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The Most Common VW Problems

By combining owner complaint data from CarComplaints.com with investigation, recall, and Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we’ve put together a list of some of the most widespread problems out there. We can sometimes use this data to predict which cars might experience issues in the future, and what owners can do about it in the meantime.

Problems You've Had (Or Will Have Soon)

View of engine timing chain and valves

Defective Timing Chains and the Threat of Engine Failure

There's No Good Time for a Dead Engine

According to VW their timing chains should last at least 120,000 miles, but the ones in the 2-liter EA888 engines break a lot sooner. The issue is the subject of multiple class-action lawsuits.

Emissions cloud coming out of a tailpipe

What VW's Diesel Emissions Scandal Means for Owners

Ob-NOx-ious behavior

Volkswagen has admitted to using a defeat device on its supposedly ‘clean diesel’ vehicles. The reason? To skirt around US emissions standards. This doesn’t sit well with … well, just about anybody. In fact, the only group who seems really excited by this cheating scandal are the lawy...

An oil pan covered in sludge

Oil Sludge in the 1.8L Turbocharged Engine

A Heart Attack For Your Engine

From 1997-2005, VW manufactured a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine with a tiny 3.7 quart oil capacity. That’s simply not a lot of oil to compensate for the amount of heat this engine generates. Complaints sparked a class-action lawsuit with an eventual settlement to help many owners cover their r...

A removed mass airflow sensor

VW's History of Bad Mass Airflow and O2 Sensors

You MAF to be kidding me

What is it about the VW mass airflow sensor that keeps causing VW owners problems?

Dash cluster with ABS warning light on

ABS Module Failure

A BS problem if we've ever seen one.

VW owners have had a lot of ABS complaints over the years, and rightfully so. Not only are their ABS modules failing early, but they also fail at the most inopportune time – like when slamming on the brakes to avoid an accident. And the repairs are costly.

Jetta interior with question marks on radio

Jetta Radios Are Suddenly Dying

VW Killed the Radio Star

There’s a trend popping up where VW radios are fine one minute, then ‘popping’ before falling silent. This is particularly true in the 2010-2011 Jetta and once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.

Deployed airbag with super-imposed Takata logo

Does Your Car Have Takata Airbags? Probably

Recalls for days (and years)

Parts supplier, Takata, manufactured defective, shrapnel-hurling airbag inflators that need to be recalled. The issue affects 34 million+ vehicles spread out across 24 brands, making it one of the largest (and most dangerous) recalls in automotive history.

VW warning light about adding 1 quart of oil

VW Has a Strange Definition of 'Normal' Oil Consumption

Nothing normal about it

Volkswagen wants you to know that burning through a quart of oil every 1,000 miles is within their ‘acceptable’ range. We have a different definition of acceptable. VW has settled an oil consumption lawsuit in the past, is there any hope for the future?

VW door disassembled to show window regulator

Why Does My VW Window Keep Falling Into Door?

It can't regulate itself

The clamps that hold the windows in place for many VW’s are made of a very cheap plastic. Sometimes when moisture gets in the door and then freezes, it expands and pushes the windows off the clamps - causing the windows to literally fall into the door. There are even reports of this happening ...

Have Something You'd Like Us to Cover?

Needless to say there are more than 9 Volkswagen problems. We're just scratching the surface and adding more problems all the time. Have a suggestion on what we should cover next?