Affected cars left the factory with a control module that turns off the low-beam headlights when the high-beam headlights are activated. The behavior is typical for some lamp configurations, but is in violation of federal safety laws related to integral headlights.
The problem was first spotted by a Canadian customer who found illumination to be lower than expected when the Jetta’s high beams were activated.
“This noncompliance causes the light output from the headlights to be too low,” the recall documents note. “Reduced lighting at the front of the vehicle can affect the driver’s vision in driving conditions where illumination is beneficial, and may increase the risk of overlooking obstacles in roadway, and could result in a crash.”
VW suggests the software needs to be reprogrammed in approximately 25,000 vehicles outfitted with halogen headlights.