really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 49
Injuries / Deaths:
34 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,868 miles

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problem #86

Dec 182016


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 volkwagen Jetta. While operating the vehicle with the front seat warmers activated, the front passenger was burned when the seat warmer malfunctioned. Medical attention was not needed. The failure burned a hole through the front passenger seat. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #85

Jul 082009


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that the seat heater burned his body through his pants. The manufacturer stated that they would send an agent to inspect the vehicle and call him back. The failure mileage was 73,000.

- Brunswick, OH, USA

problem #84

Jul 232008


  • 184,000 miles
While driving with the seat heater on in 2002 VW Jetta the seat heater overheated and burned through the leather seat and burned the driver. Smoke was present in the vehicle.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #83

Mar 212008

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 102,681 miles
On my 2002 Volkswagen Jetta tdi, the driver side seat heater has burned a hole through the seat padding, seat cover and the jacket I was wearing. I have seen reports of similar issues with the Jettas on various website forums.

- Puposky, MN, USA

problem #82

Feb 152005

Jetta Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Drivers side seat warmer caught on fire while driver and drivers coat was burned.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #81

Nov 252006


  • miles
The seat heater in the driver's side of my 2002 Jetta burnt through the seat and my pants. I was still in the parking lot, so no other damage occurred. This could have been very dangerous if my wife or I was driving, or if the seat heater was on while the car warmed up without us in it. I'm pursuing my options with volkwagen at the moment...this is the last straw, never buy a VW, especially a Jetta. It has given us problems from the moment we bought it new.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #80

Nov 202006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 35 mph under normal road conditions, the seat heater burned a couple of holes on the seat. The vehicle was not taken to the service dealer. The vehicle was taken to the service dealer on 11/29/06. Updated 12/15/06

- Raymore, MO, USA

problem #79

Oct 252006

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 39,620 miles
Turned on the seat heater. Seat started to feel quite warm, then I smelled smoke. Promptly turned off seat heater and looked at the seat. When I looked down I saw a small burn hole in the seat. Received a minor burn on my butt. Glad I was not yet on the highway.

- Payson, UT, USA

problem #78

Oct 162006

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
2002 Volkswagen Jetta - front seat heaters much much too hot...within 2 minutes of turning them on I could feel a dime size burn on my skin.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #77

Sep 202006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
2002 Volkswagen Jetta gls - drivers side heated seat began to burn and smolder. Volkswagen stated there is an 'open campaign' on this issue and the dealership should correct.

- Salida, CO, USA

problem #76

Jun 022006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
2002 VW Jetta with leather seats - seat heater burned daughter's leg and made burn mark on the seat, smoke, but no fire. Is this a recall?

- Encinitas, CA, USA

problem #75

Oct 142005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 40,500 miles
My husband was driving to work one morning in our 2002 VW Jetta, with the seat warmers on. When suddenly he felt a burning sensation on his bottom. Turned off the seat warmer only to find out there was a burn hole in the seat from the seat warmers. Since then we have refused to turn it back on again.

- Longmont, CO, USA

problem #74

Oct 092005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 63,000 miles
Within two blocks of leaving my home and turning on my car seat warmer to a level 2 (of 5) my car seat was on fire and burned my rear. I had to jump out of my car in the middle of an intersection to figure out what was going on. This happened over a weekend and I have not received any communication back from VW.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #73

Jun 122005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,300 miles
Driver's side seat warmer burned through leather and to consumer's jeans. And felt a burn mark which was about a quarter of an inch wide in a circle shape.

- Almenda, CA, USA

problem #72

Mar 022005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,210 miles
1. while driving home from work late on March 2, 2005, I turned my drivers side seat heater on. I smelled something burning. The seat heater burned a hole completely through my seat, burning a ciggerette-burn size hole through my pants and scalding my buttock. 2. I was driving about 55 mph at the time, and am lucky that the fire in my seat did not cause me to crash, and injure myself or someone else. 3. I have waited to get it repaired by VW in case the investigators / lawyers need to see the damage.

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #71

Mar 022005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,600 miles
Seat warmer had burned a 2" hole through the drivers seat on the left side. Was taken to dealership and seat was replaced.

- Nutley, NJ, USA

problem #70

Mar 122005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles
My wife was driving in the middle lane of the freeway in our 2002 Jetta wagon. She suddenly felt her left leg becoming hot and thought there was something hot in her pocket. She reached down to find that the seat was on fire. Due to the shock of her hand and leg being burned she swerved across two lanes of traffic to the shoulder. She jumped out of the car and saw flames coming out of the seat bottom. There was a water bottle nearby in the car which she threw on the seat and doused the flames. At this point she called me frantic over the situation because the seat was still smoking. I told her to turn the seat heater off which stopped the smoke. The only reason I knew about the seat fire problem was because of websites like "www.vwvortex.com" and "www.passatworld.com/forums". on those two websites you can find numerous accounts of VW seat fires due to heated seats. I have never received anything from the NHTSA or Volkswagen of America regarding this problem. My wife now has a burn on her hand and leg due to this issue, not to mention the fact that this seat fire could have caused a severe car accident due to distraction.

- San Clemente, CA, USA

problem #69

Jan 042005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 65,200 miles
I have heated seats in my 2002 Jetta. My wife was driving last week and noticed a pain in her left leg. She realized that it was a burning sensation. She quickly turned off the seat heater and pulled over and got out of the car. The seat had melted and the cover was melting and beginning to burn. Fortunately she turned off the heater right away and got off the seat. I read other complaints of fire and burn injuries. Now I have a deformed seat cushion (due to melting) and a hole in the cover. I am in the process of contacting VW to see if they will replace this seat and heater. I just exceeded the mileage on my warranty.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #68

Jan 202005

Jetta 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving home in my 2002 Volkswagen Jetta and I smelled something burning. Then I felt a burning sensation on my thigh. I stopped the car and looked at my seat to find out that my heated seats had caught on fire from the inside out. I poured water in the burning hole and it sizzled out. It burnt a hole in my seat, my skirt and left a red mark in my leg. Fortunately, I pulled over and put the fire out before any serious damages were incurred. I called the Volkswagen dealership and told him about the incident. The person I spoke to acted as if it was no big deal. He told me to bring my car in and if it was under warranty, the warmer and seats would be replaced at my 2 day inconvenience. To date, I haven't taken it in because I am determining what/if any legal action, I should take.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #67

Dec 222004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 51,821 miles
Seat warmer burned a hole in the seat and my pants. The hole was smoking and I had to pour pop in the hole to put it out.

- Southgate, MI, USA

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