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Try replacing the flasher.I can't remember if a 97 has a separate hazard flasher or a multifunction type.(my 99 Chevy work truck has a multifunction type-a little black box resembling a relay in the under-dash fuse panel).
ECM/PCM Processor malfunction. The 2 corrective actions are either "Check terminal resistance for CAN-Bus" or the bad one, "Replace Motronic Engine Control Module."
As for the first one, if you remove the center dash panel, then, assuming you have Torx scredrivers, remove the panel in front of the speedometer, plus the cover under there, you can make sure that the cables are securely attached. Hopefully that will fix it. If not, you will need to get a new computer for the car. You could try the online vendors, but might have to go to the dealership to get everything matched up correctly. The replacing part is easy, just a few screws holding the unit in place.
the remote switch you are looking for is the fuel door switch that controls all these items trunk,unlock fuel tank door. this unit has to be replaced as a whole unit but check all your fuses first on driver side dash where door touches dash left side open door look for a triangle shape panel pop it open and check (ALL) fuses and especially #17 brown 7.5 amp fuse top right of fuse block.
on the dash top the center section is removed by holding tightly from the sides and slide it toward the windshield until it unlatches. if you mean the one around the radio , it is most of the dash face and has 2 screws at top of instrument cluster and 2 more hiding at the bottom under the the a/c controls way back just above the very front of center counsel.
My daughter has a 99 Beetle GL and the A/C and fan went out. It's the A/C haeadunit that needed to be replaced. The switches short out and you have to replace the whole piece. VW charges about $225 for the part Hope that helps