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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,676 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Volkswagen Beetle windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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1998 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Apr 272008

Beetle

  • 85,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driver side power window stuck in down position. Pressing the window up toggle results in grinding noise and burnt/electrical smell.

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #29

Aug 012007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles
Since I purchased my Beetle in 2001, it has been an ongoing money drain. In 6 yrs. I have replaced the manual transmission twice, had the brakes worked on a number of times, been unable to open the gas "door" on the car w/ the gas cap latch, had to replace the hood opening latch, had repeated electrical failures, problems w/ front & rear light wiring, had door locks/alarm fail & subsequently had my laptop stolen from the car, the radio has not worked for 1+ year, & it's cover panel is loose & falling back into the dash, the rear-view mirror switches have failed, the power window switches have had to be replaced, the drivers side door fell off (!) of its top hinge when the hinge broke while opening the door normally at a gas station, the air compressor has failed many times, the A/C is currently not working, the drivers side door lock fell out of the handle(!!!!), the catalytic converter has been replaced twice, & the list goes on. Currently I have not been driving the car for several wks B/C though only a week or two out of the shop, again it is having transmission problems. I am at my wits end with this car & having recently graduated from college, am not in the greatest position to have to buy a new car. Moreover, I am so displeased w/ the car that I would literally feel guilty about trading it in to be sold to some other unsuspecting person. VW should be so ashamed of themselves, & should be reimbursing owners of the 1998 Beetle in full for all of the strife & trouble that they have caused. In fact, after writing this & realizing how many problems this car has had, I may try to take legal action - this is totally unacceptable! finally, our local VW dealer is terrible, keeping my car for wks. Longer than expected, one time leaving a candy bar stuck to my passenger side seat!!!, and acting like they could care less about the poor quality of their products & labor.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #28

Apr 142004

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I own a 1998 VW Beetle and two years ago the driver window would not go up or down so I took it to my mechanic and he then notified me of a recall on the windows so he transported it to the nearest VW dealer they repaired it they also scratched the window during the repair and after that repair took place I still had problems with it I called the dealership that supposedly repaired it and left message for GM to call me well I never got a return call and the problem with the window still was there the service manager at this dealership located in colerain twp cincinnati Ohio northgate volkswagon was very rude to me and never did the general manager return my call well long story short I had to have this window problem repaired now originally this was covered under a recall issued by Volkswagen but the problem still existed and they told me sorry we cannot re-fix this sorry well my feelings are that's crazy if the problem still existed they should fix it or Volkswagen should refund my money for having it fixed due to their lack of doing it incorrectly.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #27

Mar 122000

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I"ve had multiple failures with my 1998 Beetle. The car was overheating--found out that the engine fuses were melted over the battery terminal. My reverse lights stopped working--no one has been able to correct that yet, my daytime running lights don't usually work, but sometimes will come on all by themselves. Got locked in my car twice. The alarm sometimes goes off for no reason. The car periodically doesn't start. Had it towed to VW twice for this. They could find no problems. Also, something in the car's electrical components is drowning the battery--have to buy a new battery every six months. I have replaced both windows once. I had the brake light switch replaced three times and was rear -ended once before VW finally did a recall on that part. I'm sure I have left something out--there is so much it's hard to remember. Bottom line--this car is a hazard on the road for the person driving and other motorists.

- Beverly Hills, FL, USA

problem #26

Jan 152005

Beetle 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 31,500 miles
The consumer stated that 1998 Volkswagen Beetle intermittently stalled while driving. The speed was not a factor. The whole electrical system failed when the car stalled. This started happening in January of 2005. The consumer to the car took the dealership, and the dealership could not find the cause of the problem. The consumer did not call the manufacturer. Diagnostic testing was done with no results. The consumer stated the problem has been rectified. The window switch was replaced.

- Bullhead City, AZ, USA

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problem #25

Apr 252005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 97,785 miles
This vehicle has had a series of problems since I have owned it. I have always been a Volkswagen enthusiast. So when I saw the new Beetles I was naturally excited and couldn't wait to own one. What I expected was Volkswagen usual excellent quality and value for money. What I got was a vehicle that not only is an inconvenience to drive, but is also a safety concern. This vehicle has had at least 8 major defects. I call them defects because so many others have experienced similar issues with their new Beetles. Keep in mind the vehicle is regularly maintained, and is only at 97,000 miles. 1. check engine light is on and vehicle stalls or cuts out on a regular basis. 2. the low beams on my headlights always burn out. I change the lights and they just burn out again. I always have to drive instead with my high beams on. 3. my driver side and passenger side windows have fallen into my doors. Meaning that they wont roll up, a loud, noise can be heard when you try. I was told by Volkswagen that they were "aware" of the problem. They even told me that it was because they used plastic clips to hold the windows and they are now replacing with metal clips. Fine and good, but while my windows were down my seats became severely stained. (they stain easy) who's going pay for that"?? 4. the window switch that controls the windows going up and down broke off in my hand. 5. the radio tries to load a tape when there isn't one. Hood latch broke, has to be opened with screwdriver now. Thanks vwoa!! 6. heater motor turns up and down on its own 7. engine holds high rpms in highway, rapid iol consumption. 8 reverse lights malfunctioned. Questions vwoa" call me, we'll chat 269-986-0996.

- Tekonsha, MI, USA

problem #24

Jun 162004

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The electric window would not move in the consumers vehicle. The manufactured issued a recall for the same problem, however they refused to pay for the repair since the vehicle was originally registered in Canada. The (the owner bought the parts and repaired the vehicle.

- Troy, OH, USA

problem #23

May 102004

Beetle

  • miles
Passenger side power window and driver side power window malfunctioned and driver side plastic switch broke off.

- Cordova, TN, USA

problem #22

Jul 062002

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
Both passanger and drive window mechinisms had to be replaced. Windows would not go up.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #21

Nov 132003

Beetle

  • 53,000 miles
The power windows rolled down by themselves without warning. Please provide additional information.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #20

Jun 082003

Beetle Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driver side window "fell out". I was driving the car, trying to put the window up when it became stuck. Once stopped, I again tried to put the window up when there was a cracking sound and the whole window just fell into the door. When I called the dealer the secretary was very familiar with this type of problem and was even able to tell me that the original clips to hold the window were plastic and they replace them with metal ones. If this problem is that common that the secretary knows exactly what the problem is and what the remedy is, Volkswagen needs to take care of this problem.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #19

Feb 012003

Beetle 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 40,000 miles
1998 VW Beetle, passenger power window switch defective. The driver side broke for the same reason last yr. And was reported to NHTSA on this web site. I have been told by VW part that these break all the time.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #18

Oct 042002

Beetle

  • miles
Power window regulator failed. Passenger side window now stuck in down position. Same failure happened on driver's side window one year ago. Obviously outside of 24,000 mile warranty.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #17

Nov 012001

Beetle 4-cyl

  • miles
While in motion, the power windows failed. The driver side window failed when consumer was operating it and it just stopped moving and then fell down into the car door. The passenger side window failed in August 2002. Consumer powered the window down and then it would not go back up, leaving it open. The driver window was fixed at the dealership in Vermont and the passenger window was repaired at the dealership in Washington, DC. A Volkswagen representative informed consumer that the power windows were a chronic problem with these vehicles, but that no recall had been issued. Consumer requests reimbursement for monies paid for repairs.

- Richmond, VT, USA

problem #16

Apr 242002

(reported on)

Beetle

  • miles
Power window switch on passenger's side is broken. Can't get window down. Dealer contacted.

- Elizabethtown, NJ, USA

problem #15

Jun 151999

Beetle

  • miles
This car drinks oil, the engine knocks, VW has done nothing to even aknowledge the problem. The window regulators are defective and one broke completely with the window falling out. The passenger side door can not be opend with a key and has been corode

- Smiths Falls Ontario, NY, USA

problem #14

Jul 102000

Beetle

  • miles
The VW is not as reliable as the old ones. Nosafety defect.

- North Canton, OH, USA

problem #13

Mar 202001

(reported on)

Beetle Diesel

  • miles
The window switches have broken twice. They were repaired under warranty the first time. I have not had them replaced a second time, as the warranty had expired due to mileage (even though the switches broke twice within a year of purchase of the vehicle). I do not plan on having the switches replaced again, as I am convinced that they will simply break again. I have seen similar complaints on this website, so I wanted to submit further evidence that there may be a problem with the switches. The air conditioner stopped working about 2 years after purchase of the vehicle. Upon inspection by an independent service station, a leak in the air compressor valve was diagnosed. The mechanic stated that this was unusual and that there did not appear to be any trauma to the unit. I have contacted Volkswagen regarding this problem, but am not optimistic about a resolution, due to their response to the high mileage on the car which negates the warranty. As with the switches I have seen similar complaints on this website and wanted to offer further evidence.

- Phoenixville, PA, USA

problem #12

Mar 202001

(reported on)

Beetle Diesel

  • miles
The switches that control both the driver's and passenger's side windows have broken. The first time they broke, I took the car to the dealer and had the switch replaced under warranty. The switches soon broke for the second time within a year of purchase, but since I have a long commute to work I was outside of the 24,000 mile warranty. I have not had the switches replaced a second time, but have come to accept this inconvenience. However, after reading some other similar complaints on this website, I wanted to offer further evidence that there may be a problem with these window switches.

- Phoenixville, PA, USA

problem #11

Nov 012000

Beetle

  • miles
Driver's side window switches replaced twice, window regulator failed as well.

- South Dartmouth, MA, USA

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