really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,462 miles

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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Jun 012008


  • miles
Battery continues to drain over night. Changing batteries did not solve the problem. Online forum points to radio draining the battery. Pulling fuse and resetting radio tends to stop the process, but then it returns after a couple of days.

- Farmersville, TX, USA

problem #29

Sep 092009


  • 82,928 miles
1. 2002 VW Jetta wagon electrical system failure on expressway caused vehicle to stop & unable to start 9/6/09. Vehicle towed to dealer. 2. VW dealer failure description, wire harness corrosion caused restriction in power flow in line which caused alternator to overwork and overheat wire harness and fuse panel. This extensive enough to cause melting of both wire harness and fuse panel over top of battery. 3. VW dealer repair and replace wire harness and fuse body. 4. VW customer care took information on my complaint about defect and potential safety issue but would do nothing referring me back to the dealer. My question was why did VW have such a defect where there was no fusible link that would fail first preventing the extensive damage that occurred.

- Bingham Farms, MI, USA

problem #28

Feb 012009


  • 70,000 miles
The bottom seat heater on my 2002 VW Jetta either doesn't work at all or if it turns on, it overheats the extreme right side of the seat. A small hole is burned in the upholstery, and the foam underneath is melted, deforming the appearance of fabric above. This could result in a burn to the skin on the right side of the leg if it goes undetected. I see this as a huge safety issue.

- Story City, IA, USA

problem #27

Nov 252008


  • 128,345 miles
While driving the vehicle, smoke and a burning smell started to emerge from the cabin instrument cluster. I pulled to the side of the road and now noticed that the fuel level display and the coolant temperature display are not working even though engine was a normal operating temp and the fuel tank was just filled up.

- Wasilla, AK, USA

problem #26

Oct 142007


  • 50,000 miles
Car will suddenly stop working. VW corporate will not address as the car has hand many issues and is no longer in warranty. Spent $2K with VW dealer to diagnose. Appears to be electrical in nature. While driving the car suddenly stop running and all electrical stops bring car to a halt. Issue began 9/07 and dealer has had car in shop about 2 months in total.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #25

Jun 282007


  • miles
I have 2002 Jetta having the same electrical problem. The door / latch switch has a malfunction and won't come on when the door is open. The dome light does not come on and the light on the door does not come on. Which can cause an accident if the vehicle coming from the rear of the vehicle and can't see the door is open at night. The dealership won't replace it even though it was still under warranty at the time. There are plenty of people having the same problems and pays the dealership a lot of money to have it fixed. Obviously it is a problem with all Jetta that year. The dealership should have a recall the defective switch be replace. Could potentially cause a fire.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #24

Jan 012006


  • 60,000 miles
My 2002 VW Jetta tdi has many electrical problems. The one that might be a safety factor is the micro switches in the door latches. The doors with faulty switches don't know if there open or closed. When open the safety light on the door does not come on to alert oncoming vehicles that a door is open. If the switch stays on when the door is closed, the dome lights stay on until the battery is dead. The VW dealer just "jerked" me around until the warranty had expired. (fredericton VW). Since the part(s) for this repair are expensive, I feel that VW should recall all vehicles to replace the switches and door latches. Mel moir

- Penniac, New Brunswick, Canada, 00, USA

problem #23

May 222008


  • 59,300 miles
Manufacturer refuses to reimburse me for work done for a manufacturer recall not performed at a dealership, even though car could not be driven there due to recall defect and mechanic came to my house to repair the defect with an authorized manufacturers part

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #22

Aug 292003


  • 24,000 miles
Check engine light continuously comes on, completed recall for brake switch, epc light continues to come on, car stalls while waiting for a light to change very dangerous. After a night of rain, leak in passenger side floor mold growing car will have a very hard start or no start at all in the morning, replaced battery 3 times. Changed O2 sensor 2X, car burns oil continuously, interior lights go out when they feel like it, brake lights die out fast, changed brake lights and signal lights at least 5X.

- Staten Island, , NY, USA

problem #21

Sep 132007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
No events lead to this problem. The original battery in the vehicle was changed out due its age. Over the past 4 months I have changed out the battery twice. On more than at least 20 different times, I would go to my vehicle in the morning to start it up and the battery would be completely dead. No lights, radio or any other devices were left on in the vehicle, to drain the entire battery to nothing within the span of 10-12 hours. I have taken it the auto shop on several occasions to have a voltage test done on the battery, alternator and starter with negative results every time for a parasitic drain of the battery. The alternator is in perfect working order and does not need replacing. So far the has been nothing that can be done other than jump start the vehicle. During the 10 or so hours I am work and leave for the day, I have had absolutely no issues. If the vehicle is not driven over the weekend, come Monday morning it is dead. I have just recently changed out the battery and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it but yet its dead if left for more than 12 hours.

- Bristow, VA, USA

problem #20

Mar 012006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles
Purchased used 2002 VW Jetta 1.8 turbo (5 speed) with 34,000 miles still under warranty. Taken to dealership for blown fuses (cigarette lighter), trunk latch, center console, and transmission repairs. Fuse problem was ongoing. Within a few months, a local mechanic installed a small boost gauge on the dash, which was wired into a 10 amp fuse. Within five days, the car was being backed out of the driveway when smoke began pouring from all the dash vents. The wire harness, fuse block, and controller components located behind the dash were destroyed by fire. VW of America prepared to send investigators to nm, but when they discovered gauge wiring may have contributed, they did not investigate. Have read of other electrical fires behind instrument panel, dash, since this time. Our son was driving the car at the time of the fire, but was able to get out.

- Alamogordo, NM, USA

problem #19

Mar 012007

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,626 miles
(1) many electrical anomalies. Loss of air condition. Dealership advises it is coolant migration causing electrical/power problems. Coolant migrating from coolant bottle into the electrical harness and into all electrical systems. (2)coolant migration has caused severe electrical problems and the vehicle must be re-wired. Cost to me $310.-to be determined(probably 6-10,000$) (3)dealership refused to assist with getting VW of America to correct the problem at their cost. VW of America refused to correct the problem at my request. VW has known since 2001 (see technical bulletin 97-01-01) that the coolant bottle is defective and has not recalled it, or provided technical bulletins as to how to prevent it. Dealer advises the car is not safe to drive in its present condition.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #18

Sep 032006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles
Way to many to list here. I have had problems from the start. More than $7000 worth of repair (plus more that was covered by warr) the final item that caused me to say I would never consider another VW product was the engine damage caused by a timing belt failure. All services were performed at the dealership. The users manual states inspection of the belt at services (that I paid for) and replacement at 120,000 miles. I only had 92,000 miles. It will cost $5,000 to repair the engine. It is not cost effective to repair this car. It was a great car to drive but quality control is poor at best.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #17

May 232006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Turn signal stalk is defective and causing a full electrical loop causing a fast clicks as if the turn signal flasher was on, but it's not. At times it has caused the flasher lights to come on when I had not even touched the turn signal stalk.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #16

Jan 132005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,289 miles
Repeated failure of break lights in 2002 Volkswagen Jetta over 2 and 1/2 year period. Incident #1 " date: 10.29.02 od reading 5226 miles ro# 776322 incident #2 ? date: 07.18.03 od reading 15765 miles ro# 817328 * incident #3 ? date: 12.15.03 od reading 19219 miles ro# 843079 incident #4 ? date: 07.14.04 od reading 24000 miles ro# 877075 incident #5 ? date: 01.13.05 od reading 31291 miles ro# 26004548/1 * this was when the recall break light switch was installed per NHTSA recall no. 04vo96. We have narrowly avoided collisions in the last two of these incidents of failures and have asked that Volkswagen take the car back from us as after the fourth attempt to correct the problem they cannot ensure our safety in the vehicle. Volkswagen has refused our request and insisted that they repair the car under the terms of the warranty for the fifth time despite the track record of failures. The comment made to me is if it happens again to be sure to contact them with my concerns"

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #15

Aug 012002


  • miles
Nar 03-24-2003 Mr. The vehicle has been to the repair shop on 6 different occasions for the same stalling problem. The first time the incident happened the vehicle lost all power after coming to a stop. After the fifth visit the consumer was told there was a problem with the ignition coil and the consumer would have no other problems, however that proved not to be true. Each time the consumer went to the dealer another part was replaced with the same results.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #14

Oct 302001

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 933 miles
Electrical problem, coolant leaked in mechanical system, causing loss of power. Requiring rewiring of entire electrical system. The coil spring failed which caused the vehicle to have no power, the drivers side window failed, the consumer did however receive a recall notice regarding the matter, but the problem had already occurred. The rear passenger tail light was out.

- Park Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #13

Aug 282004


  • miles
Bought new 2002 Jetta had no brake light problems until I received recall notice concerning switch recall. Took car to dealer w/ recall letter and they replaced switch. No problems for about 4 months, then brake lights began staying on and acceleration occasionally cuts out. Dealer had car off and on for a month and a 1/2 problem w/ lights and accel. Continues.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #12

Aug 172004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,795 miles
After I was pulled out of a parking spot, the doors clicked as if they were going to lock automatically as they normally do at 10 mph. The click sounded funny, so I looked at the door locks and noticed that they hadn't locked. Soon thereafter, the battery on the car stopped, which I noticed because I couldn't accelerate and I couldn't turn the steering wheel. I started the car again, without a problem. The airbag light went on and stayed on and I noticed that the lights in the back seat over the doors stayed on though. I traveled to my next stop and the lights in the back seat went out. I then started toward my next stop and had reached 25 mph when the side airbag in the driver's seat exploded. I called the dealer to see if the car was safe to drive, they said it was. I then started driving to the dealer when the battery cut out again; I could tell because I could not steer and I could not accelerate. I pulled over to a safe spot and called for a tow truck. While I was sitting in the parked car with the A/C on waiting for the tow to arrive, the passenger-side curtain and seat airbags deployed. The car is currently at the dealer so they can investigate if there was a malfunction. No, I'm not kidding, that's what they said.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #11

Jan 072003

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,647 miles
Coil pack has been replaced 3 times but vehicle continues to lose power and drive rough. There have been several occasions when an accident was narrowly avoided. I do not feel safe driving this car. This is a lease. I offered VW the option of letting me make one cash payment to pay out the lease but VW refused to do this. VW said I have to keep this car until 90 days before due date. Car has been towed in 3 times for this problem and driven in three other times. I never know when I will have to walk.

- Williamsburg, OH, USA

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