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1999 VW Beetle



  • My 4 month old Beetle has been to the service repair dept. 5 times already. First the side view mirror knob broke off, then the check engine light came on and stayed on, then the air bag light came on. After replacing the airbag, the light came on again so back it went (twice). My dealer is not as friendly as before and claims this has never happened to the new Beetle. He tells me the Jetta is having the same problem though. Now the driver seat is loose and a terrrible odor is coming out of the air vents. He's never heard of these problems either. Help!!!!
  • I'm thinking of buying a 2000 VW Beetle but when I went to test drive the car I noticed that the left most cupholder sticks out beyond the console and into my leg. It was very uncomfortable to drive with my leg leaning against the console in an otherwise very comfortable car. If I buy this car can I remove that one cupholder? It appears that the cupholder is not part of the console molding. Could there be a way of removing it without taking out the whole console. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • bostontbostont Posts: 37
    My niece has a 1999 Bug and has had several small annoying problems like the outside mirror falling off. Her mother, my sister, bought a 2000 and after 1000 miles plus has had no problems at all. I've heard the 1998s had lots of problems but they seem to be cleared up now. Both ladies love their Bugs and I'm thinking of getting one when the lease runs out on my 1999 Rodeo. I had a 1969 auto/stick Bug for 25 years and loved it. I've never been able to understand why they stopped making the auto/stick. It was fun with no mechanical problems.
  • I now own a "87 Toyota Corolla, a most dependable car. I am thinking of getting the 2000 VW bug, but my mechanic, who is honest and wonderful, says that VW parts are much more expensive than
    Toyota's. Any feedback on this? Thanks.
  • bug4pegbug4peg Posts: 15
    VW's are reliable cars. I just got a 2000 new beetle turbo. I spoke with a friend who used to sell VW's and she has owned many, and she didn't even recommend buying the extended warranty, she has so much faith in the brand. I did anyway since it's a turbo, and a 6 yr / 100K warranty (covering everything) for only cost $1200 bucks. That's CHEAP! Take the leap, you'll love the car!
  • I love the car but had to give it up, because there were just too many problems,

    First of all, it seems some people hate the car, I found human saliva on my car twice after returning from class. Scrathed, keyed, spit at.

    this car gets too much attention.
    this car is full of bugs:

    This car had a bad power door locks, bad engine valve intake, an annoying creek from the dashboard, a bad remote transmittier for the door locks, the entire electical system failed at 1500 miles, the technicians at almost every vw shop didn't know how to fix the car, the part for the electrical system took 2 months to get, the engine and suspension started feeling sluggish after 9000 miles. Almost like the old Chryslers.
    and a lot of little things, 6 recalls, some dealers did'nt even know about the recalls.

    I also had a 1989 golf, the most problems I ever had with a car seemed to be with Volkswagens.

    Yeah, the cars ride well for a short time, and at a high cost. Get the extended warranty or be sorry. In 1998 vw club article, Piech, CEO admitted that VW had quality problems with parts.
    disclosure, yeah, anybody doing something to fix it? same with Audi

    I own a 1999 nissan maxima, it's great , no problems, full of power, and comfortable.

    A lingering though it seems I still love the car so much that I've considered buying another beetle, but with a the thrill this car has to offer, it has more than its share of problems.

    If I do buy another one, it'll be the turbo and this time I'll wait for may be the last year, then again, maybe not.
  • Recently I was at my local dealer and saw a beautiful black Beetle GLS with GRAY leather interior. It looked like a great combination. Then when I checked out VW's website, under "Make Your Own", it wouldn't offer gray interior with a black exterior.

    Can anyone clear up this confusion for me? I would like a black 1999 GLS New Beetle with gray leather interior. Also, a side note, the New Beetle was listed just above INVOICE!! Amazing. But I didn't want an automatic.

    What gives? Thanks.
  • gusgus Posts: 254
    Since your question is not entirely maintenance related, why don't you try asking in the Coupes conference, or the Smart Shopper conference. You're more likely to find a few helpful hints in either of those conferences.
  • While I'm certain that some of the issues I'm experiencing have been corrected in years since, I'm a little concerned about the fact that a lot of the 'plastics' (cupholder, shift knob label, driver side window control panel) seem to be a little fragile, and I've had them replaced at the dealer's expense. The VW logo on the back popped off when I had to shut the trunk - probably one of the silliest repairs I've ever had to go to a dealership about!

    But on the whole, I haven't had any mechanical issues with the car yet-- we're nearing that 20,000 mile mark. I've occasionally smelled what I thought was burning oil, but I'm not sure if it's the cars NEAR me or my car. Anyone notice that the New Beetle seems to use more oil than other VW's? The dealership reassured me that nothing was wrong, but I'm still curious.

    If anyone has any list of 'known problems' with the 1998 New Beetle that I should get checked with the dealership on the 20,000 maintenence, please let me know!
  • you post was interesting to me 'cause I'm planning to buy a new '99 beetle very soon. If you do hear fom anyone about list of 'known problems', I'd appreciate it if you would email me the link or info. My name is John Barker...I'm from Georgia..and my email is <<A HREF="">>


  • I took a new beetle for a spin and thought okay this is pretty cool and yup I might buy one. But, I always do as much work as I can myself (when feasible), I'm always more pleased with the results and only go to the dealer when there is little choice. With that said. Has anybody tried working on this vehicle themselves. What have you done? Was it hard? You know brakes, tuneup, upgrades, changed a headlight? I'm pretty comforable working on cars but never touched a VW. I figure it bolts together like other cars, but what are the known weak points on the vehicle, besides the cupholders :-). Also what's the deal with that glove box on dash, it's so small and it looks like everytime you open it the contents would hit the ground! It reminds me of my chevy monza glove box designed by people with no concept of gravity! -thanks
  • There are so many problems outlined by consumers on regarding the beetle, that I am terrified - though I love the car.

    After just winning a lemon action on my 1999 Caddy, I am afraid of the maintenance horror stories that I am reading here and on the NHTSA site...

    So it comes down to this: did VW fix its maintenance nightmare for the New Beetle during 1998-1999 and is the 2000 set to go? Or will the maintenance horrors of those years continue?

    Any info or opinion would be appreciated.
  • rpm6rpm6 Posts: 1
    I am thinking of buying one of these bugs, but I can't seem to get to the site
    What are some of the maintenance horrors of the 1998& 1999 beetles? Any help out there?
  • I wanted to respond to some of the people who have had problems with their New Beetles. First, I was somewhat relieved to hear that others were having trouble. Now I know I'm not crazy. I've had my 1999 New Beetle since the very end of April and have had it serviced for repairs four times already. The first was a faulty coolant pump, only two weeks after I drove it off the lot; second a faulty sensory wire for the stick shift--I stalled in rush hour traffic on an exit ramp and couldn't get myself out of it for a while. The third, not such a biggie, but an annoyance all the same, was a broken switch for the driver's side power window; and the last, which happened on Saturday, was a broken oil flange(?). There was oil and anti-freeze everywhere. It just happened out of the blue and not in the greatest neighborhood.

    I love this car and am pretty attached to it but I'm so disappointed with my experience so far. When it's good, it's great, but when it's bad, it's pretty much useless. Tomorrow I'm meeting with the dealer to talk about the status of my car and the possibility of trading it in for another Beetle. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!
  • tjts2tjts2 Posts: 18
    Today at the VW dealer in San Rafael CA, I saw a crashed Beetle on their lot. It hit someting hard with the right side of the bumper because it had moved back about 10". The car is totaled. The whole front end was bent in. Also, the back wheels were out of alighnmnet so I guess the floor pan had buckled. The airbags had gone off and the right side front window was broken. But evidently, the alarm system still works.
    I don't think the car can be fixed. But for all you gear heads out there, this particular example happened to be a 1.8T auto. And it looked to be in good shape. Did I mention the leather interior and those nice alloys. I am sure somebody could take it off the dealers hands as a basket case.
  • I purchased a 99 GLS back in April of this year and have had no problems with it at all. I have over 16,000 miles on it and have made every maintenance appointment. I'm 6'4" and both my daughters are tall. Plenty of room in both the front and rear seats. As far as "Would I buy another one??" NOT UNTIL VW OF AMERICA STANDS BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT!!!!

    On 9/26 I was involved in an accident that required the front end of my Beetle to be completely replaced. The repair shop indicated that it would take 15 business days to make the necessary repairs. VW was contacted and informed the repair shop that all needed parts would be available by 10/19/99. On 10/14 VW was contacted and informed us that the front bumper was en-route to the repair shop. On several different occasions over the next two weeks VW was contacted to determine the whereabouts of the bumper and each time we were given a different story. Finally after calling the VW Consumer Customer Service Hotline and getting the run-around for two more weeks, a call was made directly to the parts depot in CA and the needed part was taken directly from the cargo container on a ship.
    Upon contacting VW to ascertain if they would share the costs of a rental due to THEIR INABILITY TO OBTAIN PARTS FOR VW PRODUCTS, I was told they didn't see any obligation on their part to share this cost.

  • I would like to add that we love this lilltle car in our family and drive the wheels off it. My e-mail address didn't show up.
    I'd appreciate any information you may have regarding problems with VW OF AMERICA.
  • I own a 99 New Beetle, which I purchased in June of 99.
    I have had no problems with it what so ever. It runs perfectly. It maneuvers through traffic and on the hi-way like a pro. I am even able to smoke past some of the sporty models on the road.

    I have been on 2 road trips with it, and my passengers were equally impressed and enjoyed the ride.

    Given my experience, I would of course wholeheartedly recommend this car.
  • I think you may have misunderstood me. I too... love my little Beetle. I go nuts when some smart [non-permissible content removed] in a Porshe or other crotch rocket pulls next to me and figures what the heck is this guy doing in that lil "POS". Then I just pull away from them while they scratch their heads trying to figure out what just happened.
    My problem is with the corporate entity of VW OF AMERICA. When you have to wait several weeks, renting a car to replace your Beetle because VW can't provide the parts needed to complete a repair on your car. A part that ANY OF THE OTHER CAR MANUFACTURES HAS IN STOCK and, you contact them to see if they will share in the cost of the rental and they flat out inform you that they won't help in any way even if it was their fault that the part wasn't available..., that's when I become disgruntled and decide not to support a company that won't stand behind their products or their inability to provide needed parts in a timely and reasonable manner.
  • gusgus Posts: 254
    Have you considered raising the issue in the News and Views Conference?
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Sounds like a good idea, gus! If you want to talk about your New Beetle with other owners and interested parties, please see the Hatchbacks topic, New Beetle News. You'll also find some good information there about buying a New Beetle. For pricing info, see this topic, also in the Hatchbacks conference.

    To talk about VW and its place in the auto industry today, take a look at News & Views. There are several topics going about various manufacturers and their marketing strategies. That would be the best area for that kind of discussion.

    If you have specific questions about maintaining and repairing your New Beetle, stick around. This is just the place for you!

    carlady/roving host
  • I presently drive a '95 Camry with almost 100,000 miles.Wondering how long to keep it and came across a '98 NewBettle TDI with about 16,000 miles.Wondering if I should trade my reliable(if not real exciting)Toyota for the VW.Wondering specificaly about the reliability of a '98 Beetle.Thanks, superdave4
  • my sister owns a '99 NB and while she has no problems with it as of yet, she said she wouldn't buy a '98 NB. That was the first year for the car and there will always be glitches with it like rattles and knobs and other things breaking or falling off. If you read Edmunds long term road test you'll understand what I mean. I wouldn't pass up a Camry for a '98 NB, maybe a '00 but not the first year for it. Consumer reports puts the NB's reliability as below average so that is something to think about. I say keep the Camry and if you want a NB get a new NB. I hope this helps you a bit.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Great question and answer! I can't stress enough how useful it is to talk to the owners so I do hope you'll check out the links in #52 above.

    carlady/roving host
  • I am about to get price quotes for 2000 Beetle GL or GLS w/ auto trans. Has anyone had any serious problems, or even not too serious problems, with repairs, etc.?? Honda Civic has never let me down, but the Beetle is so unique, I have to give it serious consideration. Thanks for your prompt response. Timing is short!!!
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    If you have not already, why not use our Search feature to the left to find our other topics on Beetles? You'll have lots to read that may help you with your decision.

    Good luck!

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • xvwxxvwx Posts: 3
    Just bought a 2000 beetle GLS turbo. Awesome car.
    Paid 24k out the door. Leather int. aloys, pearl white paint,c/c, its just loaded. No problems except the trunk open display symbol stayed on a few times.
  • I just bought a 2000 beetle GLS. I noticed the first time I use cruise control on the highway that the indicator is not on. I called the dealer and they told me some 2000 GLS models does not have this feature.

    Personally I think that is crap but does anybody have the same experience?
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    I don't know the answer to your question, but I agree with your opinion!

    Have you been to New Beetle News (Topic #179) in our Hatchback conference? You will find other recent purchasers of this model there.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
This discussion has been closed.