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VW New Beetle Problems



  • I noticed in the new Consumer Reports Used Car Edition for fall, 2001, they gave the new Beetle's repair record a terrible review. LIsted it as a "Car to Avoid".
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    and I see the same issues with nearly every Beetle (and Jetta) I look at for lemon law suits. I love the cars, they're fun, cool and all that,but Volkswagen is definitely keeping the firms I work for in business.

    I understand, from one of you previous posts, your position on lemon laws and I agree - please e-mail me at - I'd like to give you some interesting (I think) observations.
  • I purchased a new beetle in May '99, love driving it and how it looks - it's a fun car. HOWEVER, after having the 2 year maintenence done including rotating of the tires, the left rear brake pad -(or whatever) screeches when I turn left (only left). The mechanics tried to adjust it and it's now worse, even over bumps it screeches (you know I'm coming down the road before you see me!).But I now realize this is the least of my problems, for over a week the car was hard starting ONLY in the morning after sitting all night, and that the trip odometer was resetting to zero - being a woman without much car experience, I thought maybe I had left a light on or something to drain the battery -after all, it's only 2 years old with 18,500 miles on it. This morning it died completely, and I had to have it jumped ($52.00 thank you), took it in to a dealership where it sits right now. Is it possible for a 2 year old battery to go bad - this soon???????????? I had better luck with my old Cavalier. Has anyone else had these problems????
  • if1if1 Posts: 11
    Yikes, reading this board makes me a little concerned. I've got a 2000 New Beetle with a 5 speed and Turbo and have had no problems in the 10k miles I've logged. The car is fast and fun, roomy and reliable. However, the dealer service dept is full of pinheads,so I dread any problems. Maybe I should sell it now...
  • bigm1bigm1 Posts: 10
    My wife has a Turbo - 5 spd. It only has 4,400 miles and has already been in 3 times for the EPC light going on. This has all happened within 1,000 miles.

    1st time - the dealer just reset the code. That lasted for 2 miles.

    2nd time - Anti-slip light was also on and engine had no power. Dealer replace combination valve. Fix lasted 10 days and 600 miles.

    3rd time - replaced accelerator pedal w/potentimeter (what ever that is!) Fix lasted 300 miles.

    Anyone have any ideas (other than finding a new dealer and/or getting rid of the car) or had experience with EPC light?
  • dradiedradie Posts: 2
    My EPC light goes on if I accelerate too hard while the cold engine light is on -- so that makes sense b/c I shouldn't be accelerating hard when the car is warming up. But this morning, after the blue cold engine light went out, my EPC light stayed on and my check engine light came on. The EPC light eventually went off, but my check engine light is still on -- the second time it has come on and I have only had the car for a month. Not to mention that my trunk wouldn't close earlier this week, so the dealer changed my trunk lock. If anyone has had any similar probs, please let me know -- it has only been a month!
  • bigm1bigm1 Posts: 10
    Finally getting to the bottom of it. A replacement EPC module is on order and will be getting installed tomorrow. Dealer said it would take 2 weeks to get the part, but in "casually" mentioning this has happened 4 times and I needed to check the "Lemon Laws", the part magically showed up in a few hours.

    In reply to Dradie - my wife really babies the car. She doesn't accelerate hard when the engine is cold. In fact, the EPC seems to come on when the car gets hot. Last time was in Stop/Go traffic.

    I have confidence that it was a faulty computer. Time will tell. If it happens again, the dealer will have the opportunity to buy the car back.
  • loungerlounger Posts: 32
    I own a 2001 Beetle 5 speed with the 2.0 engine. A bit after the 1000 mile mark, the EPC light turned on, with a significant reduction in engine power. On restart, it would clear sometimes and operate normally. At other times (could happen on restart or after driving for a while) the EPC and MIL (malfunction indicator light = check engine light) would light up; sometimes just MIL, sometimes just EPC, sometimes both.
    I took it into the dealer, and they replaced the throttle body. These cars (the 1.8 T and new for the 2.0 in 2001 according to my service advisor) do not have a throttle cable. When I step on the accelerator pedal, an electronic signal (think of a radio knob) sends a signal to the computer, which then sends a signal to the throttle body and actuates the throttle. The part of the throttle body receiving the electronic signal was not operating properly in my vehicle setting off the warning lights. My car now has 3500 miles without further incident. I saw the internal dealership paper work for my repair, and the part alone cost like $600. I hope this helps you fellow Beetle owners facing a similar problem.

    As an aside, my 2001 Beetle with 3500 miles on it registers full on the oil dipstick. Something must be screwy when I read about so many peoples experiences with high oil consumption on the 2.0 engine in various VW models. I have not had to add a drop, so I assume that there is some significant variable in the manufacture of the 2.0 engine (my engine code begins with the letters AZG)
  • bigm1bigm1 Posts: 10
    Dealer replaced the Electronic Control Module. Started for home and within 1 mile, the lights came on again. Immediately turned around and headed back to the dealer. Had perviously brought the Service Mgr into the loop. He immediately gave us a loaner car and they will be checking with VW on the Tech Hot Line.

    The saga continues.
  • thanks for your post lounger -- in fact, that is exactly what my problem was -- they replaced the throttle body and it was fine all weekend. hopefully this is the end of it! bigm1 -- good luck!! I hope everything works out and the car gets fixed for good!! I understand your frustration to a certain extent -- keep us posted!

  • I've refrained from posting anything here because I still owned the thing. I do not recommend it. During the two years and 2 months I owned my 1999 Beetle GLS, the a/c constantly had problems (including dying twice), the driver's side window broke TWICE and the passenger window once, the battery died a year and a half after I purchased it, the tape player died, the cruise control didn't always work right (and at one point did not work at all)and my local service department was TERRIBLE! Because of them, in addition to the above repairs, an inside door handle was not properly reconnected after repairing the window, the auto lock switch was broken after reconnecting the inside door handle and the outside door handle was broken when fixing the other window. I had to fight with the dealership to get them to fix anything after the warranty expired (even though they "fixed" it under warranty once (or twice) before) and most recently, the dealership made me call VW headquarters to file a claim for the second break of the driver's side window! Then, when it came back and the outside door handle did not work, I had to fax a letter to the owner of the dealership and explain that if they have the vehicle for a week and it comes back with something new broken on it, they most likely broke it and should fix it for free! The service manager agreed with me, but when we went to pick up the car, they tried to charge us $200 for the repair! If you are going to buy one, I highly recommend a substantial extended warranty. I traded it in almost two weeks ago, with a value higher than blue book (they really wanted a sale in SF area) and was thankful to be done with it.
  • My 1999 TDI Beetle is going through some growing pains. I love this car but it is wearing me out lately! I purchased it new two years ago, and aside from some early quirky incidents with the glow plug light it has been REALLY low maintenance. And the MPG is fabulous--I only fill the tank once a month or so. So, in general, no problems. Until this spring.
    Within the past month (at 26,000 miles and five months from the 20,000 scheduled maintenance) I have replaced the fuel filter, the battery and now am looking at the passenger window, which started sinking into the passenger side door this morning. I called VW about the fuel filter, because the Owner's Manual says that it should be replaced at 20,000 and it wasn't--the gentleman on the phone said that he'd "have to look into it" because they had been replacing it at 30,000 miles, not 20,000. I offered the page number in my manual. Of course, I haven't heard any updates there. The battery really has me stumped--as well as my mechanic. He said it just didn't make sense to him that the battery should be dead at 26,000...but then he doesn't work for VW. The only VW service departments that returned my call within 60 miles couldn't set an appointment for three weeks.
    I understand that we Americans have grown accustomed to no-maintenance cars, and on some level we sound like whiners most of the time...but dropping more than $300 (not including the upcoming window repair), and having to use non-VW service because the dealerships are booked for weeks--that is exasperating. And now I'm reading about problems with clutches...yikes.
    I thought I would have this car forever, and I'm really thinking about ditching it. THAT'S really disappointing. I have a friend with a Jetta and he has had lots of problems with his power windows as well. He's an avid VW fan--talked his parents into buying one too--and he's switching to Suburu. I may just follow suit.
  • hi, i also have problems with my 2000 NB. it's 2.0L and burns oil. let vw fixed it with the "repair kit" they came out with. still burns oil, together with new problems. the engine is so noisy when the rpm hits 4000. also, engine temp light went on in blue, while driving on the freeway for over 30 minutes. the car is totally screwed. i'm waiting for BBB to contact me for an arbitration. but if i can trade that car in or sell it at a reasonable price, i'll get rid of it instead. i tried to trade it in at anderson honda, but they are willing to pay only $11,000 for that POS. please let me know where did you trade your car in for a value higher than blue book. thanks.
  • bigm1bigm1 Posts: 10
    The dealer finally looked up a fix in the repair manual. They ended up replacing wire connectors in ECM and wire connectors in throttle housing.

    Seems to be running just fine now and has for the past few weeks.
  • I have a 1999 New Beetle (black) with about 25,000 miles on it. I have written to VW because my paint is cracking in circles and wearing off... quickly. I know I take excellent care of the car, washing and waxing regularly, but fear that the company will blame owner care for the problem. So, in preparation for that response, I have checked out some other black New Beetles on used car lots in the area and found that they, too, are losing their paint. It occurs on any surface that faces into the wind when you drive... like the hood, the fronts of the protruding wheel wells, and the front bumper. In fact, on the areas worn near the rear wheels, the finish looks gray instead of black. I have already talked with a local dealer and all he could say was that it was out of warranty... nothing he could do. At 25,000 miles, warranty or not, this is wrong. Does anyone else have this problem? So far, I have only seen it on black exteriors.
  • I just started reading these posts. My wife has one of the first 98 New Beetles in our area. Last year the battery in her car failed. The guy from AAA who came out to jump start it, said his boss had replaced the battery in her Beetle. Of course at 6p.m. the only place we could find that had a battery was the dealer.
    She also has had to replace the driver's power window switch and the radio...she said the tape player is acting up again. I guess the problems are not so unusual.
  • My 2000 2.0 burns oil too! This is the first car I have that requires me to add engine oil, and the funny thing is, the dealership calls that 'normal'!

    I didn't know about it until a few months ago, when I took the car to a nondealer for my 15000 service (not covered by the 'free scheduled maintanence service for the first 24,000 miles'). No one in the dealership ever told me anything about burning oil. If this is normal, why didn't they say anything so I can properly maintain the car? I don't understand why VW schedule maintenance service every 5000 miles if they know that the car burns oil, and without adding engine oil, the car will consume ALL the engine oil!

    VW should really do something about it.

    Can we file a class action lawsuit under the lemon law or something?!
  • I bought a 99 Beetle and have had the following problems:

    -A/C did not work right off the lot
    -Battery died at 24 k, I had to pay $200.00 for the dealer to reset the computer
    -The trunk will not open with the remote, or using the console.
    -I just paid $277 to replace the driver side electronic window opener
    -Oil pan ripped open with a small rock
    -Door panel vinyl is coming off
    -Cap on emergency brake came off

    I will never ever buy another VW and would advise others to do the same. It is no wonder you see so many used Beetles for sale right now. I don't even feel good selling the car directly to somebody, so I will have to let the dealer have that on their conscience after I trade that piece of [non-permissible content removed] in.
  • I own a 2000 VW GL2.0...Beginning at about 3,000 mi., I have had the following problems:
    -electrical problem
    -clutch slave cylinder went out (towed)
    -ignition switch loose - replaced - still loose
    -A/C works intermittently
    -unstable idle hunt
    -suspension loud squeak over sp. bumps
    -interior door handles delaminated
    -gas intake switch broke twice

    My questions are these: I have had this car at the dealership six times to fix the squeaky suspension. It keeps getting worse instead of better, and the service dept. does not know what it is, just replacing parts. Also, does anyone know about the unstable idle/hunt problem? There is a tech bulletin on it, but when I asked for it at the dealership they would not give it to me, and said this is the way VW engines run. I also tried to order it from VW, and they were "out" of it. Now we are trying to make a deal with the dealership and VW to trade this car in for a new 2001 model without loosing our shorts! This may be a mistake after reading complaints on this site.
This discussion has been closed.