2000 VW Passat V6 Can't get key out of ignition

gizmo_t_catgizmo_t_cat Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Volkswagen
I own and have been driving my 2000 Passat V6 with TipTronic for almost two years now. The car has been problem free except for this recent problem with not being able to remove the key from the ignition. To date this has occurred 3 times total at different times.Twice in my garage and once on a road trip (bummer). Each time, I have gotten lucky and managed to remove the key.

Problem occurs whether parking forward or backwards into a parking spot.
The driveway/parking space was flat
Car is shifted from Drive to Park or from Reverse to Park depending on whether you are backing up...you get the idea.

The Shifter is in the Park position
The display on the dash indicates you are in Park
You turn the key and you cannot remove the key from the ignition.

From what I have observed the last time, it looks like the release button on the shifter itself was partially engaged. On other occassions I did not notice if the shifter release button was partially engaged or not. I presume there is a sensor that detects that I am out of gear and this is why I cannot remove my key???

The steering wheel was not in a locked position so that was not the cause.

Of the three times this has happened, I have gotten lucky by doing the following.
1) Engine is off.
2) Foot on the Brake
3) Shift from Park to Neutral (sometimes even Drive) then back to Park

This last time I had to move it to Tip mode, shift back to Drive mode then up to Park.

Anyone out there experience this problem?



  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    You probably just need the shifter cable adjusted. It's not going fully into park even though it says its in park. A very simple adjustment. My 93 Mitsu Diamante did the same thing a few times. The dash said it was in park as did the shifter gate and the button seemed to be unpressed. However, the ignition refused to release the key. I had to restart the car, put it in drive, and than shove the shifter into park roughly. It than released the key. Since it only did it a few times, I never had it looked at, but I am sure the cable just needed a slight adjustment. Take it to the dealer and have them adjust your shifter cable and you shouldn't have the problem anymore. Good luck :)
  • mppedersenmppedersen Member Posts: 25
    My 1990 Chevy Beretta has had that problem too, off and on since I got it from my brother in 1996. What I have done when it happens is jiggle the shifter around and it normally makes a click sound, and the key can come out.

    I plan on buying a 2001.5 or 2002 VW Passat GLX at the end of the year... I hope these problems are not common.
This discussion has been closed.