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Volkswagen Beetle Body Work Problems



  • lrock1lrock1 Posts: 1
    I'm feeling vindicated after reading some of these posts. I have an '04 Beetle Convertible Turbo. Had the airbag light problem. Took it in to be fixed while under warranty. Came back on. Took it in after the recall. Came back on. Called to have it dealt with again and was told they'd ALREADY FIXED IT. MUST BE ANOTHER PROBLEM! The flap thingy on the driver's side broke off and shortly thereafter, the top got stuck - open, with rain coming and no garage. Took it in, out of warranty. Cost $900 to fix. But the airbag light was off! Can't open the trunk with the key. Have to use the switch on the door. But now I fear that'll stop working soon. How is is possible that one can't open the trunk with a normal key??? Get the feeling that this car is WAY over-designed and WAY under engineered. Did I mention that all this has happened and I don't even have 20K miles? I can't wait to get rid of it.
  • winklebugwinklebug Posts: 3
    I currently have 70,000 miles on my beetle. (One of the many mentioned in the stream of blogging beetle banter here) My warranty has finally expired...and that is upsetting enough...because I had to put so many miles on it to drive it back and forth to the shop--ugh.

    I ,too, had the trunk not opening--First by key--then by switch and key. And NO it was not in Valet mode...which is the option to take your key and lock the gas lock and trunk lock so that those things are inaccessible when the top is down or valet takes your amazing sweet Beetle ride to park!!

    So in 2 years I have warranty work done:

    Top flappy thing broke TWICE (47,000 miles and 58, 000 miles)
    Had an entire NEW CONVERTIBLE top put on (47,000 miles)
    Airbag sensor replaced (42,000 miles)
    Check engine sensor...
    Power Steering Rack replacement ...after having an oil change...and tires rotated...the problem started---started car the next day--grinding power steering pump. (67,000 miles)
    Window switch replacement (67,000 miles) becasue the windows weren't rolling all the way up after dropping the 1" or so when opening and closing door...
    Trunk release switch Replaced
    PROBLEM STILL OCCURING NOW AND AGAIN...they said it's something with the timing of the locks, blah blah blah...
    Center console lock needed replacing--THEY HAD TO BREAK IT TO GET IN UNLATCHED!
    Seat adjuster at the shoulder (the ones that drop the seat forward) Broke...was apparently glued back on...

    The driver side window squeaks terribly--it's embarassing and if anyone has a solution--I would appreciate it...They never fixed that problem.

    The second huge (and embarassing) issue is the entire interior console is coated with a rubberish black material--probably looked pretty cool when it was new--but it has degraded so much--it is just scraping off....If you were to take your fingernail and even lightinly scratch it--it removes the surface and looks terrible.

    I borrowed a loaner--a 2009 Beetle NON was soo roomy. I could really pack things in and my 11 mos old daughter loved the big window.

    Sooooo/...if anyone want's to buy my Beetle--please disregard the forementioned problems and contact me! LOL :)
    It is still fun in the sun....but not a Mom car! :cry:
  • dcm5150dcm5150 Posts: 7
    We got rid of ours! (2003 NBC)

    Besides the usual problems (airbag light, windows, headlights, front door falling off), we also had to replace the catalytic converter (at 40,000). Of course the garage first wanted to charge us a few hundred for the temperature sensor so they could be sure it was the catalytic converter. Then on top of it all, the shop didn't put the hoses back so one rubbed on the belt and leaked all the coolant out so it had to be towed back to the garage. Never so happy to be rid of something (the conv. top was about ready to completely break too!)
  • bpaigebpaige Posts: 1
    Have a 04 beetle convertible and already had to replace top due to back window falling out several times after dealer glued it back. Also, once the top goes down I have to wait several hours for it to go back up again. Additionally, after the top goes down, the cover plates stay up. Can't ever get those to go down until I put the top back up and then they retract OK. I have told the dealer this several times and they seem to have no trouble with any of it till this last time I had it in for the same problem and I was told they would have to replace both motors. Also my driver airbag light stays on. Dealer says the problem is in the seatbelt. All this will cost about $2000 to correct. The new top cost over $4000. I am wondering if a stronger battery might be what's needed. Any ideas?? After Road Mart put in their strongest battery for this car last year, the top and cover plates worked pretty good for a few times. I have had several VW's but am really disappointed with this one.
  • iucpa1iucpa1 Posts: 1
    I am definitely interested in hearing how you fixed the airbag light. The same thing happened to ours (I believe). I had a hard time buckling the belt one time and had to "force" it in - later that day the airbag light came on and has been on ever since. Curious to know how to fix it.

    Thank you!
  • Mine is grinding and leaving a mark on the window. The Airbag light just came on. I need to get it fixed as we need to sell as we need money. Any suggestions?
  • Mine is grinding and leaving a mark on the window. The Airbag light just came on. I need to get it fixed as we need to sell as we need money. Any suggestions?
  • jmr49jmr49 Posts: 1
    We just replaced top of our 03 Beetle Conv today. Cost of ultramax top top was $1200 and install from local auto upholstry shop was $500. Hated having to do this (top still looked new), but glass falling out. W/this top we get lifetime warranty on glass separation on 5yrs on cotton mid grade top itself. Total drive out of $1700 much less than was garage kept. I agree VW needs to change way they do apparently exists to provide lifetime glass happiness.....can't disclose vendor but use the previous clue.....
  • harry53harry53 Posts: 1
    I Beetle have 46,000 miles and have exactly the same problem. We need to do thing about it. Please advise me what do do.
  • trjrtrjr Posts: 1
    Am having the same problems and was told that no known glue will hold glass in place for very long. Before investing in a new top (crazycrazycrazy) was wondering how your repair from '09 is holding up?
  • I replaced the entire top. That held up fine, but then the engine went out. got rid of it at that point. A previous VW, 2 years earlier, went to the shop for a month before they could figure out why it quit running and then just out of warranty, we had to replace the transmission. At this point, we had to swear off of them. We went to Toyota and never looked back. We have now purchased 3 Toyota products and are delighted with all three, one of them with 165,000 miles and no problems ever whatsoever. Sandra
  • I have read many complaints on the early (2003-04) convertibles and the rear window coming loose. Apparently, this is not just a VW problem, but many others also, such as BMW convertibles. It must have been a "new and improved" manufacturing method at the companies that produce the tops. In any case, it appears many owners have success by taking these car top issues to a car upholstery shop. These shops have various glues, stitching etc., and can get these windows repaired. It seems crazy that VW would suggest just replacing the entire top, but then again VW did not make the tops to start off.

    Try an auto upholstery shop first.

  • hotskins2000hotskins2000 Posts: 5
    edited August 2010
    What dealer did you get the clips from? What town and State
  • What dealer did you get the clips from? What town and state?
  • Whats the name of the dealer to get a repair kit for back window. I'm in Naples, Florida
  • The cloth around the window on my '05 beetle convertible was falling off almost completely (though the glass was still in place). The dealer quoted me some insane amount of money to fix (I want to say $400) and I took it to a place called the Buggy Doctor ( in Miami. Cost only $16.80 plus labor to replace all the clips. Try calling them if you need the clips. They were cheap. (Although I have to take it back in, this was in June and already the cloth is falling again... so not sure if that is a result of the clips themselves or the way they attached them)
  • I had my top open half way several days working on regluing back window. Now that I am closing, will not close by 2 to 3 inches to be able to lock down. Has anyone had this problem. I can potentially close manually, but do not know if this will create some error code that will then call for a trip to the dealership?
  • We also have a problem with our window on 2004 Bug. The top part of the window looks like it is going to fall out. I glued the bottom part and duct taped the top part. The dealer is no help they say you need a new top. We only have 40,000 miles on this car. We have not put the top down because we are afraid the window will fall out. I heard there is a place in Miami called Beetle works that has a kit to fix this problem We are located in Naples. Does anyone else have a solution to this problem. No more VW for me always some kind of problem.
  • Correct my last statement on Beetle works to
  • Well, not to be the barrer of bad news. I have a 2003 vw beetle convertible. The trouble started with the drivers window, then the passenger, then both back windows. The motors had to be replaced, and just found out that only last about 3 yrs., now I'm on my second round of window motors. Cable broke on my top, was able to fix but, now, the back window is coming loose(have to replace whole top 2500.00). The trunk won't open at all, no matter what I've tried. I am so unhappy with this car. Oh, transmission decided to start going out. I've been told that it will cost about 4000.00 or better to fix. I just want to scream. Its a money pit.
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