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Volkswagen Beetle Transmission Problems



  • We love the beetle....and this problem is not everytime actually you never know when it will do this...It is very scarey...and definitely a serious situation could arrive from this. Especially in intersections... I will be registering it on line later today..... If you find someone that really knows how to work on them...we want to know...thanks, katherine
  • In June '09 my 2003 VW Beetle convertible with only 64,000 miles on it has been sitting idle since. SOMETHING let loose inside the manual tranny and tore a 3/4" by 2" hole through my bell housing. I am a very conscientious car owner. I bother my husband with all of the noises I hear and closely monitor fluid levels, etc. I have been driving a stick since I learned to it's not me! I am furious. I waited nearly 20 years to finally get a bug convertible and it ends like this!! I have also had the same problems with windows, headlights, turn signals, etc. All of which were denied warranty first!! But this transmission thing is killing us. We bought the car used and are still paying on this POS that doesn't run. Can't afford transmission job or new vehicle. We are lucky to have nice parents who can loan us a vehicle, but it still SUCKS! I WILL NEVER OWN ANOTHER VW! I will be registering a complaint with the NHTSA today! :lemon:
  • I am thankful you found this site and noticed what a Real Problem this is! We are all very frustrated by this. I just recieved a notice from VW today about a Voluntary Emissions Service Action 28F3/p1 Ignition Coil Inspectio/Replacement. So check your mail. As soon as parts come in they will be fixing these. If you already paid to fix this issue there is a reimbursement claim form to fill out. Hopefully with any luck we will Prevail and they will redo this wrong doing!! Im going to be parking mine soon. Sad I cant even trust it to go 2 hours away to the beach for fear I wont make it. Do file your complaint today! Thank you also, Shaunna
  • I went on their web site today and noticed you can see the people who have filed complaints about these same issues. I did not see mine up there as of yet, maybe they havent got it done yet....Gives you a better idea of how crappy this transmission problem is.
  • I have a 2003 VW New Beetle (77,000 mi.) with the same transmission issues described by folks in this Forum; violent banging into gear when shifting with engine revving between gears while vehicle is in motion. I just filed a complaint with NHTSA and pleaded with them to force VW to have a Recall on this dangerous vehicle component before someone is killed; it WILL happen !!
  • There is many problems with these and I am glad to see you filed a complaint as well. I think the value of the car that I bought for 26,000 in 2002 is about the cost of the transmission! Doesnt even make paying to fix it worth the money! This site has been awesome for communicating this problem. However I plan to make flyers and post on other beetle owners in my town! We have to get this taken care of! People need to be aware that their not alone. There is also the plastic water pump part that they installed that is no good, breaking apart. Now they have metal ones. How come that isnt being replaced free of charge? How about the peeling interior on the doors, dash etc....Wow I am so disappointed in the car I grew up loving as a kid!!
  • What a wife's 03 Beetle is doing the same thing. I am just really overwelmed, I see people are getting quotes in the thousands of dollars, all having the same problem. I filled out the complaint form too. I was going to take it to the dealer today but what is the point...4 to 6k. Finally just paid off this thing. what a real POS.
  • I have also posted a complaint, but I have went as far as to contact local television news stations. I live in Georgia and I thought by contacting the Chattanooga stations that it might raise an eyebrow since VW is opening a new plant there. Also contacted 11 Alive news in Atlanta. No such luck on anyone returning calls. This is really becoming an issue. My car is starting to do this everyday about 15 miles of driving it. I am so fearful of this car that I feel like I can't drive it very far. I have to travel for work and also drive round trip of 60 mile a day to and from work. I have also had the same problems with the door handles peeling, the cupholder in the back broke the first time my daughter tired to use it, and the window regulators. I have just had another window break on the back driver side (my car is a convertable). This is getting out of hand!!! We all need help and quick! :cry: :lemon:
  • I am the second owner of a 2005 convertible beetle turbo. So, of course no warranties transfer over. When I bought the car it was on a lease and very well taken care of. It came with every annual check up and I was in love with it! About 4 months of driving it to and from work I noticed a slight slip with the transmission. Then the blue light sensor went off. I took it to the VW dealership. They said it was a water pump problem. It cost an arm and a leg to fix but it did nothing for the slip in the transmission! The problem continues to get worse to the point that I no longer drive it further than a few miles. The car has begun jolting between shifts and takes seconds to switch gears. However just a few days ago the car will no longer go into reverse at all! It is parked and no longer driveable! I do not have the $ for a new transmission and am wondering if it's even worth it!? The car is only 4 years old!!!!!! If anyone has any suggestions I am desperate!!! I'm gonna try aamco... wish me luck! I'm gonna need it VW sux! :mad:
  • Ok - I read all of these responses before I took my car in, so I was prepared for the worst. Still hoped it was simple.....but NOT. $6,800 for a new transmission. My baby has 80,000 miles on him. Sadly, I love this car. I find myself considering $6,800 for a transmission. LOL However, I will search out independent shops tomorrow to see if I can find a better deal. My tech at VW assures me they will never recall them because it would bankrupt VW to deal with it. He's probably right. None the less, I am keeping my receipts in hopes that one day Santa will show up at my door with a recall notice. :cry:

    I know I'm just a girl and everything, but shouldn't you get more than 80,000 miles out of a transmission? Huh? Just seems wrong.......
  • I have a 2005 Beetle with only 67000 miles. 80% freeway, And the transmission started to not shift from 3rd to 4th, and slipping 1st to 2nd to 3rd. I checked the NHTSA site. There are at least 40 others in the past year that have also had the same problem. The problem is the NHTSA site has 3 types of cars the Beetle, New Beetle, and New Beetle Convertiable. And they all have the same transmision and the same problem showing up. When the dealer checked the computer codes for this. VW of america said to replace the Value body of the transmission. Cost with tax $2370. To much for a problem that will be recalled someday soon. :mad:
  • Took the car to a local mechanic. He's been in business for 30 + years, I know him, his family, yadda yadda. He drove the car and believes that the problem is a solenoid or perhaps a computer needs re-setting :surprise: , not the entire transmission. He is looking at the car this morning and will call me this afternoon to let me know. In any event, he laughed when I told him what the dealership wanted for a transmission.

    I agree with all the posts. VW should do something about this issue. Sadly, injuries and lawsuits will probably have to occur first.

    I'll post another update when my mechanic calls me back.
  • I would love to hear what the mechanic says... please keep us posted. I'll use what he says in negotiations with my dealer. You're not in the DC area by any chance, are you?

  • It's the transmission. My mechanic tells me VW won't release the parts to the aftermarket and that's the reason for the exorbitant cost. Even a used transmission would be over $4,000 installed. I have no problem fixing it, it's just the price is outrageous. We replaced the transmission in one of our kids cars last year for $2,500. And it's a 2004 (much abused as well).
  • Nope, I'm in the Birmingham, Al area. And I'm just sick about's like VW is transpiring against me to get the car fixed. I just cannot justify pouring that much money into the car. :(
  • I hope that VW does something soon. I cannot believe that the NTSBA is seeing all these complaints and not planning on doing anything about it all! Be sure that a complaint is filed and you can follow up to see that they posted it also.
  • Thanks for everyone's post on this issue. I too have fallen victim of the latest transmission problems I am reading in the blogs. I have a 2004 VW Beetle with 70,000 miles in immaculate condition and experoencing jerkiness in the transmission as well. I was quoted $450 and $495 dollars by two different VW dealers to change the transmission fluid. I finally called a third VW dealer and the sales rep was honest enough to tell me that VW Beetle has a sealed transmission and the fluid never needs to be replaced. She told me that I could have the car put on the computer for $120.00 to determine if the computer was showing a fault as well as the service technician can advise me what the problem may be. Long story short they charged me an extra $40.00 dollars to top off the transmission fluid and the car still has the same problem. I was told that I can bring the car back to replace a part inside the transmission for $2000 dollars and if that doesn't work, I would need a new transmission for $4000 more. It sounds like I was taken for a fool since I do believe the dealer already knew that this is a common problem and raked me for $160.00. He told me that he already had 5 transmissions waiting for repair. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • Seems amazing to me that all of us have this same problem and they havent done anything about this! Geez I hope that you too will post a complaint with the National Transportation Saftey Board!! This is rediculas!!! People are wasting their hard earned money on a problem that VW already knows is taking place!!! Step up and do the right thing Volkswagan!!!
  • i have a 99 volkswagen 2.0 GLS beetle that i traded my 99 mustang (best car i ever owned) and my mustang didnt have a single problem the 5 years i had it and i really wanted a beetle so i found one and got it. they told me nothing was wrong with it. I have had it about three months. It is a 5 speed and when you put it in reverse it sticks and you have to hit it out, my car was over charging the battery so acid was going everywhere, the glove boxs it broken, my tail light wont fit back in places since the light when out, i have to replace all four spark plugs and wires and it still putts every once in a while when it idols and the check engine light comes on at least once a week.eats gas. MAKES ME MAD THAT I GOT THIS CAR!! cost more money then ANYTHING i have ever owned.
  • mrxakmrxak Posts: 1
    Also have a 99 GLS 2.0. Going on NJ GSP today,cruising @ 65. Stepped on gas and said wheres the movement.Suddenly tranny jerked and slowed down.Read the thread here and decided against taking it to dealer. Just filed complaint with NHTSA. dave
  • Please be sure to complain to the National Highway Transportation Safetly Board like the rest of us have! One way to hopefully get things resolved, Thank you :mad:
  • Well, I seem to be experiencing the same type of issues as everyone else here. My 6spd auto beetle ran over a block of wood several months ago and the transmission started playing up a month or so later. The garage, who have serviced it since new, said the transmission sump was damaged, and this was repaired by my insurance company. However this did not resolve the transmission issues and we took it back to the garage multiple times with jerky changes, flaring etc. eventually we told them we would not take it home until they found what the problem was. Finally a mechanic took it for a drive and experienced it for himself. The phoned me and said that we had to accept a $1000 charge to take the transmission apart and look at it, which we did. We had purchased a mechanical warranty on the car so it should have been covered whether it was accidental damage or a mechanical issue.
    When it was taken apart the accident assessor looked and said, no, it was not a result of the original accident. So we lodged a claim with the Mechanical Insurance Company. We had the repair done while waiting for them to make up their minds on the claim....the valve body was replaced at a cost of $6450 (New Zealand Dollars) and the car is running perfectly again.
    the problem is that the mechanical insurers have turned down the claim as they say it was caused by the original accident and the accident insurers have come back today and said that this is a known and common problem with VW Beetles so it is not a result of the accident.....very frustrating and we are out of pocket severely.
    How often does the valve body fail?
    We now have to take both insurance companies to the Insurance Ombudsman here and get them to sort it out, which could take months. :(
  • I would still file a claim with the National Transportation Safety Board too. Sorry to hear about this and best of luck! :mad:
  • If you are engaging in a class action suit against VW regarding their POC car, especially the transmission, please count us in. We have an '05 new beetle :lemon: convertible 6 spd AT tiptronic which suddenly developed the shifting problems I have been reading about. Dealer, who treated us like pariahs and POS's, tried to tell us first it was a computer module that "learned" how the driver drove and adjusted the transmission to each driver. Too bad I wasn't wearing my hip boots at the time. Then he tried to tell us the transmission simply had too many miles on it at 82K miles. My response was that we have an '87 Pontiac Firebird at home which is getting ready to turn 400K miles and runs just fine. After that they left us sitting for over 90 minutes, ignoring us and hoping we would go away. The car is such a piece of junk VW did not even want to take it in trade on a new vehicle. VW corporate was no help either, just a "we're sorry to hear that you're having problems". The dealer did offer to rebuild the transmission for $6K, but we sort of figured he was just going to drop it out and put in a replacement. Bottom line, we have been telling everyone who will listen what a supreme POC this car is and what a myth the legendary German engineering is also.

    I have also in the last few days written to our entire congressional delegation (house and senate) as well as the NTSB and CPSC asking why there has not been any government pressure to force a recall on an automobile which is obviously dangerous. My wife was nearly killed when her car stopped dead in the middle of a left turn at an extremely busy intersection one day. After fifteen seconds it decided to move again, but by then the lights had changed and she found herself charging into oncoming traffic; of course, she had no other place to go, couldn't stay where she was and couldn't back up.

    We bought this car two years ago used, and I cannot tell you how many problems, major and minor, we have had with it. Just to list a few:

    1. Front bumper passenger side air bag sensor corroded out.
    2. Battery replacement is a major pain/expense.
    3. Front running lights in bumper skirt fell out.
    4. Right front wheel well skirt fell out at speed, causing wife to almost lose control of vehicle.
    5. Left rear power window fell apart internally and will not shut/operate (this only costs $700).
    6. Front seat belt force response sensors went bad and had to be replaced.
    7. Floor mat locks broke, causing floor mats to slide up under brake pedal and accelerator.
    8. Rear ashtray/cupholder assembly fell out, shorting out the rear lighter wiring harness in the process. Very exciting for the rear seat passengers at the time.
    9. Don't get me started about the cup holders for the munchkins from Oz.
    10. Right front headlight locking ring failed, causing assembly to fall out; fortunately was standing still at the time.
    11. Transmission control module failed; had it replaced; but didn't solve the problem.
    12. No way to check the transmission fluid; you have to take it to the dealer.
    13. Transmission shift control failed; diagnosis called for transmission replacement.

    So by all means please include us in any updates, correspondence, or whatever if you are going to pursue this. Everyone on this list serve should write to their congressional delegation, the local press, anyone who will listen, because the only thing VW is going to respond to is bad media coverage and government pressure. Maybe we should also all write to Ralph Nader.
  • This has been a very serious condition for many people. Someone on here mentioned a class action lawsuit however another person also mentioned that the only people who benefit from that are the lawyers. Idk, I will also write in to others that you have. Going to have to do alittle homework on that one. I think calling the local papter wouldnt be a bad idea either. People are spending money trying to fix something and these repair ppl act like they havent got a clue why it does this, Yet they do!!! That makes me so Mad. Taking are hard earned money and not fixing this problem!!! I also have a list of repairs I have done. Not only is the Transmission a HUGE expense but the interior was poorly made also, as you stated. Interior that peels!! Come on!!! Rediculas :mad:
  • Still working through our issues with insurance coverage. The mechanical policy rejected the claim because the ATF Filter was damaged, which they maintain had to have been caused by the accidental damage to the sump as it could not have been caused by any other means.
    Does anyone know of anyway that the ATF fillter can be damaged due to the underlying issues with the VW transmission?
    The accident insurere is turning the claim down because of the kinown issues with VW Beetle transmissions, they are saying that the valve body problem we had is common and not caused by the accident.
    The quote from the mechanical warranty assessor is
    "The transmission pan was replaced due to being damaged, the transmission fluid was "very black and had a strong odour. The ATF Filter was found to be damaged and this could only have been as a result of the damage to the sump and would have allowed contaminants to be washed through the valve body and internals of the transmission."
    the original transmission pan replacement was covered under our accident insurance, but they are refusing to cover the subsequent transmission failure.
  • to VW, probably directing it to the owner of the local VW dealership as well as US top dog. After reading through all of these posts and almost getting rear ended today because my baby couldn't decide which gear to choose -- something has to give. I don't have $6,800 for a new transmission. I don't think I should need a new transmission at 80,000 miles. Especially considering my car has only been serviced by my VW dealership. It would seem that any problem resulting in something as traumatic as a new transmission should have been foretold by something that they should have seen.

    Arrfgghhhh. After I've composed my letter, I'll set up a facebook group and post here to let everyone know. This is absolutely ridiculous. Surely, if we all start screaming, someone will hear us before one of us is seriously hurt. :cry:
  • I know I am crazy, but I am going to take my wife's 2003 Beetle to dealer in a few minutes. I have already filed my complaint, but I will get a quote for the repairs and repost. So far I have to agree, what a POS.
  • Ok, here is my bad news, took it in, they had a quote by noon. Entire transmission plus additional parts, total, very close to $6400.

    I bought this new for my wife off the showroom floor at the same place in 2004. It has 74000 miles on it. Hmm...I do not want to add the cost up per mile to have owned this POS.

    Anyone have any ideas on how we can get some pressure applied.... :mad:
  • Wrote my congressmen too.....lot of good it will do. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
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