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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,253 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2003 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Mar 312009


  • miles


The window regulators/motors in my 2003 new Beetle convertible have all broken. The front passenger broke twice. The back passenger is now broken and I can't afford to fix it. It is spring in Chicago and rainy. Now I can't drive the car. The last time, the front and back driver's side windows broke. My dealer helped me with the cost since vwoa would not listen. I think I should be reimbursed for the last repair and get the new repair done and paid for by vwoa. Reading the chats and the complaints here tell me this is a known problem. I also was told by vwoa that the recall did not cover the Beetle convertibles. What a loophole! if owners drive the cars regularly and don't baby the windows, they break. My kids' friends won't shut the doors because they are afraid the windows will break. Please force vwoa to pay for these repairs!

- Woodstock, IL, USA

problem #12

Apr 092009


  • miles
My drivers side window will not go up and to fix it will cost over 800 dollars. Several other people have complained about the same thing. Please do something because I cannot afford to pay there price again it has happened before.

- Abingdon, VA, USA

problem #11

Apr 132009


  • 46,000 miles
I have a 2003 VW Beetle that only has 46,000 miles on it. The passenger side back window will not come up. Before I took my Beetle to the dealership to be fixed, I researched this problem on the internet and found that this is a known issue with VW Beetles. There was a class action suit brought by the law firm of stueve siegel hanson in which VW agreed to (1) reimburse all expenses incurred by VW owners in the past related to replacing the defective window regulators, (2) install a redesigned metal window regulator replacing any failed window regulators (which used plastic components) under an extended warranty, (3) extend the warranty for all four window regulators at issue to 7 years from the date of the car purchase including 1999-2003 model year VW golf, gti and jetta and 1998-2003 model year VW Beetle. However, when I spoke with VW about this agreement, they stated that my VW 2003 new Beetle was not included in this settlement because it was a convertible. My car's window regulators are demonstrating the exact failure as these vehicles. It is unsettling to drive a car expecting a window to fall down into the tracks at anytime - especially if it is during the winter, raining, etc. This defect, in my opinion, is a safety issue. Also it is unsettling that Volkswagen of America does not have a company-wide policy concerning the reimbursement for this repair nor has instituted a recall to repair this defect. There are many horror stories of windows failing and cars being out of service for months while backordered parts arrive. I want Volkswagen to cover the full cost to repair any defective window regardless of warranty status. Additionally, VW should be pro-active and issue a recall. This recall would improve Volkswagen's customer service ratings by greatly decreasing the frustration and inconvenience caused by such failures. The lack of a recall gives the impression VW is profiting from the repairs of this defect, instead of taking action.

- Hopkinsville, KY, USA

problem #10

Oct 162008


  • miles


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

- Webb City, MO, USA

problem #9

Dec 162008


  • miles
2003 VW Beetle shifts so very hard between 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear it feels like the car is going to break. Took to dealership to perform a diagnostic. They said it was the transmission gasket. I replaced it, problem still exists. Driver's side window rolls down on its own. Passenger side window hits the top (when putting it up) then rolls down. Dealership says this is a safety feature.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

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problem #8

Dec 092008


  • miles
My complaint is on the 2003 new Beetle convertible rear window regulator. I have replaced the rear left, and right window 3 times, all 3 under warranty. Now, I took my car into fix the back right, and drivers side window, and got a quote of $480 for each window. Why is vwoa making consumers pay for repairs on their cars when it is obviously a design flaw" I have read numerous websites and they were full of people just like me that get stuck with a bill from VW for something that they should be covering. Is there any type of class action happening about this? or possibly a recall" thank you!

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #7

Apr 102008


  • miles


I have a VW new Beetle convertible 2003 less than $49,000 miles and suddenly both back windows stop working properly. Everytime I turn the engine the windows go down and do not want to close with the electric bottom, it is raining and my car is getting damage, I don't have extended warranty. I have called the dealer, I have been told, I have to pay for the repairs. Now, I would like to know if there are any complains in regards to this issue, this is a defect, should the company be responsible? thank you,

- North Bay Village, FL, USA

problem #6

Jun 112007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
Driverside rear electric window ceased functioning on my 2003 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. This hinders lowering the top and I have learned that in some cases the window falls open and cannot be closed. While this has not happened yet, I worry that it might. The replacement part has been on national backorder for months. I have subsequently learned that this is a common problem with this vehicle and other owners are facing the same difficulty getting it resolved. I suspect this to be a seriously defective design to be happening so frequently.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 272007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
The driver's side rear window fell down, and would not come back up. The dealership priced repair at over $600 dollars. Was told of extended warranty for up to 2002 models with similar problem, but not available for 2003 models.

- Bells, TN, USA

problem #4

Jun 262007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Rear passenger side window has fallen down and the dealer wants around $1,000 to repair it. Our thermostat went out last week and cost us $315 for just that, and then the next day our drivers side door hinge broke. The car has around 70,000 miles on it and things keep going wrong every week! I loved this car but the way it is going I will not buy another VW product (even though I owned 2 in the past).

- West Branch, IA, USA

problem #3

Sep 012007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles


2003 new Beetle windows continue to fail rear window failed VW wants $900 to repair stuck in down position front window failed wants $700 for repair I had them fixed during warranty at least 10 times, I don't think they ever get fixed they just keep braking and now they want me to pay?

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #2

Sep 022007


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
In 2006 my right rear window stopped working, luckily the vehicle was still under warranty and the issue was fixed at no charge. Last week the rear driver's side window began having the same problem, and is now at the dealership and will likely cost me at least $900. I have looked at online message boards and found this to be a common problem with the 2003 VW new Beetle convertible, and feel that VW should be paying for this, not car owners.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #1

May 212007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. The contact's vehicle is equipped with windows that roll down slightly when the door is ajar and roll back up when the door is closed. However, when the vehicle was purchased, this feature failed to work properly. The contact had the driver side window motor replaced, but a few weeks later, the failure recurred. Oftentimes, the contact would hear wind noise while driving or water would enter into the vehicle. Currently, the vehicle is at the dealer for a diagnosis. The VIN and engine size were unknown. The current and failure mileages were 44,000.

- Blaine, MN, USA

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