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.

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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
42,907 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replace radio amp (1 reports)
2004 Volkswagen Beetle electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 152012


  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles


I still have this car and this problem. But heads up everyone, It is NOT a battery issue! Occasionally our Bug will not start, just does a single click. At first I thought it was the battery and I either jumped it or push started it to get it going again. I replaced the battery and it happened again with a brand new battery.

I have discovered that if I disconnect the positive cable to the battery for about ten seconds and then reconnect it, the car starts right up. So the battery is actually fully charged and not the problem. I've taken it to two different mechanics for this issue and none of them could figure out what was causing it. I have replaced the battery, a melted fuse box, wiring and alternator all to no avail. And what's more, it is hit and miss. Sometimes the car goes months without an issue and then all of a sudden it won't start. Again, if I disconnect the battery, starts right up and runs for weeks or months and then happens again eventually.

I have seen tons of people online with this same problem who think it is a battery issue, but it is not. So frustrating. It's at the point now where we keep a socket wrench in the side door pocket just to disconnect and reconnect the battery for when it happens again. Cute car with LOTS of leg room, just VERY unreliable. Will never own another VW or Ford!

- , Burbank, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 142004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 720 miles

I had just bought my car new when this problem occurred. Wouldn't start, took to shop. They sent me back home. Same problem 2 days later, they had it towed from garage. Radio amp was drawing on the battery. 11 years later I still have this car and they problem has returned. Same exact problem. Same exact solution.

- , Lawrence, KS, USA

problem #1

Oct 012012

Beetle 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

already on the 5th battery, have had the fused all checked and changed the alter. and started have all been tested and come back fine. but the bug will not hold a charge and it can die out as often as every 3 days. it is so stressful never knowing if your car is going to start and did i mention theres only 50714 miles on the bug

- , North Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

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