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.

4.1

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,593 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.

2001 Volkswagen Beetle brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #5

Oct 152004

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 16,455 miles

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

Both rear brakes locked up, needed to replace calipers, rotors, drums, pads at 16,455miles.

- Bristol, RI, USA

problem #4

Jun 292004

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,127 miles
The rear disc brake pads (both sides) completely worn off/out at 25,000 miles on 2001 VW New beetle. The worn out pads also damaged both rear hub/rotor assemblies, which also had to be replaced by the consumer, at the consumers cost. This car had been in for its 20,000 mile check up to the dealership, and the female owner had asked about rear brake noises that concerned her. The dealership assured her that everything was ok, but sometimes it would just normally make some noises. A few thousand miles later the pads and rotors are completely shot and we have to pick up the tab as the car is now no longer under warranty. VW has had a technical service bulletin(tsb#4602-01 dated 04-02), I recently found out, concerning this particular problem we experienced:brake pads(rear) apparent premature wear. I mentioned this fact to both the dealership in racine, wi and VW at their 1-800-822-8987 "customer care" care number when speaking to mr ken parrott. It was to no avail. The dealership service dept person felt this was "normal" though I contested that opinion. The VW person, mr perrott, said he couldn't even look into the matter as the work was performed at a non VW dealership, though it was a certified Napa autocare service center that did the repair work. He, mr parrott, also stated if I had taken it in to a VW garage was no guarantee they would pay for my expenses either. I asked about "opening a case" w/VW and he said the conversation we were having initiated it and when I hung up(I asked him about this) that the case would be closed, as far as they were concerned. But not as far as I am concerned.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #3

May 012003

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles
While applying the brakes the consumer heard a loud knocking noise from the rear. The consumer drove the vehicle to the dealer for an inspection and the mechanic determined that the rear brakes and rotors needed to be replaced due to corrosion. The rear brakes needed to be replaced along with the rotors. The front brake pads showed no sign of wear and the rear brake pads wore to the extent that the brake rotor was damaged beyond repair. The dash indicator light did not illuminate.

- Long Beach, MS, USA

problem #2

Dec 072003

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,356 miles
I own a 2001 New beetle and have diligently had all factory service performed. At the 20,000 mile service, we reported a metallic rubbing sound from the rear brakes. The dealer inspected and found nothing wrong. The noise continued, at 9,000 miles later we took it back for further inspection. At that time, the dealer informed us we needed new rear rotors and pads at a cost of $357.47. We asked how the brakes could be fine just 9,000 miles previously, and the dealer said that that was the way it was with these New beetles; when the pads wear out, you also have to replace the rotors. I contacted VW customer service, mary genera, who stated that she backed up whatever the dealer said. She further indicated that she had no technical knowledge whatsoever, and refused to provide a technical contact within the company to speak to. She said my only recourse was to work with the dealer. I contacted a local automotive expert, dave finkelestein, (St. Louis post dispatch), who suggested, but could not confirm, that VW might be using a substandard "soft" brake rotor. A followup writtten complaint with the dealer yielded no response. I suspect VW is using substandard parts on their new vehicles. As far as I can tell, the rear pads wore out around 19,000 miles, which is ridiculously low for a new car. This car has had an exteremely large number of mechanical failures, most of them repaired under warranty. It got so bad, VW agreed to extend the warranty an additional 48,000 miles. Unfortunately, this additional warranty does not cover brake rotors. The dealer-provided service provided for this car has been abysmal and I would caution anyone thinking about buying a new VW to think twice. These cars are very poorly made and even more poorly supported by so-called "customer service".

- O Fallon, MO, USA

problem #1

Jan 222004

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 18,028 miles
I have a 2001 Volkswagen New beetle which was leased new from bill cook in farminton hills Michigan. The complaint regards the need for replacement of rear brake pads and rotors at 18,000 miles while the fronts were still at 70%. the dealership found nothing improperly adjusted or any evidence of poor maintenance or abuse. I contacted Volkswagen at 1-800-822-8987 after getting the service completed and opened a case. Volkswagen verified that I have had all recommended service performed according to the dealership records and confirmed the details of my complaint with the service personnel at the dealership. Yet they refuse to compensate in any way, stating that no manufacturing defect exists. I have found a Volkswagen technical service bulletin 4600-01 on the internet regarding uneven pad wear instructing technicians to use an alternate brake pad of different composition. I am an engineer in the automotive industry, and in my opinion this level of repair at this mileage with no evidence of any external cause, especially considering the state of the front brakes, indicates either a defect in design or workmanship in the rear brake system. At the dealership I asked whether I could expect the replacement parts to fail as quickly as the originals and they stated that they would last much longer. The only way this could be true is if the new parts are of a different design or the old parts were defective. This cost me $45 to diagnose and $399.15 parts and labor plus tax and shop fees to repair. I expect a longer life for these components on a new vehicle and consider this to be defective and the responsibility of Volkswagen to repair.

- Westland, MI, USA

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