really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,747 miles

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problem #51

Sep 162018


  • 230,000 miles
While the vehicle is in motion, it "jerks" or makes a shaking movement. While the vehicle is in motion, the "door ajar" light stays on although all doors have been opened and closed. While stationary, the vehicle brake light is not working. While stationary and in motion, the vehicle's check engine light stays on. The rear middle passenger seatbelt is not useable. The driver's door remains unlocked after pressing the "lock doors" button.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #50

Aug 082017


  • 76,250 miles
Known melting fuse box on top of battery. From schematics, appears S180 fuse (coolant fan) as predominant point of failure. Issue has been reported (via web) across numerous models and years. Called VW for fix; as techs appear void of a general consensus to problem/fix. Unfortunately, VW refuses to acknowledge and/or provide solution to customer(s). Refers me to dealer, which is over an hour away. Just need info to order repair kit and restore vehicle integrity/safety. Concerned as this may be a potential fire hazard; due to the volume of heat generated by wiring within internal compartment. In turn, I understand the age of the vehicle is outside the normal warranty period. As stated, just want an answer to repair; however, VW customer care rep commented I should reporting this issue in hopes to draw additional attention of other owners and, eventually, the NHTSA to get VW to respond to customers questions.

- Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #49

Apr 012016


  • 172,000 miles
The contact owned a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. While entering the vehicle, the contact noticed that the brake warning light was illuminated and the windows were steaming. In addition, the dashboard was on fire. The fire department extinguished the fire. A fire report and a police report were filed. The contact sustained a burned hand injury, but did not need medical attention. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 172,000.

- Bremen, OH, USA

problem #48

Aug 102015


  • 137,000 miles
The contact owned a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving at approximately 35 mph, there was smoke and fire underneath the glove compartment box. The contact exited the vehicle with the child before the vehicle became engulfed in flames. The fire department filed a fire report and extinguished the fire. There were no injuries. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 137,000.

- Newport Beach, CA, USA

problem #47

May 272014


  • 156,861 miles
While reaching home, I saw smoke coming out of engine, smell of heated plastic, and the alternator warning lite on. Switched off the car and opened the hood. Noted that the smoke and smell was coming from the plastic fuse box that is on the top of the battery and that the fuse box cover had burnt hole. The wire from the alternator to one of the fuses in the fuse box had melted the plastic. I replaced the fuse box, cleaned the wire and attached it back. On 6/23/15, I was unable to start the car. The battery was weak and noted that one of the fuses in the box had melted the plastic.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #46

Oct 012014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
This is a followup on my NHTSA complaint with ODI 10660489. I would like to bring to your attention the NHTSA campaign id number 04V584000 which precisely describes the same problem I have encountered with my Jetta. Please note that my Jetta is also a 2002 model as noted in the above campaign.

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #45

Oct 012014


  • 86,000 miles
First intermittent and then inoperative turn signal and hazard flasher function..

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #44

Oct 252014


  • 124,000 miles
Faulty fuse panel in engine compartment (the one situated on top of the battery, not the panel in the cabin).

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #43

Jul 042013


  • 110,000 miles
Faulty fuse panel in engine compartment (the one situated on top of the battery, not the panel in the cabin).

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #42

Jun 262009


  • 57,000 miles
I purchased a certified used vehicle in 2006 from a Volkswagen dealer in Virginia (Volkswagen of dulles). Two months after the vehicle purchase, we noticed the car electrical system shut down while approaching a stop sign in reston, va. The local dealer attributed it to a fuel system problem and charged us for a throttle body cleaning." Over the course of two years, we had multiple electrical shutdowns, some at high speed on the highway at night when the vehicle's headlights would go out and the engine would die. At one point the dealer reported a ??loose ignition switch?" and replaced that switch. After several more scary events, I emailed VW America with a description of the problem and our fears about the vehicle being unsafe to drive. In March 2009 I called VW customer service and talked to a regional case manager. On that day, the car had shut down in the middle of an intersection narrowly avoiding a collision. VW replaced the alternator and battery. Three months later, driving on memorial parkway (rt. 66) at night when the vehicles lights failed, the electrical system shut down and the engine died. I once again called VW customer service and was returned a call from a representative who said they would not address the problem further, that the warranty on the vehicle was over and that I had no recourse with Volkswagen for further investigation of the problem. I recently asked VW America customer service for copies of their records relating the case. They refused to give them to me, saying they were proprietary.?

- Jamestown, RI, USA

problem #41

Aug 062014


  • 70,000 miles
While driving on the freeway at approximately 70mph with a quarter tank of gas, my 2002 Jetta glx displayed the battery light and then stalled at full speed. The car slowed, the steering and gas pedal were stiff and I had to pull to the shoulder and call for a tow truck. I had the crank position sensor replaced, new spark plugs put in and the throttle body cleaned. I test drove the car and once again, the engine started to stall at around 70mph on the freeway. This time I was able to floor the accelerator and the car did not completely stall. This defect seems is incredibly dangerous and seems to be unacceptably prevalent on VW Jettas. My next part to replace is the fuel pump but it appears that does not always remedy the problem. This should be a recall.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #40

May 192014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The car takes 15 minutes to heat up to 190, otherwise the car won't drive forward in proper gear without jerking. It drives like it is a stick shift instead of an automatic changing gear on it's own. The car stops without me pressing the brakes and sometimes just turns off unexpectedly. It smells like gasoline in the car. The cd player, clock and vehicle electrical malfunctions on and off. The engine light stays on. Autonation performed a multi point inspection and says the car needs a timing belt, coolant flange and after run pump, and rollers.

- Delray Beach , FL, USA

problem #39

Aug 072013

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Engine abruptly lost all power and turned off while driving down the street. No warning lights came on, and the car restarted and ran normally for 6 months. The same thing happened about 6 months later. 10 minutes after the second episode, mechanic wasn't able to find a fault code and drove it without the stall recurring.

- Lombard, IL, USA

problem #38

May 152013


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the vehicle stalled with the illumination of the battery warning light. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 128,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #37

Jan 112013


  • 116,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle however, the failure recurred intermittently. Additionally, the contact noticed that the front and rear passenger's side doors would not unlock when the master door lock switch on the front driver's side door was engaged. The contact also stated that the brake warning light was illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 116,000.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #36

Sep 012010

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 85,000 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 car dies in the freeway when running, it might be affecting the computer now. This has to be recall its a safety issue.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #35

Apr 192012

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 108,154 miles
When backing out of my driveway my drivers side airbag deployed for no reason. I didn't hit anything. Now the engine starts then stalls. All dash lights are now out.

- Center Conway, NH, USA

problem #34

Dec 262011

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Driver side lock switch, unable to lock my 02 Jetta with remote key. Interior light on the driver door constantly stays on.

- Schuylkill Haven, PA, USA

problem #33

Dec 032011


  • 143,050 miles
While driving home at night, my son and I smelled smoke. We exited the vehicle, checked under the hood, but found nothing. We continued home and parked in the garage. Still smelling smoke, we re-inspected the vehicle, but were unable to determine an origin or any visible evidence. Both seat heaters were on during the drive home, but the seats showed no visual signs of damage after parking. Next morning we opened the vehicle to discover the cabin was filled with smoke with an approximate 1"hole burned up thru the passenger seat on the lower right bolster. Apparently the seat heater initiated a thermal event which erupted in a seat fire after we turned off the ignition and parked the car in the garage. Fortunately, the fire did not engulf the vehicle or it could have caught our home on fire, resulting in possible injury or death to my family. I believe we dodged a bullet because the seat fire did not sustain itself and engulf the vehicle. VW has agreed to repair the burned seat at their expense and make a mitigation repair. However, VW has declined my request to cover any similar mitigation repair to the other seat. In October 2004, the NHTSA ODI concluded that ?driver-side seat heater may fail or malfunction due to normal vehicle use? but ?such failures do not pose a significant risk of injury or fire." The ODI stated the investigation did not conclude that a safety-related defect does not exist and the Agency will take further action if warranted by the circumstances. (EA04010) evidence and reports indicate that seat heater caused thermal events in both driver and passenger seats in the VW Jetta have been an issue for nearly 10 years now. Near misses continue to occur. I believe that a seat fire is a significant safety concern. I would encourage the NHTSA to re-examine the circumstances to determine if further action is warranted.

- Logan, UT, USA

problem #32

May 312011


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that when trying to use the turn signal they would not turn on; nor does the hazard warning lights function properly. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic who advised her that there was an electrical failure because no fuses had blown out. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current miles were approximately 150,000.

- Rodchester, NY, USA

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