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 when it gets hot outside, the windows apparently just slip off the clamps entirely. Classic.
Volkswagen Is Aware of Window Clip Defect
Volkswagen is aware of this defect and has extended the warranty on many of its cars to 7 years (for example, TSB #0603).
You can call pretty much any authorized VW service shop and they’ll tell you this is a common issue. Here’s an official service report sent in by a user:
“Removed the right front door panel and window, found the window has fallen out of the window clamps, technical bulletin 64-08-06 covers this problem … removed rubber insulators from the window clamps and scuffed them with 120 grit sandpaper to remove glossy finish, applied adhesive to the rubber insulators and reinstalled them. installed window and torqued the clamps to 11nm, installed door panel.”
There are even reports of this happening multiple times to the same window. Placing the window back on the faulty clamp is not enough. Make sure to ask your service station if they are going to use an adhesive - hell, even duct tape would be better than nothing.
Who’s Having the Most Problems?
Window regulator complaints span multiple VW models, but seem to be a particular sore spot in the 4th and 5th generation Jetta.
|Volkswagen||Beetle||2001 / 2005|
|Jetta||1997 / 1998 / 1999 / 2000 / 2001 / 2002 / 2003 / 2004 / 2005 / 2006 / 2010|
|Passat||1998 / 1999 / 2000 / 2001 / 2002 / 2003 / 2004|
On the Record
“Last night as we were driving home, my girlfriend noticed that the front passenger-side window was open a bit - which was odd considering it was the middle of winter and we hadn't opened the window in quite some time. When she tried to shut the window with the door controls, you could hear a motor running but nothing happened ... until suddenly the window fell straight down into the door!”
“The window on just my driver side will just fall into my door. Once the window fell completely when I shut the door and the other two times it fell partially into the door when rolling the window. This has happened 3 times in my 2004 Jetta now.”
“While I was waiting in the "packed" waiting room, I found out that everyone there had the same problem. One lady I sat next to said that this is the FIFTH time this has happened to her 2000 Jetta. I really don't understand why Volkswagen dose not do something about this ongoing problem. Why would you replace a defective part with the same one?”
OK, Now What?
Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, you can help make sure it gets the attention it deserves.
Below are a handful of steps you can take to make sure this problem gets the attention it needs.
File Your Complaint at CarComplaints.com
CarComplaints.com 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.
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.
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.
Spread the Word
Social media is all the rage these days. And for good reason – it can help spread a message quickly. So get out there and start spreading this page.