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Volkswagen Beetle Body Work Problems



  • dnealdneal Posts: 1
    I just leased a 2008 SE about 3 months ago. I have 2000 miles on it. I also own a 2006 VW Passat and used to work for VW (2 years ago). Quite honestly, I would never buy a VW without having a warranty.... I would also get rid of the car once it was out of warranty.
    From what I have witnessed, you are really gambling with these vehicles. Don't get me wrong I love the fit and finish, the engineering, the styling, but when things go wrong they go wrong. Unfortunately, it is always expensive and if you are out of warranty you could be in real trouble. My passat has been a great car. No major issues. However, I have several friends and associates that have owned passats. Many have not been so lucky (endless check engine lights and other warnings). I like the passat and since I did work for VW, I was able to get a crazy deal on leasing the Beetle.
    The Beetle has been good so far... I did take it into the shop for some squeaking coming from the steering column when I turned the steering wheel from side to side. This is all I have experienced so far. As far as I am concerned as long as the car is repaired under warranty (no cost to me) and it doesn't leave me stranded than I am good.
  • bugdudebugdude Posts: 1
    Your problem with the window is not just related to vw beetles. all new convertibles went to the new one piece top with window built into it, all of them are falling out not just yours. The coast is higher because it has the defroster glass build into the top and it is a canvas top material. You may be able to get a Trim shop to regue it if it is not all the way out of the top. You may also get a replacement top for alot less money than the factory. Then I suggest you sell it as fast as you can the top not going up is just out of time and is not a big deal just takes a few minutes to reset.
    good luck
  • belaircarguybelaircarguy Posts: 107
    I just purchaed a 2008 Beetle Convertible - SE model. Got it mainly for my teenage daughters, and also wanted a convertible as I haven't had one for years. The car is great....lots of pep, good brakes, comfortable seats and fantastic stereo. I did look at blogs etc. for VW Beetles, and it appears most of the problems were on earlier models. More recent models seem to be pretty trouble free. VW's are also fun to drive, so always take that into consideration when purchasing a vehicle. Look forward to many years of VW fun ---- and the new ones have a 4 year / 50,000 mile warrenty, so should not be a concern for a long time.
  • This is my third VW Beetle, and only my first Beetle convertible. My first new beetle was a 99, what a horror! Everything you can think of from the first month I bought that car can and went wrong. Three transmissions replaced to defective paint, front wheels locked, smoke pouring out of the dashboard and vents, etc. I was able to finally turn in the car with more than 6 months left on the lease. Only after suing VW Of America and Three County VW in NJ. The dealership sold me a brand new car that was involved in a front end crash. I switched over to Gensinger VW for service. They also helped me with the deposition.

    In 2006, I had major issues with the power windows. VW people told me it was a change of climate from north to south. The extreme heat temperatures do effect a car more so than cold weather. Well, that me be the case, however the windows were still giving me a hassle when I moved back to the north east.

    Approximately, one month ago, the alternator went on my beetle. I had to be towed and that was replaced.

    Friday afternoon, I was driving on 95 South two hours from where I live and the battery light lit up. I naturally was concerned. I turned off the CD player and the air conditioner.

    I stopped for gasoline and left the engine on, which I never do. I proceeded on with my driving back on the highway. The speedometer was stuck on 15. The battery light was diming and flickering. Then the convertible light was flashing next to the clock. My car seemed as if I had to push it, it had no pep. The rest of the lights on the dashboard lit up. The seatbelt, oil, ABS and brake light all lit up at the same time.

    As I approached my destination the car speed was slowing down without stepping on the brake. My hazards wouldn't turn off, they were faintly flashing, the windows would just about roll down. The exhaust was making a humming sound and then you can hear it missing (timing was off), the exhaust system underneath the car was rattling, and there was a smell of rubber coming out from the hood of the car.

    I pulled off the road and into a seafood restaurant. This is where my beetle just stopped all together. However, the hazards were still slightly flashing.

    VW Roadside Assistance was horrible on Friday. The first time ever, I had a problem with them. I placed my call into them at 3:15 pm (EST), they didn't arrive until 6:30 pm. I was hoping that I could get my car towed to the VW dealership before they close at 6pm. NOT. Finally after my third request, they finally listened to me, because I was upset on the phone and they dispatched a new flat bed. Roadside Assistance gave me an excuse that the tow was called to an accident.

    I bought my beetle brand new and it only has approximately 33,600 miles. I heard that these cars are famous for electrical problems. I hope whatever is causing these issues, that they find a solution soon. Needless to say, VW people will not be able to look at my car until Monday.

    I was thinking that it may be the computer on the car or maybe the computer and the battery. Any ideas?
  • Is there any more information I need to know about the clips? I will go to a dealer today and request it. No one seems to think it can be glued back. I would love to be able to fix this problem for ten bucks!!
  • How do you reset? I am encouraged that this is not a big problem. I thought I was going to need to replace the top AND the mechanism at a quote of $8,000.

    I have had many beetles. The diesel 2002 was a true LEMON!! I spend as much on repairs as the car cost new! Now this problem with the 2004 convertible is very disheartening. I don't think I can afford to buy any more beetles or any VW product ever again. I also have a Toyota convertible and I have never had any problems with it.
  • have you had any experience re-installing the rear flap assembly (driver's side)? dropped the top last night, heard a crunch, before I knew it, the plastic backing w/ all the moving parts was toast ($110) along with the plastic ball end joints on the actuator rod that connect the flap to the motor (of course, you can't buy just the ball joints, had to replace the entire rod assy @ $50); if you have, is there an adjustment on this tiny "tie rod" I need to worry about? oh yeah, my rear window is falling out as well.....
  • I had both rear flap assemblies do exactly what yours did last year. I have an '03. Mine were going to cost $650 each to replace and of course the warranty had expired two months previous. I got in touch with VW and made the argument that these parts should have been better made and after much back & forth they replaced both flaps at N/C. About two months ago the rear passenger window stopped working and had to be replaced ($450). Now two weeks ago the top stopped going down all the way. The dealership charged me $55 to tell me that it needs further investigation and that either the left or the right motors that takes the top up and down need to be replaced. Maybe $700 plus. I'm sure both sides will need to be replaced as it's been my experience that left & right on everything needs to be replaced. I've been very disappointed in the so-called German engineering of this car. But my back window is still in place.
  • Thanks for the reply. It ended up not being a major ordeal; The hardest part was removing the body component from the flap assembly, but the flap assembly is held in place w/ 2 - 4mm head hex head set screws; the sliding cover (slightly forward of this flap assembly) had to be manually held back to access one of the screws, but, once the existing broken assembly was removed, the new assy slid right in and bolted up; I popped the body part back onto the flap assembly, installed the cam rod assembly, and it works like a champ. Still not happy about it breaking to begin with, but the wife really likes the car.......still need to address the rear window trim popping out...
  • It's nice to know that I don't have the only 2004 lemon. Everyone in my dealership knows who I am by name. Just discovered the window falling out the top. I am being told by a top shop that it has to be replaced because the pocket isn't deep enough to reglue and the shrinkage makes it impossible. Of course it is out of warranty. This just 'tops' the list of issues with this car. Every time something breaks I have to bring it back 3 to 4 times before they get it right. I have been through 3 head lights including wiring harness (but get told I don't have electrical problems even though the wiring harness' are burnt out), 3 batteries, 3 driver side door window regulators, the rods and clips in the top have broken multiple times (including the first week I had it). Then the icing on the cake, the last recall for the air bag sensors, I have to put in a claim to be paid back, because I already had to replace those. I love the idea of my bug and I do love to drive it, but I will not by another VW, I was just saying today, if this is German Engineering, they can keep it. I would rather have my 1981 Chevette back! :sick:
  • The VW dealership in Jackson, MS told me it would cost $4,000 to replace the top and $8,000 if the mechanism also had to be replaced. As it turned out, both had to be replaced, being just out of warranty, so I found a local person recommended to me by a VW buff who restores bugs. He replaced the top at his home garage and the mechanism for under $2,000. I would recommend to anyone facing this problem to find a local person who specializes in VWs or maybe foreign cars to recommend someone to replace the top.

    I just got rid of a 2002 VW Turbo Diesel which I can honestly say was a true lemon and should have been turned in as such. I took a beating on it financially and would have paid someone to take it off my hands. I won't be buying anymore VW products; I won't even buy a German made product. I have owned numerous VWs and an Audi and I will never own another.
  • I have had my beetle convertible since spring of 2004 and have not had too many problems (knock on Wood) I have enjoyed the car and have only recently began to experience some problems now that is out of warranty. I had to pay 600 to fix a problem with the cylinders and the turbo charge unit. I had to fix another problem with the dive train that, thankfully , was still under warranty.

    I put my top down last weekend and heard the loud "crack" and got out to see that the plastic cover plate on the driver side did not "get out of the way" and it cracked it completely off!

    Thanks to all of you I preemptively called VW to tell them that they need to pay for what I would consider a design flaw or a "design failure"

    They did not make any promises...but I will push it.

    Do any of you know if there have been enough problems with this or other top/window issues to prompt a class action suit???

    I would be interested to know.

    Thanks much.
  • UPDATE! I took my car into the dealership today just to have them take a look at it and...LOW AND BEHOLD...THEY SAY I NEED TO PAY $8,000 FOR A NEW TOP! (Aside from the $265 for the cover plate replacement) I tried to get the guy to explain to me why on earth it would need a new frame. I just don't get it. I am going to push VW to pay for this as I consider it a catastrophic failure of one of the most important design features on the car 4 months out of warranty. I am wishing I had bought the extended warranty now.

    Wish me luck!
  • My back window is not falling out...(yet..knock on wood) but the dealer today said they have a repair kit for this now...rather than having to replace the top. Not sure what the cost is though.
  • I had the same problem with my '04 conv. I opened the top last weekend and heard a loud crack. The cover plate cracked completely off. Then I noticed the the fabric of the top had pulled back from the body a little bit. The dealership is saying the whole frame has to be replaced at with an $8,000 price tag!!!!! I am pushing VW to pay for what I consider a major design defect.

    Wish me luck. If they don't I may be looking for someone else to replace it for less cost like you did. Are you happy with this less expensive top?

  • Hi I have an even bigger problem with my 2004 convertible top broke for no reason. - just 4 months out of warranty. They are telling me it will cost $8,000 to replace the entire top!!!!! I followed up with VW America and they came back with a very stingy $4,000 to replace it....can you believe that crap?

    Anyway...what it the website you have outlined in your message above...the link does not work. I am interested in getting my own class action suit started for this problem.

  • Uh oh, this frightens me a bit as by wife just said that she is having problems with her top! I'm certainly not paying $8k to have it fixed. I think the car is going for trade in for a car that will actually not break every other day and one that doesn't cost a minimum of $1000 to get fixed no matter what it is.
  • I, too have a VW Convertible and the top broke as well. It started that it was very difficult to lock the handle--almost impossible. I fotunately had a warrant on my NEWLY purchased 2004 VW Beetle. I have had many problems with this vehicle --the first two weeks--the thermostat failed...the windows wouldn't align..that is when I realized that the top may be out of alignment..they replaced the top--the receipt said 3200.00.

    Now the little arm that lift the flaps up and down broke...which finally got the flap caught in the way of the top and broke off--ugh. How frustrating--eventhough I have warranty coverage is so inconvenient to find time to take it to the dealership--to get repairs done.

    Ever since the top was replaced the windows act strange..the guy at VW Serivce said ,"Oh , I jsut have to reset the windows.." He rolled the windows down..held the button down and then rolled them back up. I was waiting for him to say,m "There ya go little lady!" I drove away becasue there was a Category 3 Hurricane coming that day--so I crossed my fingers.

    That was a month ago and now the windows have a mind of their own---jsut when the driver's side gets up to the top--it rolls back down--argh! I get so angry...

    This car is cute and I have been wanting one since their release in 1987 Honda Accord is more reliable! With it 's 217, 000 mileage. :confuse:
  • I actually have not had too many problems with this car over the 4 1/2 years I owned it. But with this now it seems like I am waiting for the next thing to fail. I still have not had the top fixed. I am contacting the better business bureau to file a complaint and am going to write to VW America to escalate the issue.
  • Hi

    Since having my 06 beetle April of 06, I've had to have VW replace my radio three times because my CD players is constantly giving me CD error messages, kicking the CD out when I shut the car off but still listening the the CD ( i.e. pumping gas) , not reading CD's or having a CD get jammed inside the CD player.

    Is anyone else having these same or similar issues?
  • rope1rope1 Posts: 1
    Anyone know how to bleed the New Beetle Convertible Motor/Pump? Is there a place/valve to bleed the air? Is it in the trunk?
    Any help is appreciated!

  • bobm16bobm16 Posts: 1
    My warranty ended in September 08. The car has 28.8k miles on it. I just found out the side cables inside the roof need to be repaired. Ouch! Also, the rear window is SEPARATING from the interior. The total repair is $650 with dealer "discount". There is also a small defect in the fabric on the exterior, which I have a bad feeling about. Although this was discussed while under warranty, it never was resolved. Any similar experience or advice?
  • I have an 04 Beetle convertible with 19K miles and the right rear flap assembly also broke off. Who or where did you call to convince VW to pay for the repair?
  • dfraherdfraher Posts: 1
    I hope someone can help me. I purchased my convertible bug online and had it shipped to the house. I was out of the country when I bought it. I figured out how to put the top down but the indicator light and buzzer sounds like the top isnt all the way down. The warning ping is the same as when you dont have your seat belt fastened. And it pings when you put the car in gear. Did I miss a step in putting the top down?

    I didnt get an owners manual so I have no idea if I am missing a step, is there a lock for the top or something? :confuse:
  • imbatgirlimbatgirl Posts: 6
    Hey. I am in Jackson, MS and need help with my beetle top. Do you still have the name of the repair person you used? Thanks.
  • belaircarguybelaircarguy Posts: 107
    If you have a power top, when you lower the top it reaches a point where it sounds like it is making a slight "grinding" noise. Continue to hold the button and in a second or two that noise will stop. This is the top being locked into the down position. If you don't lock the top down, you get that buzzer sound as soon as you begin to drive or put the car into gear.

    If you have a manual top, I would believe you have to push the top down into the locked position, but I don't know for sure, as my car has the automatic top.

    Hope this helps.
  • The top flap on my beetle just came flying off in the parking lot a few days ago. I took the beetle to a dealership and they want $700.00 to repair. It seems to me that these cars have many common faults about them. The check engine light stays on, the window regulators are defective, and the air bag system has defects. That was another $250.00 dollar expense for replacement of the seat belt sensor. I am very disappointed in the mechanics of this vehicle. VW needs to acknowledge these recurring problems and recall the defective parts. If you hear about a suit, let me know. I believe that these complaints warrants attention.
  • donalds71donalds71 Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 New Beetle. It has been performing just fine...except, the air-bag light on the dash won't go out and...the trunk will not open.

    As far as the air-bag light is concerned, I'm just not going to worry about it right now, it's the trunks failure to open that has to be fixed. When I use the trunk open switch on driver side door, it "clicks" okay, and the trunk opens about 1/2 inch, but I cannot raise it up. Something is holding it in place. Using the key remote does nothing at all.

    Very frustrating.


    Don Schaaf
  • Don,

    I have a low-mileage 2001 1.8 gas Turbo Beetle and I can offer this on the airbag light:

    My airbag light came on and after researching it found that there is a wiring harness under the seat that controls the side airbags, which are in the sides of the seats. The wires plug in under the seats, and also plug in to the base of the seat belt connectors. The harnesses are micro-thin and also too short, so when you move the seats to gain access to the rear, the wires get pulled loose or break. You'll notice that the bucket seats also pop up when accessing the rear seat, which may be the source of the stress. These wires have very specific electrical resistance, so can't be spliced - or so I am told. I didn't risk it, because I didn't want a deployed airbag. The dealer charged me almost $400 to repair one side. After 8 months of no airbag light, I moved the seats for the first time to gain access to the rear seat, and immediately got an airbag light again. Look under the seat, and if you're lucky, the plug may just be pulled out. If it's on the seatbelt clip, there is a rubber boot on the harness where it plugs into the base of the seatbelt female end. Gently pull that back, and you may see the broken wires. Again, if you're lucky, check the wiring harness under the seats to see if the connectors on either end have slipped out of the sockets. I believe these wires are green and yellow. If you're a rational person, you will probably now start sputtering the following: "This is a safety issue and the government should force a recall!" They didn't.

    If nothing else, if you have to take it to the dealer, mention that you're aware of this defect and they may be too embarrased to tell you you need an $800 airbag module or some similar nonsense.

    On the trunk issue: Mine did that too. I found that if I clicked it and raced to the rear, it would open. If I walked back at a leisurely pace, it would stick when I pulled the handle. When I reprogrammed the remote after changing the battery, it stopped.

    I don't exactly recall the details on how I did that, but it involved putting one key in the door while a second key was in the ignition. It may be in the manual or you can search the procedure on-line.

    Good luck,

  • Came home last night we shut our driver door as normal and the the driver window shattered
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