really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,383 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

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problem #16

Aug 072010


  • 160,000 miles
On Saturday Aug 7th I was driving my 2002 VW Golf on the highway when the passenger side airbag deployed. The road was smooth with no bumps or potholes, nothing hit the car, it was totally spontaneous. Luckily there were no passengers in the car. I have contacted my local VW service shop and will take the car in so they can identify the cause of the deployment.

- New Haven, CT, USA

problem #15

Jun 142009


  • 280,000 miles
Passenger side curtain airbag deployed while traveling down the highway. No collision, consequences ringing in ears. Volkswagen made repair at no cost to me $3212.

- Princeton, MN, USA

problem #14

Jun 162006

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,000 miles
I was driving down the parks highway near talkeetna, Alaska in my 2002 VW Golf and had the side-curtain and passenger seat airbags deploy suddenly for no apparent reason. 5 persons were in the car, all experienced a loud bang and a car full of acrid smoke, two were struck as the bag deployed. I stopped at the side of the road to check out the passengers and find out what happened. No damage was done to the vehicle to cause airbag deployment, and it was in no way impacted or subjected to extreme driving forces. I believe my car to be defective and am seeking payment from Volkswagen.

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #13

May 252006

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 44,000 miles
Spontaneous air bag deployment on right side of my 2 door 2002 VW Golf tdi while driving on a smooth blacktop road. While driving at approximately 30 mph, the left side curtain and seat air bags deployed by them selves. The vehicle did not hit a bump or pothole or anything else in the road. The vehicle was not hit by anything. The vehicle was not involved in an accident prior to or during the air bag deployment. My wife was in the passenger seat and was hit by the deployed air bag. She had a red sore on her right arm and had hearing problems in her right ear for one day. Her hearing returned too normal the next day and all soreness in her right arm was gone within two days.

- Middleton, WI, USA

problem #12

May 152005

Golf 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Passenger side air bag inadvertently deployed with no provocation.

- Clifton, NJ, USA

problem #11

Mar 132005

Golf 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 52,000 miles
The seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain airbags for the passenger side of my car deployed with no side-impact crash. I was in a parking lot making a right turn when the above mentioned airbags deployed. Luckily, there was no one in the passenger seat, so there were no injuries as a result. I took my car into a VW dealership and they ran some diagnostics on it. They claim that my car's computer registered a collision and that's why my airbags went off, though they never provided me with a copy of the results of the diagnostic. I told them there was no way my car was involved in a collision at the time the airbags deployed, or within the past year before they had deployed, and they said that I must have hit a pothole or something and that I should contact my insurance company. My insurance policy does not cover the replacement of airbags when no collision was involved, and the adjuster feels that they must have deployed as a result of faulty wiring. This incident occurred fairly recently, and I refuse to pay the $3500 for these repairs out of pocket, so they have not been replaced yet, and will not be replaced until I speak further with Volkswagen.

- Elkridge, MD, USA

problem #10

Oct 042004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving on a rather bumpy street (no major pot holes), side-airbag and curtains on the driver side popped out. It was not a collision, and the bumper did not hit anything. Service shop at dealer found a couple of damages on oil pan and control-arm, and therefore insisted the airbag deployment was not due to a mal-function. The car is being repaired (including the re-upholstery and damaged seat belt due to the airbag eruption). It is treated as an accident by my auto insurance.

- Brighton, MA, USA

problem #9

Sep 212004

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 67,000 miles
While driving vehicle at a moderate speed the air bag on passenger's side deployed inadvertently. The consumer took vehicle back to the dealer, and was told by the service technician that the vehicle was in an accident. The consumer claimed this was absurd since this vehicle made no contact with any other vehicle or object. The air bag deployed 1 minute later.

- Pasco, WA, USA

problem #8

Sep 082004

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 62,500 miles
Driving on highway and hit small bump in road, such that you would hit many times a day while driving, and passenger side airbags and window curtains deployed. VW service found crash data in computer eventhough there was absolutely no visual damage to car. VW customer service refused to pay for repair and suggested I contact my insurance company.

- Greenbelt, MD, USA

problem #7

Apr 162004

Golf 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 31,128 miles
While traveling over a rough stretch of road the passenger side seat and window airbags deployed.it should be noted there was no side collision, impact or body damage.the dealer insists that a side impact must have occured, and that I wil be responsible for the estimated $3500 in repairs.I stil await word as to whether my insurance policy covers this type of claim.so far I've ben told they may not cover it.

- Eastchester , NY, USA

problem #6

Dec 082003

Golf 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 23,500 miles
I was driving about 10-15 miles a hour and my right rim might have slightly hit the curb and my passenger side airbag and curtains deployed.I took it right away to the dealer, and they said there is a crash code and will not pay for it. I contacted VW of America many times and they say to claim it through insurance. There is no visible damage to my car at all so I think it a faulty crash code!

- Waipahu, HI, USA

problem #5

Jan 022004


  • miles
While driving at 10 mph left rim hit the curb. As a result, the side curtains and seat airbags deployed.

- Waipahu, HI, USA

problem #4

Mar 052003

Golf 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Passenger side air bags deployed despite vehicle being in collision or impact. Vehicle was on freeway when all of a sudden air bags deployed. Dealer claims sensor indicates impact, but there was no impact.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 212003

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
The passenger side and side curtain airbags deployed while driving down the highway for no reason

- St. Clair Shores, MI, USA

problem #2

Jan 022003


  • miles
Consumer stated when the vehicle hit a bump in the road, the side air bag inadvertenly deployed.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #1

Sep 242002


  • miles
Passenger side seat and curtain air bags deployed despite vehicle being in no incident or collision. Vehicle towed to dealer and problem advised. Neither dealer or VW prepared to consider or discuss possibility of such possibility occuraning. Both dealer and VW the manufacturers insist that vehicle was involved in major impact of 2G or above and that this should be handled by insurance company despite there being no evidence of impact or collision. Despite pleas to VW, they would not investigate possibility of air bag deployment without impact. Vehicle still immobile and unrepaired after almost 3 months. Vehicle since moved to another VW dealer.

- Snellville, GA, USA