2012 jetta car won't turn off , help?


Asked by Sep 12, 2012 at 09:11 PM about the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My key won't turn the car off when it is running. I have a 2012 manual jetta. The steering wheel is not locked. Key
feels like its going to break off and I can't turn it. I switched to using my spare, it still gets stuck. Am I doing
something wrong?

25 Answers


May sound stupid but is there a button or lever used to turn the key back all the way to get the key out?

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

no, not that I see. I'll look again. Also may be relevant, may not but the key is really hot when I do get it out.


your ignition switch is going out. Will need to be replaced. Be careful with the key, heat means electricity. Get this fixed asap.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

how to turn it off

25 out of 25 people think this is helpful.

Did you ever find out what it was? My Jetta is doing the same thing.

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.

one day it just finally would not shut off. I needed the whole started replaced. So we had to stall it (thank god for stick shift) and then factory order a new starter to match the key. I thought this was stupid; it took over a week for a custom order. I figured, just give me a new key. Thankfully it was under warranty because it took so long. I ended dup trading in the Jetta and buying a Subaru. I'll stick with my Subi

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I also have a jetta 2012 manual and the key gets stuck all the time. Very hard to take it off the ignition

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

I squirted a little WD40 in the key hole. Not too much now. Give it a few on and off cycles and it should work well for a while. I had to repeat about 2yrs later. Saved me about $700. VW claims no fault on their side.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have 2007 VW Rabbit and am having a similar problem. The key just won't turn into the off position, so I can't turn off the engine. I turns forward, but not back. I squirted some WD40 in there and it still won't budge. It's totally stuck no matter how hard i push it or jiggle it. tried turning the steering wheel, putting it into drive then back into park, nothing. wtf

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Your ignition is going out. To turn your car off until you can get your ignition replaced, put a little pressure on the key as if you were trying to turn the car off and gently tap the end of the key with the handle of a screw driver or somethings similar. I just did this to a friend's car a few minutes ago that had been on for hours. It worked like a charm.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2011 TDI and it just begin to have the key stuck. I am not too sure but I seem to not work when I parked upward a little, like up hill. I decided to move my car to a flat parking space and I can remove the key again. It happened 3 times. Now I just park in the flat area. It seems like it had to do with something being off a little, and if it's parked upward, it puts something out of calibration.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

My wife's 2011 Jetta TDI has the same issue. Won't turn, to stop the engine. Dealer replaced the ignition switch for free said they knew about the issue but they weren't going to replace again on their dime. Going out again, this will be the 3rd ignition switch within 1-2 years. Hopefully VW will buy the car back due to the fuel issue. My wife waits a few minutes while it runs then she is finally able to turn off motor. Calling dealer tomorrow they better replace. Car has 35k miles.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

All right just messed with my wife's car. Sprayed a bit of WD40 on the key. You really should grease your key every once in while anyway IMO. Seems that there is play in the key and ignition sitting in its default position. I gently lifted up on the key towards ceiling of car (there's some play) and its turns everytime to off position. My guess is the ignition cylinder/switch has a problem part that is wearing out and creating play and not lining up when you want to turn back into the off position. Maybe its the key cause there play in that too idk. As with Jeep I now will never buy another VW.


Guess I'm in the club now ....having this problem car was stuck on for hours.Engine lock cylinder and housing unit needs to be replaced about $ 250 for parts and $507 for labor at dealer.Find a certified vw mechanic for a third of the cost on labor parts take a week as they are order by each cars vin #

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

For now try pulling up your emergency brake and holding the key between two fingers and turning it all the on position, let go ,and letting it spring back it worked for me ....p.s sell immediately...as many people that are having this issue it should be a recall on this ...

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

I did what CodeNameJesse said and it worked. I put a LITTLE pressure on the key, just like I would to turn it off. Then I used a small pair of needle nose pliers to tap the end of the key simultaneously. The key turned and the car shut off after about 1 1/2 minutes. Thanks man! I've been messing with it for over an hour.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Signed up just to say code name jessie your a genius. I was trying to get my keys out for a week now. Did what u said. Not even 1 min later it worked. I used a screwdriver handle and pushed the key deeper into the ignition while I turned the key with my other hand. I can't say thank you enough.


Same problem I have a 2012 Jetta going on my 3rd ignition was told by the dealer they are having a lot of problems with their ignitions but still no recall. I was told to spray graphite in the ignition. Haven't tried it yet but does anyone know how to turn the car off by pulling a fuse or something. Can't stop it by unhooking the battery and it's not a standard.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

My 2012 Jetta TDI is also having this issue and dealership said it would be $586 to fix. Workaround trick given above worked twice and then stopped for me, so if I want to drive I have to get fixed. Seems wrong that we are paying this kind of money for faulty park VW knows about.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

It's something common in jettas, im having the same problem in my 14 jetta and VW doesn't want to consider it a recall unless they get a lot of complaints, submit your complaint here https://www- odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Thank you CodeNameJesse, your suggestion worked great on my 2011 Jetta, just applied a little bit of pressure towards the off position, bumped it a few times and it eventually switched off. I've had this car for a little over a year and has been nothing but problem after problem.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

thanks everyone I just filed a complaint with https://www- odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/ my car is 2013 Volkswagen jetta 37,000 miles and last night I couldn't get the car to turn off or get the key out. I had to drive to the dealer I was told 2 days ago by the service department that this is common and the trick is to turn the key backwards a couple times and keep trying....if there is a trick then this is a known defect. I am going to fight paying for this 1,000 miles out of warranty are they kidding. I will stand in front of the dealership with a sign do not buy a Volkswagen I am ready to scream. An ignition should last the life of the vehicle. my ford escape has 172,000 miles and never had an ignition issue.


I own a 2012 jETTA tdi. I have been having this problem for over a year. I have tried WD40, Slick 50, straight graphite, you name it I have tried it... I assure you there is no fix other than getting a new ignition and key set from VW. Every VW owner that this happens to must fill out a complaint with NHTSA. In order for the complaint to be recognized by NHTSA; IT MUST BE WORDED EXACTLY THE SAME.FOR ALL COMPLAINTS Lets keep it simple and I promise you it will work Go to the link below and then fill in all your information, then just simply add the complaint below. In fact please just cut and paste the complaint below and lets get this moving.. ============================================== https://www- odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/ Key gets stuck in ignition when turning off the engine. ============================================== PLEASE PASS THIS INFORMATION ALONG.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2013 jetta with 88k miles (I drive a lot for work) I just noticed my key has been sticking and the dealer told me the same thing; it was wearing and needs replaced at 600$ :(

I had the same problem and I watched a video that had me to put the car in gear down to S gear and then ram the gear stick back to park rapidly. This worked for 3 tries then had key stuck in ignition for 3 days had to pay to get removed. Yes this is a serious common problem

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