Volkswagen and Audi dealers in the United States now have enough ignition coils in stock to replace all coils on a vehicle, even if only one has failed.
Coils provide electricity to the engine's spark plugs. When a coil fails, the vehicle loses power, but it often can be driven to the dealership.
About 500,000 vehicles - primarily 2001 and 2002 model cars with four-cylinder, turbocharged 1.8-liter engines - are affected. In February, VW informed owners they could bring vehicles to dealerships for replacements after it received numerous complaints of coil failures.
VW and Audi owners who have not had a coil failure will have to wait until late May or early June before dealerships will replace the original coils. That is when Volkswagen of America Inc. says it will contact owners to replace all coils - whether they have failed or not - on the affected models. VW wanted to begin the campaign in March, but not enough coils were available.
When owners began reporting problems last year, VW's supplier in Germany, Bremi Auto-Elektrik, began making improved coils. But dealers did not have enough replacements to meet demand. Combined, VW and Audi have about 866 U.S. dealerships.
So dealers were forced to replace only the failed coils.