really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,509 miles

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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Aug 042005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,500 miles
I was driving to work when my 2002 voklswagen Jetta hit a bump in the road/pothole and the passenger airbag went off. I got out to inspect if I hit anything since I wasn't sure because of the airbag going off. I got out of the car and there was nothing in the road besides a pothole that everyone else hit as well on the off ramp. There was not a scratch of damage or any impact at all. I just bought this car a little over 2 months ago and it was already back to the dealer for a broken power window and twice for the transmission. I am fed up with this car. There is only 25,000 miles on the car and an airbag should not go off for a pothole. I went to a different VW dealer and they said it's not a warranty issue and it would cost $800 - $1,000 to fix. This is ridiculous that I will have to pay for something like this for normal use of the car.

- Exeter, PA, USA

problem #15

Oct 072002

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles
Beginning three years ago the owner noticed that when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear, the car would jerk and jolt. After 2nd gear the shifting was fine. When shifting into reverse there was also a jerk and jolt. The first time the owner noticed it was in town on a main road. The problem is intermittent but frequent. Dealer evaluated the vehicle and they test drove it and found the condition normal. Then last Thursday July 7 2005 the vehicle made a loud mechanical noise like a grinding sound when shifting from 1st to 2nd, also when shifting into reverse. Then the owner contacted a mechanic and they test drove it, and then they reported it is a seriuos problem with transmission. Then the dealer instructed owner to bring it back to dealership. It is now 2000 miles past warranty. Dealer advises that there is a broken part in the transmission that has become lodged. The transmission needs to be replaced according to dealer at a cost of $4,500. Onwer contacted VW of America and they reported since it is past warranty, there is nothing they can do to help with the repair cost. Owner sent a fax to dealer stating that he needs documentation of what is exactly wrong with the vehicle. The return fax stated that there is no way to determine what the exact problem unless the transmission is taken apart. So owner wonders what did dealership tell the Volkswagen company. The vehicle is being taken to a mechanic. The dealer left a message that there is a tow truck there to pick up the vehicle but the dealership has dented the underside of the vehicle and it needs to be returned to dealership. The vehicle is now at the transmission shop.

- Paris, KY, USA

problem #14

May 232005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
Several times during the course of my ownership of a 2002 Volkswagen jettagls sedan the check engine light comes an and I take it to the dealership and they tell me it is a sensor, and fix the problem and the light goes off. Late May 2005 this occured again. I took the car to the dealership and was told it was fixed. I picked it up on 5/14/05. Two days later the light came on again. I was told the earliest appointment was June 13, 2005. So I waited. Approximately 1 week after 5/14/05 a very strange noise came from beneath the car, then reverse jerked, jumped and sputtered. In decelleration the car made a "jet-engine" noise. I stopped driving it and waited to take it to the dealership. After having my car for less than a day the service manager called me to say that my transmission was "falling apart" from the inside and it would cost me $3,500 to fix. Now the Jetta has 73,000 iles and has been driven only leisurely for work commuting purposes. We took it on one family trip from NJ ro mass. I beleive there is a defect in the transmission. I do not beleive that a 3 year old transmission with 73000 miles should just "fall-apart from the inside". I called and 800 VW customer line adn 48 hours later was told pretty much too bad sorry about that the 60,000 mile warranty is up. There is a bigger issue here. There must be a defect in the transmission.

- Pittsgrove, NJ, USA

problem #13

May 032005

Jetta 2-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 37,000 miles
Reported vehicle jumps when acelerating or changing gears.manual transmission.took on several occasions found nothing wrong.now my cruise control will not stay at a steedy speed when turned on.noticed on 95 when driving 70-75mph.vehical accelerates by itself when using cruise control and then slows down.dealership says they can't drive the vehical that fast.there's nothing they can do.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #12

Jan 282005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I took my 2002 Jetta wagon 1.8T auto/tiptronic (45,000 mi) to an independent VW service shop for an oil change and to check a "check engine" light. The mechanic told me he has seen a problem before involving paint contamination in the transmission fluid. Basically, the inside of the transmission oil pan where the fluid sits is painted, and the heat of the fluid causes the paint to flake off and contaminate the fluid. This mechanic recommended to have the tranny replaced at a VW dealer. So, I took the car to an authorized VW dealer and they also confirmed the paint contamination problem. However, they replaced the tranny oil pan, a seloniod valve (N281) and flushed the tranny fluid as recommended by VW of America. I was able to confirm with the service manager that the new pan was also painted and he could not answer if the paint spec had changed to remedy the problem. I called VW of America to state my concern and to request a new transmission. They told me they could not replace the transmission. 9 months later (64,000 mi) my car down shifts to 4 gear while driving down the freeway at 65mi/hr. The gear is stuck in 4th gear even when I come to a stop. I managed to drive it to the dealer who have diagnosed the problem as a faulty valve body circuit (N92 valve body cover). The dealer now recommends to have the transmission replaced and since I'm 4,000 miles beyond my warranty I will have the cover the cost. The dealer suggests that I should call VW of America and reference the case from the last time I called in April. Vwa stated they needed to research the issue and they would call back. After hearing nothing for two days, I called vwa back and they found out that the problem was exactly the same problem I had back in April and the best they could do was offer half the cost of the repair. I don't understand why I should pay half the cost when the problem was never remedied correctly the first time when the car was under warranty.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #11

Dec 022004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The torque arm sheared off. As a result, axle transmission was not bolted to the frame. The consumer stated that the vehicle was parked. The vehicle was put in reverse and it started bucking and making a lot of noise. The vehicle would not shift from gear to gear without bucking. The steering wheel was not steering correctly. Exhaust became loud.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #10

Nov 112004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,729 miles
I own a Volkswagen Jetta 1.8 turbo, 2002. It is at 29,000 miles currently. Since 14,000 miles it has had a shaking problem that occurs when the vehicle is started and put in gear. The brake must be pressed for the shaking to occur. The latest incident had the acr shaking so hard that it was impossible to drive. When the vehicle warms up, it stops. Different problems have been blamed for the problem, such as the faulty ignition coils recalled by VW, the engine timing, and now the transmission. This car has a history of failing transmissions and is unsafe. I am seeking a full refund plus license and registration fees. Volkswagen's customer care line is inefficient and does not follow up on problems, nor does it allow a customer to speak to one person regarding all of their issues. This major problem is accompanied by several other kinds of failures--radio, horn, several other fuses, and air intake. VW does not take notice of its customers, and further action with larger entities must occur for any kind of resolution to be reached.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 012004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
Everyday for the last couple of months, the transmission has been giving me problems. When the car goes to shift from 1st to 2nd, the car jerks. This happens again going from 3rd to 4th. Between gears it takes a long time for the next gear to catch and when it finally does, it jerks the whole car. The dealership told me this normal and that nothing could be done about it. I have done many searches and have found that lots of people have had the same problem.*

- Baldwin, NY, USA

problem #8

Oct 072004

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles
Automatic transmission on my VW Jetta tdi (2002) failed at ~71,000 miles with no warning. I drive in non-city, open highway conditions with no stress to the transmission. The transmission is sealed, so there has never been a way to check the transmission fluid. Dealer says since the unit is sealed, no repairs can be made...only replace the whole unit for ~ $4,300. I'm 40 years old and have never heard of a trasmission failing so soon and when then vehicle has never been driven in conditions stressful to the transmission. This was my first try at a VW product and my last. The manufacturer has pathetic customer service as I called to see if this was normal for VW transmissions and to see if they would pay for a part of the cost and was told "nothing VW can do, the warranty ended at 60,000 miles." This will be the last time I buy from a company that makes me pay thousands of dollars for a failed transmission that clearly was faulty. I don't know if the original transmission is still at the dealer as I have not yet picked up the vehicle. The car is still sitting there until I feel less angry over the fact of the cost and VW's poor customer service attitude. I would have thought VW would have rather paid for their defecticve transmission (E few thousand dollars is nothing to a large corporation) rather than all the negative publicity from me and my family to everyone we ever talk to about VW as a company and their product.

- Central Square, NY, USA

problem #7

Sep 202004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 97 miles
Vehicle was equipped with an asr light and when driving on a smooth road the asr light will come on, and the vehicle will down shift. Took vehicle to the dealer, and was told that after examining the vehicle there was nothing they could do. They were completely baffled, cleared out the codes, and replaced the brake light modules, but were unable to solve the transmission problem. Also, heated seats overheated. Consumer wa S furious.

- Wells River, VT, USA

problem #6

Jan 102004

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1) transmission slips, and causes a thud. Have taken vehicle to dealership 3 times and nothing has been done to correct this problem. 2) led display disappears. Have informed dealership of this problem twice and nothing has been done to correct this problem. 3) brakes are mushy. Have informed dealership once and nothing has been done to correct this problem. 4) vehicle is sluggish when accelerating. Have informed dealership once. 5) engine light has come on, and there is peculiar smell. Have informed dealership once.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #5

Apr 172002

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85 miles
I bought the car 3 days later the problem(s) started. And they have been going ever since. Shifting hard, display lights, would not start, wondows would not roll down, or iff they did, they made a loud thud.

- Lynden, WA, USA

problem #4

Dec 192003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at 40 mph transmission locked up. As a result, driver sustained a cervical strain injury.

- Glen Ellyn, IL, USA

problem #3

Nov 232002

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
Epc warning light came on while driving. When this occurred, tail lights and brake lights were not functioning. When I arrived at my destination I parked my car as usual. When I returned to my car, it started, but I could not shift out of park. I called the roadside assistance number. They instructed me to hit the brake with my foot as hard as possible. This allowed me to shift out of park. They also suggested that I take my car to the dealer as soon as possible for service.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #2

Jan 052002

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,600 miles
I purchased this car for my daughter. The major problems are complaints of having trouble stopping. I was concerned so I drove it and immediately I heard a grinding noise and felt a vibration while applying the brakes. I took it to a local Firestone tire and they felt the vibration and heard the grinding noise but the brake pads looked good so they advised me to take it to the dealer, as it was probably a warranty issue. I took it to the dealer and they charged me $37 to tell me that the rotors were warped and it's not covered by warranty. I was advised VW is aware of this problem. (why charge me $37 for a problem that (they know) they have?). how can this happen on a brand new car that doesn't even need it's first set of brake pads? I am still not sure what to make of the braking problem. The rotors were just discovered because I was complaining of a braking problem. Secondly, while driving, the car jerks back and forth and sometimes jolts. I am concerned as to what this could be. The dealer has no idea. I paid $27,000 for this car to insure my child's safety. I am now wondering just how safe it is.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 202002

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,600 miles
Transmission failure while passing another vehicle at highway speed. The automatic transmission began upshifting and downshifting by itself, causing the engine to redline and nearly stranding our vehicle in the lane with oncoming traffic. The transmission then locked the wheels, rendering the car immobile. This occurred on 01/20/03. One month prior to this incident I reported to VW that I was having problems with my transmission not shifting into reverse from park-this occurred twice on the same day. On 12/19/03 VW inspected my transmission. A written report from VW service was given to me they found no problems. Currently VW is replacing my transmission, theyre not admitting the possibility of engine damage. The service manager carel told me,1/21/03, that they have no way of knowing if the new replacement transmission might fail like the first. My concern is that I might not be as lucky next time. I could be rear ended or hit head-on if my wheels lock up again spontaneously.

- Shelbyville, IL, USA