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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,473 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Volkswagen Beetle:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2001 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #8

Feb 102015

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles


I am the 2nd or 3rd third owner, and I should have checked this car out further, since whomever ('s) sold it to me didn't tell me a [xxx] thing was wrong with the car. I am so disgusted about this incident of buying basically a lemon from dishonest creeps. I only drove it once before I handed over every hard earned penny I had saved over such a lengthy time due to the fact I am a struggling single mother. I don't get child support nor welfare, thank you! I paid all I had literally ever saved up ever in my whole life. (yes I am that poor to be quite frank) I paid $4500 for a 2001 VW new Beetle. I have always only ever heard excellent things of VW's, there for I just pray and wish that VW would help!!!!!!!!!!!! now I am without transportation to get to and from work, as well as my children to and from school. I can't even drive to get groceries or anything! help!! why can't VW at least pay to have it fixed" I am just to poor. I am looking into a law suit. Dishonest VW, why can't you just be honest and fix your error and wrong doing" they sell these Beetles knowingly to innocent trusting families, single moms, etc: Etc;, and that alone I believe should be grounds enough for a hell of a law suit. They knowingly put women, children, and innocent people's lives in serious danger with no conscience what so ever. Buying a VW is like playing russian roulette. For you, your children, your family, loved ones and friends. [xxx] even innocent by standers and passer byes. Fix my Beetle evil creeps. May god deal with you eventually either way amen! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #7

Aug 092012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
First noticed it when starting it up in the morning.rough and stalling when putting it in reverse. Never did that before. It has to warm up before I can drive it because it will either stall in reverse, or in drive the car will shudder and take off, it will not idle.when in park it is fine when in drive at stoplights it will surge forward. I have to either press the brake pedal as hard as I can and that doesn't always work, or put it in park or neutral!!!! that was the beginning of my gradually over time stopped shifting either before it reaches 3rd gear or after. I only have 60,000 plus miles on it and it still should be in the powertrain warranty. That it is 2013 it is 12 years after I purchased it !! that's an average of 5,000 miles a year driving! and it still has a defective transmission!! I cannot believe there is no recall on this! they say it is the valve body that is the culprit! then VW better issue me a free replacement! I cannot believe I have to shell out my hard earned money for their screw up! if this valve body has done irreparable damage to my tranny they will have to replace the whole transmission as well! less than 65,000 miles and having a defective part they know about they have to honor that powertrain warranty! I will need and or NHTSA help in this matter! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Tujunga, CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 242012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Automatic transmission has problem and sometimes while driving does not advances, this could be a safety issue.

- Miami , FL, USA

problem #5

Mar 072012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 131,033 miles


After only having this car for one year, this is the fifth time I have had this issue. The car is running fine, then all of a sudden, the transmission downshifts and jerks terribly. On two separate occasions, this has happened in intersections and I was almost T boned in the drivers side door the last time. I have contacted VW and am told "we have had no complaints or issues with the transmission on these cars". yet, a simple google search finds hundreds of similar complaints regarding the "new" VW Beetle transmission issues. More people end up getting killed if VW is not held responsible. Corrective actions that include acknowledging they have a problem and publicly issuing a fix and contacting all owners should be at a minimum. I can tell you that my car is now worthless, no repair shops will work on it, and VW wont' admit to a problem. I am thinking of contacting a lawyer.

- Plainville, IN, USA

problem #4

Nov 012011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 40,750 miles
Approximately one week ago I noted that when I put my 2001 Beetle into drive, the transmission did not catch. As I pushed the gas peddle down, it was necessary to rev the engine and then it would finally catch. The problem has gotten worse over the course of the week and will go into the shop this week. The safety issue is that it is necessary to rev the engine to get it into gear. I have almost hit the car in front of me on 2 occasions, but was able to hit the brake in time. I now push the brake and accelerator at the same time to avoid this possibility. I have read of similar transmission problems on the new Beetle and want to add my experience at a paltry 41,000 miles to the list. I have not had the problems described in other postings such as difficulty shifting from 1st to 2nd or 2nd to 3rd. I also have not had the car downshift or shift to neutral as others have described. The major reason for posting this is the two episodes of almost hitting the car in front of me when the transmission engaged.

- Houston, TX, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #3

Sep 242009


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact stated intermittently when down shifting, the vehicle would jerk excessively and would also hesitate when the contact was attempting to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop on two occasions where unknown repairs were made to the vehicle yet the failure persisted. The failure mileage was 75,000 and the current mileage was 81,000.

- Longmont, CO, USA

problem #2

Mar 012005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • miles
The consumer has had to replace the transmission, bearings, axle, cooling system, seat tracks and bolts and window track in her 2001 Volkswagen new Beetle. The consumer also needed to replace the catalytic converter and the front axle.

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #1

Aug 152003


  • Manual transmission
  • 24,000 miles
I purchased a certified preowned 2001 VW bettle on 7/9/03. On 8/14/03 the vehicle suffered catastrophic failure of the clutch at highway speed after around 1,000 miles after the purchase. On 8/18/03 the selling dealer (bill barry Volkswagen, West hartford, ct) refused to honor the manufacturer's and Connecticut state mandated warranties. A complaint was filed with Volkswagen of America. VW corporate has taken no action to remediate. It has become clear based on my research that this is a common problem with the vehicle.

- West Hartford, CT, USA

Not what you are looking for?