really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,421 miles

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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Nov 052008


  • 71,000 miles
Airbag light illuminated. No operator reason for this; I.e., no vehicle impacts, no work done on car other than brake light switch replaced one week prior. Research indicates airbag system is inoperative if this light is on. Research also indicates this is a very common problem that is expensive fix and is not always reliable. Cannot be diagnosed with obd II reader; needs expensive ($250+) diagnostic software and cable to use with laptop computer for reliable diagnosis. VW dealers typically charge in excess of $100 to read diagnostic codes and then price of repairs is unaffordable. This is a safety issue--occupant protection systems are at least as important as emissions systems and should be reliable for more than 70,000 miles.

- Louisburg, KS, USA

problem #10

Jun 182008


  • 60,000 miles
For no apparent reason the airbag warning light in my daughter's 2002 new Beetle lit up. After a costly ($315) diagnosis and repair it was discovered that there was resistance in the seat buckle. When I scheduled the diagnosis, the service desk person predicted that was the problem. That indicates that this is a common defect. She also said the airbags will not deploy if the light is on. Which in its self is cause for concern.

- Greeley, CO, USA

problem #9

Mar 012008

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 48,000 miles
Air bag light intermittent. 3rd time for service to air bag system. 1st event was in warranty - replace clock spring, 2nd and 3rd events were not covered - over 50K miles and extended warranty claims they do not cover safety related systems including air bag systems. 2nd issue, was too short in length of wiring harness leading to clock spring. 3rd issue was due to seat belt switch, now light is again on. Have not taken car back to dealer yet.

- Barrington, IL, USA

problem #8

Nov 282007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Failure of the front crash sensor to triggered an air bag warning light.

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #7

Jan 302008

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,100 miles
Airbag light came on. I took it to the dealer service department and they said it is caused by a bad wiring harness in the drivers seat. It is my understanding that the airbags will not work if the light is on. VW of America refuses to cover the cost of the repair (almost $400) because it is not under warranty. The problem began at about 52,000 miles. There should be a recall. Consumers should not have to pay for a manufacturer defect!

- Tall Timbers, MD, USA

problem #6

Nov 172007

Beetle 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen new Beetle. When the vehicle is turned on the air bag indicator light illuminated on the instrument control panel. The dealer stated that the air bag was deactivated and the seat belt latch system needed to be repaired in order for the air bag system to function properly. The contact would have to pay for the repair because air bag was not covered under warranty. The vehicle needs to be repaired. The failure mileage was 51,000 and current mileage was 52,000. Updated 02/14/08. The brake light bulb and right rear tail light was inoperative. Updated.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #5

Jan 252008

Beetle 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles
Defective door latch, ,,safety issue because the warning light does not come on when you open door. I have two 2002 VW Beetles and they both have non working warning lights due to defective latches, also airbags don, T work due to fault. Both problems are very common, but VW doesn't do anything about it. Also when you call the dealership parts department these latches are in stock due to high rate of failure. There should be a recall on the door latch, this is a safety issue. Also the air bags need to be recalled. The VW dealer wants $450 to replace the door latch, and the airbags start at about $800 so most people will be driving around without this safety equipment. Please make them stand behind there product. Thank you

- Sandwich, IL, USA

problem #4

Jan 052007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen new Beetle. The contact stated that the air bag light remains illuminated. The mechanic repaired the failure on several occasions, however, it always recurs a few days later. The powertrain was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 37,000.

- Roseville, MI, USA

problem #3

Apr 102007


  • miles
Air bag light has been on for about 3 weeks. Not sure what it means.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 252006

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,375 miles
: the contact stated that the vehicle's airbag warning light suddenly illuminated while driving 35 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who determined that the airbag was defective but declined to repair the problem because the warranty had expired. There were no repair invoices available because no repairs were made.

- Perris, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 192006

Beetle 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,591 miles
: the consumer stated the air bag light illuminated on a continuous basis. The dealership determined the switch in the seat belt needs to be replaced. If the switch is not replaced, the air bag may not deploy in a collision. Updates 3/3/2006 -

- Lakeland, FL, USA