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2011 Trunk Mystery

Ok. I have a 2011 VW Jetta. Bought it new last September, so it’s less than a year old. Has about 6000 miles on it. Just yesterday, I parked my car on the street, stuck my purse in my trunk, walked into a store to make a purchase, and when I got back to my car (about 15 minutes later) the car would not start. It was as if it were completely dead. The engine didn’t catch, nothing. None of the inside lights were on. I called for roadside assistance, but while waiting I decided to retrace my steps to see if I could locate the problem. I opened and closed the trunk a couple times (because I had done that before I went into the store) and when I got back in the car, it started right up. I canceled the roadside assistance and felt happy that my problem had been so easily remedied. However, since then, this keeps happening. I go to my car, try and start it, nothing happens, so I open and close the trunk a couple of times and then it starts. Sometimes, I’ll have to do this several times before it starts. Any ideas on what the deal is? It is still under warranty, so I could take it to the dealership, but if it is an easy fix, I’d rather not have to deal with that. And no, my battery is not located inside my trunk.

The truck switch may be connected to your security system (not sure) and be preventing it from starting. Does your Jetta have an electric type truck lock or is it manual? I’m not a big fan of dealerships but I think the best thing to do would be to take it to the dealer. It should be an easy fix if they know what the problem is.

Do you have one of those keyless transmitters to be used with a pushbutton starter? If so, the location of the transmitter in your purse and in your trunk is the reason for starting failure.

You can test this idea yourself. If you agree, then save yourself a trip to the dealership. Your car is not at fault.

At any rate it is probably a dealer issue to sort out what’s going on. I suppose it could be a loose main ground wire depending on where the battery is. Shutting the trunk may be enough to jar it back to life again. If its not the transmitter in your purse, then its time to take it to the dealer and at least get it on the record.

Unfortunately, this sounds like one of the weird, hard-to-diagnose electrical/electronic problems that VWs are known for. If I were you, I would get this complaint on record at the dealership by taking it to the service department, and describing the symptoms. That way, you have begun a paper trail that will assist you in two ways:

It will allow you to file a Lemon Law complaint if it is not rectified by the dealership after three repair attempts.
It will cover you for this particular problem after the warranty has expired.

You should take it to the dealer if it isn’t a transmitter in the purse. The lemon law is real, and will force the dealer to fix the problem or take it back. You need to find out what the lemon law in your state requires of you. do a web search for “lemon law” and your state to find out what documentation you need and how many times you need to return for a problem. I am not suggesting that you have a lemon, but if it turns out you do, now is the time to start the document trail.