Mass Airflow Sensor Failure

A Common Cause for the “Check Engine Light”

If you own a Jetta or Golf, you've most likely had your check engine light come on due to a faulty Mass Airflow Sensor. Read on to find out what that means.

What is a Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF)?

A mass air flow sensor, or MAF, is a tool found in modern engines used to monitor the incoming air. This information is essential for the engine control unit (ECU) to deliver a balanced amount of fuel mass to the engine. It is usually installed inside the intake air duct between the air filter and the engine.

Typically a MAF is used in conjunction with an oxygen sensor to control the engine's air-to-fuel ration very accurately. The MAF will provide the “open-loop” predicted air flow information to the ECU, while the oxygen sensor provides the “closed-loop” feedback in order to make minor corrections to the predicted air mass.

What Happens When the MAF isn't Functioning

Problems with Mass Air Flow Sensors are common. They are mechanical in nature and are therefore prone to failure. Their measuring elements tend to get worn overtime – or if you drive a VW, seemingly in a matter on weeks.

A bad or contaminated MAF is not to be taken lightly. A malfunctioning one can possibly cause a wide range of vehicle problems such as stalling, misfiring, poor fuel economy or bad acceleration.

Actions You Can Take

A MAF at a dealership can cost anywhere between $75—$150 dollars, with labor costs adding another $150 to that total. You can try and clean the mass air flow sensor yourself by following the instructions in this article: How To Clean or Replace a MAF Sensor for VW or Audi DIY.

Voice Your Concern

This step is crucial, don't just complain on forums! The sites below will actively manage your complaints and turn them into useful statistics. Both and the CAS will report dangerous trends to the authorities and are often called upon by law firms for help with Class Action lawsuits. Make sure to file your complaint on all three sites, we can't stress that enough.

  1. Step 1: File Your Complaint at is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases. Add a Complaint

  2. Step 2: Notify the Center for Auto Safety

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits. Notify the CAS

  3. Step 3: Report a Safety Concern to NHTSA

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues. Report to NHTSA

Share Your Complaint

Add Your Complaint

Join thousands of frustrated car owners who have voiced their opinion and notified other consumers of issues at

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VW Customer Care

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