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Volkswagen Beetle Transmission Problems



  • The car of my dreams is turning out to be a bad nightmare. At 54,000 miles a rebuilt transmission. Wow, really VW! Being the second owner, my sister being the first, it was out of warrenty. What SUCKS about the car is that it had very low miles and I really thought I was getting a good, reliable car. NOT NOT NOT!!!!!!After reading all the complaints I'm shocked that VW is not being held accountable for these issues. What's it going to take? The transmissions are faulty! Stand behind your products VW before all your customers go bye bye. :mad:
  • girlcopgirlcop Posts: 6
    When I called VW to complain after the car had another problem earlier this year, they allowed me to skip a payment to pay for repairs. Then sent me a voucher for $1,000 to buy another VW. Are you kidding? NTSB complaint was filled out and yet, no recalls. I received a letter from VW that they will not reimburse me over $7500 in repairs I have made to this car over the last five years which included car rentals! If there is a class action, I want to be included.
  • I suggest that some of you contact ABC news, Good Morning America and 20/20 to get your case look at, I did and I will not stop making noise about this until someone really listens.
  • I have a 2003 VW New Beetle Convertible and I am experiencing transmission problems. I contacted the National Hwy and Safety to lodge a complaint. Additionally, I am experiencing debris coming through the air vents, like a hose is completely destoyed. It is spraying into my face and eyes and has grease like material. Tried to call VW headquarters today at 7pm and they indicated that they were closed even though their hours are until 9pm EST. Go figure. I contacted the sales manager of VW who has no idea of any problems with the transmission or any of these other issue. I also found out that they have a class action law suit that is currently in appeals (I go that information when I called VW HQ). I guess it has something to do with wateringress from the convertible tops - mine was replaced (at my cost). I suggest everyone w/the transmission problems to do the same a call the 1800# listed below to get this moving and let VW know what kind of experiences everyone is having. I only have 67k on my 2003 and an inch thick of service work that has been done on it. I am fed up.
  • Our 2006 New Beetle VW Converible was diagnosed with a "transmission failure" and were told that we needed a new one for $5K with 79K miles. Offered 25% assistance from VW Advocate...VW will not accept responsibility for consistent faulty transmissions and state that since it is out of warranty, they really can't help much. The dealer stated that transmissions should last longer than 79K miles, however, since "Google-ing" this topic I am amazed at how many owners have had the same problem. Is there legal support that we can call? VW said we should complain to the BBB. VW needs to hear our problems and make themselves responsible. Does someone need to be hurt before they do something? Also, our VW NB Conv. has an engine that stops working whenever it feels like...on the freeway, in traffic, etc.and this has been happening for years; however, since it never "breaks" when I take it to the dealer they say that they can't fix what they can't see so they do nothing. Anyone else with an engine that just turns itself off at random? This is going to cost VW more money than had they fixed everyone's transmission when it is all done. Any help for us out there?
  • I have a 2004 New Beetle convertible, which I also bought used with 50,000 miles on it. It is a beautiful little car.

    After the first month I started to notice that it had problems with shifting, lurching, as everyone else. Finally, it would not shift at all and we limped into the VW Dealer, who said it was likely the transmission, at cost of $7,000. But, they did say it might be the valve body and they wouldn't know until they took it apart.

    I had heard enough complaints about the VW Dealer Service that I took it to an AAMCO mechanic nearby. They said it was probably the valve body but if it was the transmission they could rebuild it for $3500 or so.

    My husband called VW to complain, got nowhere. On the VW website, there is a place for warranty questions, claims, or complaints (not sure exactly) but I sent them a notice telling them about my situation, how many complaints were on, NTSB complaints, etc. They actually called back to discuss my problem but didn't offer anything specific except to "save my receipts."

    Later VW corporate called back and offered to cover a new valve body at the VW Dealer, who I did not trust since they kept saying transmission. AAMCO replaced the valve body for $1900, and the car has been running for nearly a year trouble free. I filed the paperwork with VW and they actually reimbursed me for the repair, including the $200 the VW dealer charged me for their diagnostics.

    So, keep pushing VW, but don't assume it's necessarily a completely new transmission and try another mechanic who might not be so expensive. Be sure whoever you use knows there is special transmission fluid for the triptronic (if that is what you have) and to not use just any type. The VW fluid is pretty expensive but absolutely necessary.

    Good luck to you, and definitely file with the NTSB site that everyone is talking about. Keep pushing, in a nice way, and hopefully you will succeed.
  • You may be the only lucky person here, maybe you were covered under the extended warranty, I have a 2004 and they told me the warranty expired in march of this year even if the car has only 65.000 miles on it. Nothing is being done for anyone else. I had my transmission and valve body fixed by AAMCO at a cost of $6000.
  • I am in your same boat! VW consumer advocate, region case manager and their supervisor all said to me last week...go to the BBB or use means outside of VW (whatever that means? Class-Action?) They did say that a different "department" monitors the "web" and takes notes on what complaints people have regarding VWs. Apparently this does no good or perhaps they're waiting for someone to get hurt before they do something. I was hoping someone in the legal world could advise on our options! I am telling everyone about bad VW transmissions, ownership of responsibility and lack of caring, and I haven't even begun yet!
  • that debris is probably foam that seals the doors in the evaporator case. you may notice this more when you operate the air temperature knob. i just had the entire hvac behind the dash replaced at a cost of $3000 included replacing the evaporator, expansion valve, and heater core. 2001 beetle tdi.
    this car has only 85k and has now cost more in repairs than what i paid for it.
    vw couldn't give me a car now. talked to vwoa today about a trans. problem
    that i have been having and got the expected answer sorry your car is out of warranty. vw actually does not give a hoot. i could probably get more for my car by parting it out. vw will not address the real issues with their vehicles.
  • why would they sell you a trans w/o the valve body already in it, that doesn't
    make sense. guess it's vw's way of sticking to you.
  • My 2004 Beetle was shifting OK but occasionally making awful noise. When we got it to mechanic, he said the 2 piece fly wheel had separated and made a hole in the side of the housing. As it was out of warranty the only thing VW would do was inspect the transmission to see if the hole was indeed caused by fly wheel failure. It turned out that it was and they dropped the core charge. So it only cost $6000, not 6700.
    We have been in touch with National Safety Board trying to push a recall. No decision on that yet. I would urge any one who has had the transmission fail to do the same.
  • I am having the same problem with my 03 VW Beetle. I do not see the 800 number referenced in your post. Can you post the entire number? Thanks!
  • National Hwy and Traffic Safety Administration. It is an easy process and the phone call will take only 10 minutes to complete. If you really want something done about this issue call 1 888 327 4236 and add you case to create more pressure on the authorities to solve the issue.
  • Hi.
    Like so many here, I need a new transmission. It has 77,000 miles on it.
    My mechanic said if I buy the transmission, he will install it.
    Does anyone know where I can purchase a new or used tranny?
    I appreciate your help.
  • PLEASE READ THIS- I have come back to this thread to write to ALL who are reading, because I honestly believe that the repair we had done AT VW service shop was the solution to the problem!!!
    I have a 2005 VW Beetle, 75,000 miles (so under 100,000 miles and 7 yrs) . It was doing EXACTLY what everyone else on here has described...trouble shifting in the low gears, and also down shifting. It would throw you literally out of the seat. I took it to the transmission place we've used before and trust and they experienced it..although error code was 'gear ratio' ..They honestly thought the transmission was failing the tune of $4500...did not think it was the value body..but based on what I READ I was sure it was the value body. I took it to VW. There were extended warranties on a catalytic converter (we also had an service engine light on, which was diagnosed as the catalytic convertor), the value body and window regulators (although we haven't had that happen yet, but I'm guessing it will probably break soon...based on the fact that they have offered an extended warranty on it). I was ready to hear all kinds of excuses on it, but was told (1) needed a sensor replaced, to bring it up to spec..$515..and that it would 'probably' fix the problem, along with the catalytic convertor...NO IT DIDN"T...exactly the same problem..maybe worse.
    So..took it back, spoke with corporate VW the entire time, and I insisted that the VALUE BODY BE REPLACED. Was told the trans pan was dented and probably caused the filter to jam into flow of fluid, causing restriction..(this was another ploy I had read HERE that they try) BUT I will say my guy at the VW service was a delight! He worked with me and removed the pan, banged out the dent, replaced the value body and NEW FLUID (which I think was a lot to do with the problem, because I think the fluid breaks down over time and I ‘think’ that this is normally a closed system where the fluid is never intuitively you figure the viscosity would wear down) I had to pay for reshaping the pan, new fluid (total cost to me with the sensor above was $700) and VW picked up the cost of the value body. DON'T REPLACE the TRANMISSION UNTIL you try the VALUE BODY replacement!!! IT’s only been 5 days, but it happened daily before and now not at all.
  • I'm having the saaame issues with my 04 convertible beetle. Very upsetting that I was just told by the VW dealer that a valve replacement would not work, I need a total tranny replacement to the tune of $ 7,400 and some change...Seriously!??!! I still owe on this car, so that really bites me in the butt.....Really not sure what to do at this point...Find a cheap re-built trannsmission or just scrap the car...
  • That is exactly what is wrong with my 2003 VW Beetle. I have brought it to numerous mechanics and they all have said the value body needs to be replaced except I've been told that it will cost anywhere between 1,800-2,500 to be fixed.
  • I have purchased three brand new Volkswagens from a Volkswagen dealership in Dallas and am a bug enthusiast. (I used to drive a 1978 convertible beetle.) At 64,000 miles, I am now told I need a new transmission at a cost of $5500 (more than my car is now worth.) I wonder--why was I servicing my car at the dealership and always treating this car with care if the transmission was just going to fail at 60,000 miles? Our other car--a Hyundai hasn't had nearly as many problems and was half the price new. Extremely disappointed.
  • My wife has a 2002 vw bug tdi i am having a problem with the 4th gear surging i can pull into 3rd gear and it will not surge u can also see the rpms move about 200 rpms when this happens..THANKS FOR ANY HELP ON THIS.....
  • Thats the way the '95 Subaru Legacy with 5 speed manual transmission sounds, like it needs to shift to 6th.
  • I wish I had done better research before buying my 2003 New Beetle convertible. I dropped my car off at a transmission shop today because I'm experiencing the same problems that everyone has mentioned in this blog. My car runs normally while it's cold, but as soon as I've been on the road for 15-20 minutes the transmission starts acting up. When I stop the car it jerks and I hear a thud. Once the car gets moving it lurches and chirps gears. The brackets around the gears all light up on my instrument panel, and if I continue to drive the car for 10 or more minutes, it stops changing gears entirely.

    I'm being told that the transmission needs to be rebuilt to the tune of $5,200. The shop offered to change the valve body for $1,600, but explained that it was hit or miss if it would fix the problem, and it would only be a temporary fix. I've had several problems with this car over the 4 years that I've owned it, and calls to VW fall on deaf ears. I worked for Ford for 10 years and Ford Motor Company was willing to help their customers out within reason. It's hard to believe that this problem has been going on for so many years and VW has done nothing to rectify this or help their customers out with a known problem. I refuse to put that kind of money into my car because I'm afraid of what the next problem will cost me.

    Shame on me for buying a VW because I was warned by friends that have had problems with them in the past. I'll be buying a new car within the next couple of weeks and you can bet it won't be another VW.
  • I just had the same problem and went through my paperwork and found out that 2003-2008 models have a warranty extension on their transmission vavle bodies and that an authorized VW dealer must cover the diagnosis and repair. It extends the coverage to either 100,000 miles or 7 years. Hope this helps!
  • interesting - can you tell me exactly what paperwork you're looking at? a document number etc?
  • so did you scarp the car or did you fix it ... i have the same car and same problem
  • just bought the car yesterday 4000 dollars and turns out transmission and other thing are bad i wish i would have did my research
  • Please read my message #576 for background. Here is what happened to me: I was told by VW of America that there was NOTHING VW could do since my car was out of warranty at 79K miles and that they were not responsible for the transmission going out. I asked for a manager and they put me in touch with a Regional Customer Advocate who said they understood that the VW New Beetle has transmission problems and they monitor the Internet; however, not much that could be done but they would review my case and get back to me within 48 hrs. Got a call and they said although they were not at fault and that my warranty had expired, VW was prepared to offer me 25% of the $5200 repair bill to fix my broken transmission and that this offer was only good for 30 days. I told her I was not going to accept.

    I came back to his very website and read about "valve body" recalls and wondered why I didn't qualify for this. Called VW of America back and they checked and said they were sorry I never got a letter but I did qualify for the replacement valve body that addressed hard shifting and transmissions issues and they didn't know why I was never notified. I rec'd a letter from them in 2 weeks providing a free replacement. My VW dealer, VW Cerritos in the Los Angeles, CA area, told me that the valve body on my New Beetle was good and that they were not going to install a replacement one even with the VW of America letter since they KNEW it was the transmission and not the valve body! The service advisor was very difficult and rude. I asked to speak to the general manager and the "owner" of the facility (who's name is on the building) and finally got support to "install a new valve body" per the VW of America letter even though the VW Dealer Service Advisor said that it would NOT fix the problem and I needed to pay $5200 for a new transmission. After leaving it about a week, I pick up my 2006 VW New Beetle with a newly replaced valve body and it runs perfect! I paid $0, fully covered by VW. Amazing how about 3 months of hounding VW of America, talking to managers of managers, being persistent in asking about a recall that I was entitled to that I was never given and even arguing with the VW Service Advisor who didn't want to do the work.....everthing was fixed and the cars' transmission is working great again!

    Except.....the windows are out of alignment again, the shift box is not working, my air bag light is on, there is a moldy smell when I turn on the A/C, front and rear light bulbs went out.....and on and on and on and on.....MY RECOMMENDATION, DON'T EVER BUY A VW NEW BEETLE!!!!!

    I have to ask, how many people would have stopped at the first phone call with VW when told there was nothing that could be done? or would have taken the 25% offered to fix the transmission when it actually was the valve body paid in full by VW? or when the VW Service Advisor said he would not install a new valve body because the one in the car was good and he KNEW it was the transmission? PLEASE, don't give up, use all your options, use this blog, VW needs to hear what a terrible job they are doing and we need to not buy their products that are poorly made with poor materials. You are not alone! Would appreciate any feedback!
  • Please read my post #602 and see if my horrible experience with or 2006 New Beetle VW transmission can help to provide a road map to help you out. Apparently, VW has a range of years that they will issue letters for a new valve body to address the transmission problems. Check with them to see if you qualify and get it fixed for $0!!!!

    Best wishes!
  • Hi, I ironically was in an accident and was hit from behind. As they were repairing my 2003 beetle, I was told that ALL of the wires are correded. THIS was the cause for NUMBEROUS issues in the beetle (head lights on/off, turning signal, drivers side lock not working poperly or portions of the dash board not lighting up). I have no solution...
  • My 99 Beetle will shake when im iding, and starts jumping and hopping when im taking off. I have a 5 speed and it barely runs unless im in 3rd gear. Any ideas on whats wrong??
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