw specialist shop do the work for much less then the dealer. Just go to google map and search Vw Specilist and you will get most auto shops that specialize in vws right away who have the proper software and tools to service your bug. The ignition switchs is a very faulty peice to all the vw vehicles and often only last a few years i personally think the ignition switchs should be recalled and replaced with something better. Especially since my 2012 jetta was having similure issues till i got them to replace it under warranty.

3 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

Oh and to shut down your vehicle you should be able to just disconnect the battery but use rubber gloves to do so. Or just keep trying to wiggle the key around till it catchs the lock cylinder and shuts down.


Thank you so much Deathjam4! I'm going to do what you suggest! I am sooooo disappointed of Volkswagen now, this is not the first issue I have with my Beetle and unfortunately the warranty expired at 60,000 miles. I had Nissan and Honda cars and never ever had as many problems.


your not the only one, Let me know if you need any more help and hope you get fixed up right.


I know this thread is kinda old but want to tell my story. Purchased new beetle in 2012. The exact same thing happened to me last year. The car only had 27,000 miles on it! I was seven months pregnant and it was summer. Luckly the fiasco happened after my doctor's appointment. I had to fast the night before and I was famished. I waddled to the car to get my beloved burrito with chips and salsa. When I arrived to burrito joint I could not turn the car off. I must have looked crazy because a couple people were staring at me. I was cursing obscenities and yelling at the car. I drove home and called my husband. I was sitting in front of our house in tears and he told me to drive to VW dealership. When I got to the dealership, I was a sweaty disheveled mess. The attendant told me it would cost $800 dollars to fix. I was past my warranty by 5 days. I was in utter shock! I have a Cavalier with 180,000 miles that I still had its factory ignition! In my pregnant state, I had forgotten that I had an extended warranty. They sent me out the door and didn't mention it either. They knew the whole time. I drove to my husband's job site. He had to call one of the main VW people. Well, they fixed it for free. Said this was happening all over. I traded my beetle in last weekend. I have a baby and could not trust the car at all. The windows were horrible, the vents blew warm air all the time, the windows would fog, etc.... What a waste of money! We spent $20,000 on this car. I will never buy another VW again!

2 people found this helpful.

VeeBee hi i can understand where you are coming from with these complaints. I had the opportunity to drive one of the 2016 vw beetles last week as a rental due to my jetta being in for some large repairs(covered under warranty) and i found the beetles to be a over all terrible car myself. The one i had drove jerky blew hot air like most of vw cars im pretty sure its cause of the blender door not fully closing which is common for all the vw cars. it was horrendous on fuel compaired to my much bigger jetta with a bigger engine and was some what ungainly on the road. In my professional opinion the newer vw bettles are junk on the road every last one of them since 2000 when they started to reproduce them. The jettas have been a little more solid of a car but with cheap parts comes less use before they break. Cars are like trying to buy the right outfit, You can't try just one on and say its the best and often you need to just get lucky with them. For a family car you would be better off with a diesel jetta or a chevy cruise possibly even a buick as they are from what i have seen very decent cars. If you really want a volks wagon product tho i would spend the extra money and get an audi a4. The audis are a much better quality car then the vw's which are massly produced as cheaply as possible. I owned a 1998 audi a4 2.8L that lasted till 379000 km before the trany decided to throw a bearing and it was still going just as strong as the day i bought it 8 years ago used from the audi dealers whole sale lot. Some of the most common issues i find with vw's is head light switch failures. ignition switchs falling apart(on my second one since i got the car), and these are the most common issues I hear about. Some of the issues i have had between 112000km and 150000 km on my 2012 jetta is the throttle body plate fell out of my throttle body, my power steering pump got torn apart from water moisture and sub zero temperature and my vacuum pump has been torn apart twice now due to moisture in the oil and sub zero temps. Also if i had not replaced the brake fluid when i did i would a had a block of ice for brake fluid. in short these vw's are not very good winter cars. any ways i been rambling but i hope this helps many good wishes with your baby.

1 people found this helpful.

Hi Deathjam! Thank you for replying! Baby is doing great. I am still very disappointed in VW. Have been thinking about calling or writing to them. Probably won't make a difference. They don't see us as people, only dollar signs. Makes me sick to stomach thinking of all the money I've lost. It's not just me, it is everyone who bought one of these crappy cars. The Beetles start started to lose the foam too. I noticed while vacuuming the car. I've been looking at the threads on here and it is a common problem. I will tell everyone not to buy a VW. I still have my 2000 Cavalier I bought in 2001. I put 170,000 miles on it. I had always maintained it. Rebuilt the trans in 2011. It runs like a champ. I could talk about that car forever, lol. Thanks for reading:)

1 people found this helpful.

This problem has been existing in VW cars for a long time.I cannot believe that there was not recall for this and it still happens so often. Now I know why VW does not sell that many cars in US. My wife have a 2012 Beetle. It has been difficult to turn off the car and get the key out for over a month, and finally I could not turn it off at all yesterday. I did some research, and found two ways to turn off the ignition and get the key out. Method 1: Follow this youtube clip, v=m87ZQawcrPc You turn the key all the way forward as if you are starting the ignition, then release quickly to let the spring bounce the key backward. Method 2: Hold some force on the key to turn it towards you as if you are turning the ignition off while using a small hammer or something similar to tap the end of the key in the direction to push the key into the steering wheel. As the the key was knocked, it shall find its sweet spot to turn off the ignition. I am absolutely done with VW vehicles!

3 people found this helpful.

I have a 12 manual turbo beetle as well. Not happy that VW hasn't recalled this issue. I did find that Jakes YouTube post showing the two finger flick from the run position worked perfectly. At least it's cheaper that's the $700 VW quoted me.

2 people found this helpful.

You can actuly get the part decently priced at alot of different websites and do it yourself. im jsut not sure if it requires reprograming the new modual to the car as i think it does. Any local mechanic the specializes in vw's or audis can do the job quicker and cheaper then the dealer.

1 people found this helpful.

Have a 2011 VW Suva Torah with 50,000 miles have had 2 weeks of this happening, Tom in once they could not find anything, took back again because it countnuedx to happen. My dealership acted like they had never heard of this before, now I found this blog. They said they are checking with VW now, so zip will have a surprise response for them. Thanks

1 people found this helpful.

That Was me above and was a 2011 SUV Tourage, I am 70 and cannot have a car that has this king of problem. This was not a cheap car!!!!

1 people found this helpful.

I ended keeping the car running all night long, yes, I did. Next morning I took it to a body shop that specializes in German cars. They ended up replacing the ignition component, but had to wait a week for the part, the local dealer did not have it in stock, they argued that each ignition part is made specifically for each VW. The part came from Mexico and it was costly, over $200 dollars. Funny thing, my keys would not work with the new ignition part, so the body shop had to file them to make them work. So far still working but I will never ever buy another Volkswagen . The whole thing ended up costing me $450 dollars.


you got off cheap lol i found out the hard way volkswagons are not for the feint of heart :P. before i wrote off my jetta from a deer after 2 years of a car i had problems with since the day i bought it VW payed of 12,000 in repairs to my car not including the 10,000 in repairs from insurance in the last couple months before the deer .. yea ill never own a jetta ever again. i know all the issues almost off by heart because anything that could go wrong went wrong with mine.

I just got off the phone with a service guy at VW for same problem, I could not turn the key in my car to turn it on. I was turning steering wheel back and forth and trying to turn key and would not turn. I told him my steering wheel was locked and would turn roughly 1 inch to the right. He said to turn the wheel halfway (1/2 inch) and try to turn the key. Voila - it worked!


you need a new ignition. One thing i found is that the igniton units are fully plastic so the weight of the steering wheel pushing on it when you put the car in park and let it rolll that little bit makes it lossen over time. It does the same over time and many uses. Do this the right way tho and have the dealer do it. as they will re code the keys back to the car properly. the modual should only be roughly 120-180 for the modual in canadian currency at the least. THis having to half turn the igniton is those plastic peices coming lose and eventualy they slip off the turning point and slips so the key can turn. try to get into the habit of appling your parking brake when you park and try to also park with your wheels straight it will reduce the amount of dmg delt to igniton unit when and if the car rolls onto the steering lock.


oh and anouther option is the link above. Ussaly the specialists if they know what they are doing and are fair will recode 2 keys for no charge provided they have them for the car. the igniton modual is as i said in my first post here cheap as a secondary part websites. and i ussaly advise buying the part unless you know and trust the garage doing the work.

1 people found this helpful.

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