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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,707 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Jun 202008

Beetle

  • 60,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact stated that the air bag warning light started to illuminate approximately 2 years ago. The dealer replaced the oxygen sensors on three occasions. The seat belt buckle was also replaced; however, the light would continue to illuminate intermittently. The vehicle was recently taken back to the dealer who stated that the air bag needed to be replaced at the owners expense. The dealer confirmed that that repairs were not covered under the extended warranty. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000. The current mileage was approximately 95,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #18

Jun 162007

Beetle

  • 73,000 miles
The airbag light has been on since I purchased my used 2003 Volkswagen new Beetle convertible 1.8T in June '07. We have taken it do the dealer several times, and they have quoted outrageous prices for replacing the front airbag sensors, upwards of $700. Last year there was a recall for the front airbag sensors, which we had replaced. But the light still remains on, and now they say it is the driver's side seatbelt switch, and quoted $300 for repairs. A quick web search shows this seatbelt switch issue is widespread, and is usually caused by broken wires under the seat. Apparently these wires are too short and/or exposed, and can easily be broken by moving the seat too far forward or by items pushed under the seat. I think this is yet another poorly designed system that creates a real hazard for people unwilling or unable to pay for the dealer to poke around until they find and fix the problems.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #17

Apr 152009

Beetle

  • 60,280 miles
1. my airbag light in my car came on. 2. I took it to a repair shop that found the seatbelt sensor had gone bad thus causing the airbag light to come on and the airbags would not deploy in the case of an accident. 3. the seatbelt was replaced so that the sensor would again be working correctly and the airbags would be deployed in the case of an accident. As the seatbelt mechanism was working fine, but just a tiny sensor on the seatbelt arm went bad, it caused my airbags to be deactivated. There should be a lifetime warranty on such safety parts such that there is never a failure to deploy airbags or an issue with seatbelts. The auto repair employees said they have replaced hundreds of these seatbelts in vws for the very same reason I had.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #16

Nov 152005

Beetle

  • 49,491 miles

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

Air bag light and the warning light for malfunction indicator lamp comes on and does not go out also driver seat is stuck. The vehicle was taken on 11/15/2005 at that time it was only the air bag cause; 00591. Drivers seat belt switch faulty it was replaced on 12/12/2007 the same problem and more but, this time I have done a lot of research on the internet and I have found a alot of people have had the same problem and NHTSA is aware of it.the car is no longer under warranty I have had repair driver seat slider. It has been very frustrating, never purchase another VW.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #15

Mar 302009

Beetle

  • 86,000 miles
Airbag light always on even after the 6 second rule that the manual explains.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

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problem #14

Jan 172009

Beetle

  • 40,032 miles
Air bag light came on. I have done a lot of research on the internet and I have found alot of people have had the same problem with VW new Beetle. I feel that this could be a major problem due to the fact that while this light is on the air bags will not work in case of an accident. This is a major safety issue.

- Keystone Heights, FL, USA

problem #13

Dec 092008

Beetle

  • 86,273 miles

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

Car bough used from vs dealership on 7/31/2006. Been in for check engine light 4times, airbag light 3 times, A/C broke once, windows would not roll up once, needed new rotors once, rattling under hood once, battery died two days after I bought it and I had to tow it back to VW. Car jerks when going out of first gear-I told VW this repeatedly and they only tried to fix it after the warranty was up. They told me it would be $700 to fix. On 12/9/2008 my car would not go out of first gear while I was driving it. It had to be towed to my house and has not been driven since. I have had nothing but problems out of this car. I can not put anymore money into it. When the warranty went up, all of the sudden everything started going wrong. I requested prior information from the VW dealership about the other owner before me. I feel that this car was doctored so that I would buy it and then it started falling apart.

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #12

Nov 012008

Beetle

  • 67,100 miles
2003 VW Beetle air bag light came on and stays on, will not go off. Vehicle has never been involved in an accident. NHTSA campaign id number 08V178000, investigation PE08-012, NHTSA action number PE08012 lists model yeas 2003-2005 however, 2003 model with this VIN number not listed. Believe to be same problem.

- Clayton, NC, USA

problem #11

Nov 012008

Beetle

  • 67,100 miles
2003 VW Beetle air bag light came on and stays on, will not go off. Vehicle has never been involved in an accident. NHTSA campaign id number 08V178000, investigation PE08-012, NHTSA action number PE08012 lists model yeas 2003-2005 however, 2003 model with this VIN number not listed. Believe to be same problem.

- Clayton, NC, USA

problem #10

Oct 142008

Beetle

  • 48,000 miles
Air bag light is on. The left front seat belt buckle is the cause of the light being on. Apparently the sensor in the buckle is defective.

- Shelby Twp., MI, USA

problem #9

Nov 202003

Beetle

  • 15,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact noticed that the air bag sensor light illuminated on the instrument panel. The light remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they stated that the failure was due to a loose electrical connector for the driver's side air bag. The recall repair was performed incorrectly. On three separate occasions, the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for the same failure, but with no resolutions. The contact was concerned of the safety risk involved with the air bag deployment. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The failure mileage was 15,000 and current mileage was 45,000.

- San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 082008

Beetle

  • 30,107 miles
Air bags light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer two times on Nov 15,2005 cause:00591 lt side belt switch it was replaced. On Dec/12/ 20007 the test diagnostic and confirm fault cod 00591, drivers seat belt switch faulty. Estimate fore service $472 I had to declined.if they replaced it two years ago it shouldn't have the same problem.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #7

May 052008

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle. When the engine was started, the air bag warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The light illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they stated that the failure was related to the air bag sensor. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was excluded from the recall, although the failures were identical. The failure mileage was 83,000 and current mileage was 85,000. Update 09/10/08 updated 09/15/08.

- Cantonment, FL, USA

problem #6

Oct 012007

Beetle

  • 43,000 miles
The vehicle has less than 47,000 miles on it and the airbag sensor light came on. This airbag has never been used or deployed. It is not damaged and the vehicle has been maintained properly. I was informed by the dealer that it is a defective airbag and I would have to pay over $700 for a new airbag. I believe the dealer should be responsible for the replacement if they equipped the vehicle with a defective airbag.

- Titusville,, FL, USA

problem #5

May 162008

Beetle

  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen new Beetle convertible. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, which indicated that the air bag system was inoperative. She took her vehicle to the dealer and a technician reset the air bag sensors. Immediately after the repair, the failure recurred. The dealer stated that the sensors needed to be replaced at the discounted price of $250. The manufacturer stated that because the recall for NHTSA campaign id number 08V178000 (air bags:frontal:sensor/control module) does not begin until July 31, 2008, the contact would have to pay for the repairs. The current and failure mileages were 32,000.

- Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #4

Dec 052007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 65,056 miles
I was involved in a crash while driving my 2003 VW Beetle convertible. I was unable to brake and avoid a semi-truck that was in directly in front of me. I was traveling at a speed between 30-40 mph but did lose conscience so am not sure if remember exactly how fast I was going. My airbag did not deploy and my seat belt did not lock causing my face to slam directly into the steering wheel. The passenger side airbag which contained no passengers nor items did deploy. I suffered facial fractures and a broken nose. My fractures have healed but my nose needs to be reconstructed. My car was serviced at a collision center and then sent to the autobarn in countryside, il where the car was bought used in August of 2006. The car was returned to me on Dec 27 but no explanation was given for the airbag not deploying. The transmission was also not working properly so I returned the car for additional service a few days later. The car was finally returned to me 2 weeks later with a new transmission but still no explanation for the airbag. Upon leaving the autobarn on January 17 with my car, the air bag light turned on and stayed on while I drove about 10 miles. I returned the car the next day and the service department stated the light did not go on for them and offered again no explanation.

- Lombard, IL, USA

problem #3

Sep 142005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,200 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact stated while driving and making a left hand turn the consumer heard a loud popping sound from the right front area. The consumer lost control of the vehicle; applied the brakes and hit the curb. The consumer began to accelerate to avoid hitting a light pole. This did minimize the hitting of the light pole. Upon impact, the front air bags deployed. The only impact on the vehicle was above the right front tire. The service dealer was not willing to cooperate because there was nothing to determine the cause of the accident. The consumer has contacted the manufacturer, and they will respond within 24 hours.

- Mission, KS, USA

problem #2

Apr 292005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,450 miles
2003 new Beetle convertible. The car is less than two years old and the airbag light has turned on for no reason three times. (it stays on.) in Sept '04 dealer replaced a crash sensor; in Oct '04 dealer replaced the airbag; in may '05 dealer replaced crash sensor again. SRS.pco

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #1

Oct 142003

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Powertrain problems-- vehicle has tiptronic. Intermittent failure shifting from automatic to tiptronic manual functionality. In addition, passenger frontal airbag failed within the first week of purchase of the vehicle. Multiple service related complaints.

- Chevy Chase, MD, USA

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