ignition switch failure

Asked by Apr 04, 2012 at 11:09 PM about the 2002 Volkswagen EuroVan 3 Dr MV Passenger Van

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2002 Eurovan MV.  Our ignition switch has failed and our mechanic says the only solution is to order a new switch
from Germany that will be programmed to work with our anti-theft system.  $600 and could take anywhere from two
weeks to 6 months.   This latest repair follows the two failed radiator fans @ $450 each and the 150 amp
alternator for $550.  Is there any work around for this failed ignition switch?  The mechanic says a metal tab on the
switch wore down a plastic stop and then sheered it off.  Will every VW owner get this experience?  Thanks.

5 Answers

It was actually the bottom portion of the lock cylinder that broke off. If it was me I would make that part out of stainless steel and be certain it would never break. It was the part that inserts into the actual ignition switch. We ended up taking apart the dashboard and starting the $30000 Eurovan for a month using a flat bladed screwdriver that functioned as the lock cylinder. It looked like we were hot wiring our own car every time we started it. We did eventually buy a new lock cylinder and two new keys from Volkswagen for about $250 and then paid a Volkswagen dealer $150 to install the new lock cylinder and program the new key transponders to work with our existing anti-theft system. That is the only solution for this particular problem. We now have two keys. One to open the doors and one to start the $30000 Eurovan. Volkswagen no longer supports the Eurovan for new keys programmed to work with your existing anti-theft system.

I am in the middle of the exact same scenario, bottom portion of cylinder sheared off, and have been using the screwdriver to start the van while the key disengages the column lock. I am having to come to terms with using two keys, my mechanic tried to get a locksmith to swap the lock cores between the old and new lock cylinders, but no luck. It looks like the only way to have a single key is to have every lock on the van replaced and that just seems crazy. BTW, my mechanic is going to have to have the van towed to a dealer after he installs the new switch to have it "flashed" for the immobilizer, this can be done by a mobile locksmith for most makes, but not VW.

This happened to me on my 2006 beetle. I had to pay 800 dollars to get the lock cylinder from Germany and only took about 3 hours to fix. Upset because the vehicle is only 6 years old. Almost a thousand dollars I could have bought another car! My mother drives a 16 year old car and it doesn't have these problems.


2002 Eurovan - had Ignition switch replaced ( car would just quit , or lights would go out ! ) Switch was $60.00 plus install . I didn't have to replace the whole computerized unit.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Had the same issue with a 2002 Eurovan, 147,000 miles, out on our second camping trip after purchasing the van a couple months ago. Camped next to a river in Quincy, CA.. was advised that we had to go to a dealer b/c the fix involves a new key. Towed to Reno. Verdict is $1,125 fix to replace the ring, ignition switch, lock & cylinder. $500 part, $575 labor. A bit of research shows I could buy the parts for half the cost.. but I am back in San Francisco with a dead van in Reno, so limited options. My main question is - Does this fix seem reasonable? From other posts it seems folks with the same vehicle and same problem were able to just replace the ignition switch for perhaps $1,000 less.

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