really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,658 miles

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problem #4

Jan 262019


  • 118,000 miles
While car was stopped but running the vacuum pump 'broke' with a loud grinding sound and oil started leaking everywhere. Putting the car in motion wasn't a problem dispite the grinding sound but brakes were *very* hard to press and was *very* difficult to stop the car. Decided that it was unsafe to drive and called a tow truck to take to the dealer. They replaced the vacuum pump at my expense.

- Round Lake, IL, USA

problem #3

Mar 272018


  • 93,634 miles
Cruise control & disengaging from the cruise control by applying the brake pedal. On Tuesday, March 27th, 2018 I was driving South on I-15 coming from mesquite, Nevada and headed back into the las vegas valley. As I passed the exit to take the great basin highway West towards the town of pioche, Nevada there was a long semi truck in the #2 lane and I was in the #1 lane on this two lane highway. The semi truck made a lane change into my lane because he wanted to get around the vehicle in front of him, after the truck came into my lane I had to adjust my speed. At that moment, I had my cruise control on doing 77 mph, I applied my brake pedal to decrease my following distance now that the truck was in front of me. As I applied the brake pedal, the vehicle wasn't braking and started to go faster towards the bottom bumper of the truck. I couldn't stop my vehicle or make it slow down and eventually ended up running into the back bumper of the truck. Debris from the impact started flying all over the roadway and then my engine hood flew backwards and into my front windshield. I then tried to safely pull my vehicle over to the right and onto the shoulder. The engine hood came back further and was resting against the front windshield where my vision was totally blocked. Prior to that I saw the driver of the semi moving onto the right shoulder, but when the engine hood was firmly against the windshield I just stopped rolling forward for the fear of running into the back of the truck again because I couldn't see if and where exactly he stopped. Immediately after I came to a full stop, I had my passenger make a call to the Nevada highway patrol and give our location and the details of what occurred. Luckily we were safe and alive, although a bit shaken.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #2

Jun 122016


  • 40,000 miles
While driving, I pressed the brakes one time and they worked, the next time they didn't. no slow degradation, they just went from working fine to not working at all. The vacuum booster failed catastrophically such that there was no assist and when more pressure was applied brake fluid squirted onto the engine resulting in basically no stopping of any kind. No warning light came on. When contacting VW about this, I was informed that the vehicle wasn't even equipped with a sensor capable of detecting that the brakes had completely failed. This despite the fact that their manual explicitly calls out the dangers of operating the vehicle without the vacuum booster. With something so important as the brakes, shouldn't there be at least a warning light? luckily this happened in my neighborhood at low speed, but that was just blind luck.

- Erie, CO, USA

problem #1

Aug 082012

GTI 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
Vehicle is a manual 6 speed. Two incidents - first, the car wouldn't engage into reverse from a stop until the vehicle ignition was turned off and on several times. Car operated normally for about 2 weeks. Second incident, car wouldn't engage into any gear while moving 10-15 mph uphill while in first gear. During loss of power train, the engine revved in the 4000-5000 RPM range, smoke was visibly coming out of the engine bay and there was complete loss of brakes, including the emergency brake. The vehicle started to roll backward downhill and was stopped by turning the vehicle into the sidewalk. Towed the vehicle to boardwalk VW in redwood city, ca and the service personnel and tow truck driver witnessed that the vehicle's reverse power train was not engaging properly. After 2 days of diagnostics, the technicians were not able to replicate the issue and concluded that the vehicle was operating within manufacturer specifications. No repair was formally performed.

- San Carlos, CA, USA