Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
75,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace catalytic converter (1 reports)
1999 Volkswagen Beetle exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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1999 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #1

Apr 082004

Beetle GLS 2.0L Il4

  • Manual transmission
  • 75,000 miles


Check engine light came on, dealer read the code and determined the catalytic converter was bad and had to be replaced. Their cost to replace was in the neighborhood of $1,400 I argued that it should not have gone bad so quickly and that the part must be defective, but you can't argue with the dealer. Car was past the warranty mileage. I found the part online for a little under $400 and replaced it in my driveway. Some months later I recieved a recall notification for this very same problem and VW would replace the part for free or reimburse you if you had the part replaced a mechanic/shop. Since I did it myself, I got nothing from VW.

My Beetle now has 247,000+ miles and I've had to make this repair one other time, probably at around 190,000 miles. During that replacement, 3 of 6 manifold bolts snapped and had to be drilled out and replaced. One was impossible to properly drill out so (because I needed the car) I used a small bit and replacement bolt; as a result, I now have an exhaust leak at the manifold.

Because the Cat is welded to the downpipe, replacing the Catalytic converter is NOT an easy job - at least not in one's driveway; might be easier with a lift(?).

- , Thompson, CT, USA

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