really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,856 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

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problem #18

Aug 172006

Beetle 4-cyl

  • miles
I purchased my VW Beetle in 2005 with the carfax - no accidents or major repairs. Within months, the engine light and airbag light came on. The windows stopped working. I've probably spent more than what I paid for it. I just spent over $1800 at VW springfield in Virginia and the engine light is back on again after only a few months. In addition, the transmission codes were discovered by other repair shops, but they told me I had to go to the dealership for the repair. Neither VW springfield or VW woodbridge ever checked the transmission. In fact, woodbridge told me to trade it in and purchase a new one from them.some kind of light or problem occurs in my car every time I've taken my car to this dealership and VW woodbridge in Virginia. They continue to claim that it is a different problem every time with the same components. What is the purpose for diagnostics? every time I take my car to any of the VW dealership, I will have to bring the car in multiple times within months. Something is not right. Hundreds of people are complaining about the same issues, and no one is investigating this. It appears that VW is being protected from selling us poorly made vehicles with hefty repair costs, because it doesn't make since that it's the same problem for hundreds, perhaps thousands of people. Is it that these repairs are major and brake lights aren't. a recall for these vehicles from 99 on should be processed. The fact that VW was in the news recently as selling people cars they knew had engine, airbag, ABS, transmission, electrical, and window major problems is astonishing, because nothing is being done. I'm disgusted with Volkswagen and they should be held accountable for all this. I understand that the economic situation, but people are in just as much a situation as manufacturing companies. We don't have the money to keep giving away to VW. It's a moral shame.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #17

Nov 142008


  • miles
We own a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle...in 2008 the water pump went in it...had that replaced and 4 weeks later had to have it replaced again then the following year 2009 the window motors in both windows went..had to have those replaced... the headlights and tail lights are falling out have to constantly push them back in....now 2011 the water pump went in it again..now the car is sitting in the drive way acting as a paper weight..had I know that there were so many issues with this type of vehicle I would have never bought one..I hope that Volkswagen is happy raking people over the coals by selling them nothing but junk and god forbid if you have to take it to a dealer they want everything up to and including your first born child...

- Hallstead, PA, USA

problem #16

Dec 092011


  • 63,000 miles
Odbi came on was tested indicating cylinder misfire took it for repair was informed two wires were broken and spark plug was severely fouled now there's a compression problem which requires the engine to be torn apart. Cost of repairs exceeds amount vehicle's value and purchase price I have had this vehicle for five months when vehicle was purchased it had a little over 51000 miles on the odometer ran great and the vehicle body is in excellent shape.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #15

Jul 172010


  • miles
My son was driving our 2000 VW Beetle on the westbank expressway in new orleans, he heard a loud pop, and the car started to fill with "white smoke", he pulled over immediately, and turned the engine off. Within minutes, the car was on fire. This came without warning, we did not have any issues with the car prior to yesterday, 7-17-10.

- Waggaman, LA, USA

problem #14

Nov 072008

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
The contact owns a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact stated that the engine warning indicator remains illuminated on the instrument panel. A diagnostic was performed, which produced "error code 5". a mechanic repaired the vehicle and reset the computer; however, the indicator continues to illuminate. The current and failure mileages were 126,000. Updated 02/24/09. Updated 02/26/09.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #13

May 202007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle. While driving 60 mph, the engine lost power. The battery and the ecp warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who diagnosed the failure as the timing belt. The manufacturer will not perform the repair for free. The contact stated that the water pump was replaced at 38,000 miles and 49,000 miles. The timing belt was removed to replace the pump. The purchase date was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 74,000.

- Rhinebeck, NY, USA

problem #12

Jan 312007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,700 miles
The service rep at university VW reported my car needed a new timing belt and water pump - cost $1,500 (the word warranty was never mentioned, so I never considered this repair might be covered.) another mechanics quote for the same job was $448. During repair he found the timing belt tensioner was defective, so my total cost was $615 - still less than half of the quote by university VW. (I also had to pay university $96 for their rip-off quote.) I contacted VW, who told me to take the part to the dealer for confirmation of defect. Defect was confirmed by their lead mechanic. (note that he confirmed defect and not worn out part. I still have all parts.) service manager stated he would file a claim with VW for me. He called on 2/19 and reported my claim was denied. The request was not made to VW, but decided by his regional manager. I called VW about a claim. On 2/20 VW claims called stating my claim was denied. She stated that my claim was denied. She also informed me that the repair would have been covered under warranty - if I had not taken it to another mechanic. I told her I would not have taken it to another mechanic, if I had known it would be covered under warranty! (this was the first time I learned the problem was covered by the warranty!) I told her I wanted to appeal this decision, so whom should I contact? she stated, "I am empowered by the CEO of Volkswagen, so there isn't anyone higher. Your claim will not be paid." As far as I am concerned, this entire problem was caused by a service consultant not telling me this repair would be (or even, might be) covered under warranty. As a non-mechanical customer, I feel I should have every right to expect that service. If I had been told that, I definitely would have left my car at university VW for the repairs, but I felt I had no choice - either pay $1,500 or $500.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #11

Feb 012007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,700 miles
2000 turbo engine Beetle with 68,700 miles was 'chugging' like a diesel immediately after non-related warranty repair at the dealer. Took back to the dealer who quoted $1500 to replace timing belt and water pump. Paid $95 for their diagnosis and took the car to my regular mechanic who did the same repair for $450! however, my mechanic told me that the "timing belt tensioner" was defective and caused the belt to wear out. This was an additional $150 cost for that part. I have all the parts from the repair.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #10

Jun 162005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 101,000 miles
Consumer's car stalled about 6 months ago with mostly deceleration and down shifting. When this occurred vehicle lost power. Every time it stalled and stopped, but always restarted. Was taken to dealer twice before, but currently a total of 3 times. Yesterday at full speed while passing a truck with no indication the car began to decelerate and lost power. When trying to move into another lane the steering wheel locked. Had to be towed to dealer, is currently awaiting an explanation of what makes this happen.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #9

Nov 012001

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Consumer states: The engine would shut itself off while driving. Dealership kept 5 days and never recognized problem.

- Britton, MI, USA

problem #8

Oct 212004

Beetle 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
After parking the vehicle, within 15 minute or less the vehicle caught on fire under the hood. The local fire department arrived on location to extinguish the fire. The dealer and the manufacturer were both notified. The cause of the fire was still undetermined.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #7

Sep 212004


  • 57,000 miles
While driving and at a stop vehicle stalled. Consumer would restarted the vehicle. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Portland, MI, USA

problem #6

Aug 282001

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Numerous nuisance problems since purchase of this vehicle as follows: Passenger window will not close with electric switch at 42,000 miles, trunk latch defective at 35,000 miles so that trunk relocks prematurely, electric mirror switch broken at 35.000 miles, horn inoperative at 35,000 mi, floor mat snaps nearly all broke at 35,000 and were no longer available, driver window switch broke at 20,000 mi. Leaving window in open position, ignition lock cylinder broken at 19,000 mi. Leaving radio on after car turned off, cigarette lighter inoperative upon purchase, air bag light on spontaneously AT17,000 mi., passenger vanity mirror spontaneously broken at 17,000 and then again immediately after replacement by dealer. Finally car stalled at 31,000 mi. Dealer claimed that new clutch was needed. Nondealer, however, found that when dealer had inspected engine after a collision 3 months earlier, they had not put bolts back on properly, causing bolts to be lost likely one at a time over the 3 months. Transmission slipped when last bolt was lost (which I had found on the road at the time of the stall). Dealer is incompetent and irresponsible. Complaint filed with manager who made no amends. Run, don't walk, away from any VW!!!!

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #5

Nov 122003

(reported on)


  • 25,000 miles
2000 Volkswagen Beetle leaking coolant, defective airflow sensor, check engine light illuminated and problems with window switch. The window had to be operated a certain way in order to operate properly, the check engine light had come on due to a bad airflow sensor in which the problem occurred on two occasions, the coolant light had come on due to the tube that had run from the coolant container to the engine had cut in it and leaked coolant.

- Bolingbook, IL, USA

problem #4

Feb 032003


  • miles
The vehicle hesitates, shuts down and will not restart. Please furnish additional information. Dealer is aware of the problem.

- Folson, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 011999


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Undercarriage of vehicle was hard cardboard, when going over a high speed bump it ripped undercarriage off. Also in heavy rain, it tears and comes off. Has been repaired 4 times, replaced once. Dealer said it was poor design. The undercarriage came off several times after being replaced. The temperature guage and the A/C had failed.

- Forrest Hills, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 012000


  • miles
Temperature gauge warning light broke and reservoir tank sensor failed causing vehicle to overheat. Nlm

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #1

Mar 202000


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving engine check light and temperature light came on. Then smoke came from under the hood. When this happened, car had to be towed to nearest VW dealer. Dealer said that both electric fans needed to be replaced. There was a kink in the wire of one of the fans that caused it to fail. Both fans basically melted and blew apart.

- Mt. Pleasant, SC, USA