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rmarchantrmarchant Member Posts: 5
edited April 2014 in Volkswagen
If anyone has experience with this, please help!
2 weeks after purchase, rearview mirror adjustor fell off.
2 more weeks, gas cap cover line broke.
9 months; drivers side window fell into door. Part was on order for 4 months.
12 months; O2 sensor came on.
18 months; rear break light went
21 months; drivers side window would not open... different part this time, out of warranty.
21 months; transmission went, gaskets not sealed properly at the factory.
23 months; Car squeaking while driving (not breaking). Back break and rotors went at 34K miles. Told that the squeak was the warning for me. Told first that I drove with emergency break on. Told second that the calibration of the back breaks is difficult on beetles. Told last that it is normal wear.
23 months; front left light went. Gas cap cable went (2nd time).
23 months; car continues to squeak while driving (not breaking). Told that this is normal for the beetle and to be prepared to change the back breaks twice for every time I change the front breaks.
24 months; right front light went

I have called and written to the home office numerous times. They recite their warranty.

I am not convinced that the car is safe. I do not know if the transmission problem will trigger other problems. I do not know how to tell when the breaks are going (squeak?)

Does anyone have any advise or experience here?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I don't see where there is much you can do. Brakes are "expendable" items even if there's some dispute about them...they are, essentially, supposed to wear out, and 34K isn't unreasnable by any means.

    As for the stuff falling off, that is sort of inexcusable, but if VW orders the parts and fixes the problem, that's all they are required to do.

    I think you should try not to get too negative about this....there are perhaps 15,000 parts on your car, and some of them have been defective; most, however, have worked very well...a few cables, gaskets, glue here and there and brake pads...well, they let you down and caused problems, but basically the car is probably still good and will give you good service.

    If you start thinking LEMON, you're just going to make everything worse and spoil your enjoyment of the car. Maybe the car will settle down...they often do.

    So demand what's coming to you, by all means, but try to be realisitic about what VWs obligations are.
  • rmarchantrmarchant Member Posts: 5
    Thank you for your advise, Mr shiftright. I guess I'm still a little worried about that squeak. Do you know that these cars do squeak while driving (not breaking). I guess then it becomes a little upsetting that I was told things like "you're driving with the emergency brake
    on" etc. I appreciate the third party advise.
  • captainxeroidcaptainxeroid Member Posts: 1
    then get it in good working condition and sell it NOW!!!
    With all due respect to Mr Shiftright, my experience with cars is that they do not "settle down", but instead, minor problems get worse, and soon something major will go wrong. And if you expect something to go wrong, your enjoyment of this car will probably go down.

    If you like the Beetle for its features, sell your and get another one. Every manufacturer makes an occasional lemon, and it's possible your current Beetle is one.

    We put $3,000+ into our Dodge Neon last year only to have the same problems recur this year. We are selling it before the next thing goes wrong.

    My wife & I are seriously considering a New Beetle, so keep us updated on yours.
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    but I also agree with Mr. Shiftright. Give the car a chance. As he says there are a lot of parts that can fail. Statistically some cars may have a lot more to fail than others, but each part on any given car has an equal probability to fail. I once had a '82 Pontiac that I inherited from my dad. The car was a true lemon, but against the advice of everyone I spent a couple of thousand to fix everything and sold the car 80,000 later with few problems.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Sure, do the math....with a failure rate of say, only .1 of 1% (not much!), that's still 15 parts that can go wrong on a car. You cannot expect perfection in a humanly made object...it can't happen.

    Okay, let's agree to disagree....my reasoning is that a) a car has defects and b) you fix those defects and c) your car is fine. Cars aren't "cursed", they can be repaired.....oh, sure, some fixes take time and patience, but if they are done right, then the car has a perfectly good chance of giving years of faithful service.

    It would be virtually statistically impossible to build a "lemon"...you'd have to make or install 15,000 parts incorrectly! Even Yugo couldn't do that (they tried, but....)
  • rmarchantrmarchant Member Posts: 5
    I go with the captain. Sure cars can be fixed but with so much wrong so quickly... it is not just time, it is not just patience, it is also money. I already paid for a reliable means of transportation. I have yet to receive it. And you think that I should start throwing more money into it. And you call it fair. Maybe I am spoiled. My Chewy had 185,000 miles when I bought this car and has had less money put into it since. (I gave it to someone still using it.) Regarding the time needed; I had a job for ten years... so when an occasional trip to the WV dealer came up, my attendance stood for itself, nothing was thought of it. Then I had to make a job change. I lost the job within the year due to my poor attendance. Did you know that WV dealers are open 8-4... when most of us work. The area dealer would let me drop off at night but I had to make arrangements to pick up during their work schedule.

    I do think about selling but I can not sell to an individual with all these problems. I would like the opportunity to give this car another try and trade it... but how much more will I loose with that option?

    I am sincerely curious; does anyone think they should get what they pay for any more?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    A co-worker bought one of the early New Beetles. Had numerous electrical and interior trim problems. She sold it, and today is buying a new Mitsu. Eclipse convertible.

    I had 2 VW Rabbits in the 70s and early 80s. Some of your problems are the same as mine, like squeaky brakes. Plus I had to have the clutch replaced on the first one at 13K miles.

    I'd recommend buying just about any Toyota, Honda, Nissan, or Subaru if you want to get your money's worth and not have to worry about things continually breaking.
  • dc_sports_ruledc_sports_rule Member Posts: 134
    In the April issue of Consumer Reports, they do not recommend the VW Beetle as it is not reliable. What do you expect from a German car built in Mexico?
  • rmarchantrmarchant Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the advise. I'm going to dump this tragedy on four wheels quick as I can.
  • gserep1gserep1 Member Posts: 92
    I have a 2000 New Beetle GL 2.0L engine with Automatic Transmission. I bought it new September 1999, and up until now has been extremely reliable. My first problem is an electrical one, and it is in the Airbag Warning System. The airbag light comes on with the key, and refuses to go out after the mandatory 5 seconds for self-test and arming.

    A quick trip to the local VW dealer confirmed that the entire airbag module, and relay were defective, and the remedy was 380 hard earned dollars. I am well past the 24 mo, 24,000 mile warranty period.

    The dealer was very nonchalant in his manner. This irritated me, and I decided not to repair it after all, and I decided instead to contact VW of America. Great choice!

    After talking to customer service, they responded favorably, and even with 50,000 miles on the car, they picked up the entire repair cost, AND refunded my 40 dollar diagnostic fee.

    I have heard of some horror stories about VW, and I was really afraid of what kind of flack I would receive, but I was PLEASANTLY suprised to know that they stepped up to the plate and did the right thing. I expected to go half and half, or something like that, but they paid it all.

    I hope that it is fixed right the first time.
  • seloveselove Member Posts: 12
    Hi Gang,

    I have read numerous stories about problems in the early model beetles 1998/1999. Does anybody own a 2001? Any problems so far? I am hoping that the major electrical problems on the 98's have been corrected.

    I'm looking to purchase a 2001 NB in September.

  • virginia5virginia5 Member Posts: 2
    A word of warning. You might want to look into the reliability as rated by consumers. My new beetle turbo is in the shop for the 4th time in 7 months due to engine problems. Each time I bring it in I rack up costs in rental cars and also the inconvenience of having to bring it in. If I had to do it all over again, I can't say that I would buy another beetle. I have a turbo so maybe that has something to do with the unreliabile nature. I love the car (the way it drives and the comfort), but it is not reliable. I am considering pursuing the lemon law in my state.
  • bear2423bear2423 Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2001 New Bettle and the airbag warning lite went on after two months. Parts were not available so it took 25 days in the shop to fix. Also the clock was off 15 minutes a day and the dash lights did not work properly. I think the new beetles are lemons. Consumer reports say they are unreliable and having a new car that has now spen 30% of ownership at the dealer wainting to be fixed I would recommend not bying one. Also, regarding Customer service, I called the VW customer service hotline. They were very nice but they said they would call back now 3 times and never have. The dealer said they would call, and I even sent them a certified letter they have not answered. When I call they say someone familiar with my case will call me back, but it never happens...I guess no one at VW is familiar with my case, or they just don't care about customers. I am now trying to have this resolved through my states lemon laws. Maybe VW Customer service will respond when they are sued.
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