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:
49,182 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.

2003 Volkswagen Beetle body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #8

Apr 022011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 113,000 miles


This vehicle permeates an odor of crayon wax in heat or cold. More so in heat and when the heat or A/C is being used. The odor sticks to you hair and clothing and is extremely nauseating. In research it is a wax that coats the underlay of the carpet. If you google "crayon smell in VW or how to remove crayon smell in VW" you will find several forums. I believe it is a health hazard. My daughter drives the vehicle primarily & refuses to use the A/C or heat due to the smell making her sick &sticking to her hair and clothes. I drove it for a weekend and had a nauseating migraine all weekend long. Who knows what long term affect this can have on ones health. I called VW, they said its out of warranty. This isnt due to lack of care or maintenance, this is a poor quality material used to manufacture the vehicle that is causing the odor that is making people sick.

- Galt, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 102012


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen new Beetle glx convertible. The contact stated that the rear window separated from the convertible top. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the convertible top needed to be replaced and verified that there was no recall related to the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 012011


  • 18,452 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. The contact was traveling 50 mph when the rear convertible window became loose. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the convertible top needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 18,452.

- Fontana, WI, USA

problem #5

Jun 152010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


2003 new Beetle convertible, rear window separation from convertible top. Failure of adhesive. No repair can be made by the dealer, only solution is to replace the entire top! expensive repair!

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #4

Mar 052011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
2003 new VW Beetle convertible passenger side rear quarter window. Window fails to fully raise and will automatically open when it reaches 2/3 raised position. Faulty window regulator. A very expensive repair.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

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problem #3

Apr 132009

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
The plastic window is separating from the cloth top of my convertible VW. Also, the headlights are constantly blowing bulbs and the sensor light of the passenger side airbag stays on. After fixing the light one time, the dealership mechanics said it was the seatbelt connector problem. They just want money, money, money and I am stuck with a Volkswagen that is not functional for daily use.

- Wetumpka, AL, USA

problem #2

May 272009


  • 40,000 miles
Rear window will not open or close.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #1

Oct 162008


  • miles
2003 Beetle convertible right side window will not roll up or down.

- Webb City, MO, USA

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