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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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,584 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.

2004 Volkswagen Beetle electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Sep 172010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 63,782 miles


Problem with transmission, gear stuck in low.

- Temecula, CA, USA

problem #14

Aug 212010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
I have a 2004 VW bug with 51,000 miles. The car started jerking so hard its almost caused several accidents to me and others ! VW says it needs a new 7000 dollar transmission! they wont admit the problem is of epic proportions with this model. It's all over the internet. My car has also had the window motor go out and many parts just fall off such as seatbelt latch cover. These cars should be recalled for safety!please help me get VW to fix this problem! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #13

Aug 222010


  • 78,563 miles
My left front headlamp failed while driving. I thought it would be just a bulb. I went to pull the bulb and the headlamp harness was melted and fused. I contacted the local VW dealer and they claimed this can happen and I would have to replace the entire assembly. This is a $400 repair. Why does the harness melt, this is a fire hazard under the hood. Plus what if this happens to both headlights at the same time ??

- Burbank, IL, USA

problem #12

Jun 122010


  • 50 miles


2004 VW turbo Beetle--after last two dealer servicing the car dies on turns--dash lights come on, no power steering. Car regains power in @ 2 seconds. A definite safety concern. The dealer and VW America want to start replacing parts and see what works at my expense. Have been without my car for three weeks.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #11

Mar 162010


  • 61,500 miles
At about 35,000 miles my car started slipping with the transmission. It would jerk forward and sometimes get stuck in between 1, 3, and 4th gears. This was not a huge problem at this point and during my regular check ups, VW dealership always said there was no problem detected. 2. the automatic transmission is now failing at 60,000 miles. It has almost caused me several accidents, especially at intersections. People almost rearend me daily. Not only is the car jerking forward and backward upon gear shifting, but now it gets stuck period and will not move..the RPM's going all the way to 6-7. the tires spin, the car groans horribly, the gears show up on my dash in brackets. When I had a diagnostic test done at the dealership about four months ago, and I explained in detail the tranny problem, they said nothing was wrong with it. Now, I can tell it is almost undrivable at this pt. On my fifteen mile commute home today, I had to pull over seven times because the transmission failed. I could not get out of first gear then it jumped to six. I was stuck in the middle of an intersection at a red light, almost getting backended. This is terrifying. I had a panic attack. I have an appt. Tomorrow at the dealership to see what the problem is and how much money this will cost me. My car has always been checked up regularly.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #10

Mar 042010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
My 2004 VW Beetle turbo convertible check engine light came on, vehicle then stalled out, smoke came out of engine hood, embers fell below car, smoke continued to poor out of engine hood, flames came out of engine hood, 911 called and fire dept and fire marshall put out fire. I am now waiting to hear from my insurance company.

- Medford, NJ, USA

problem #9

Jun 302009


  • 37,000 miles


The electrical system shorted out and shut down in the middle of traffic. And front headlight goes off and on the drivers side.

- Pasadena, TX, USA

problem #8

Jul 122008

Beetle 4-cyl

  • miles
2004 Volkswagen new Beetle turbo gls has a defective part producing high voltage. Consumer wants to be reimbursed for expenses and depreciation because the vehicle was damaged beyond repair. The dealer told the consumer the vehicle needed a new window motor. The consumer decided to have the work done somewhere else, so they gave her a cable kit and not a regulator. The other repair shop stated it was the regulator that was defective. The consumer also stated the vehicle would not start. The consumer received a second opinion after the original dealer implied she had done something wrong. It was determined that something was overcharging the alternator, which turned out that a new battery was needed. A couple of days later, the vehicle would not start again, the consumer was informed the window motor was causing high voltage even when the vehicle was shut off; it was draining the power. The consumer stated the dealer refused to accept responsibility for leaving the defective window motor in the vehicle.

- Odenton, MD, USA

problem #7

Aug 282007

Beetle 2-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 330,000 miles
I have had my 2004 VW Beetle at boardwalk dealership in richardson, tx 3 times for the same problem. My car will lose all power the battery light will come on I will have to turn the car off and restart the car. This has happen on interstates as well as on busy streets. I am very fearful that I am going to be in a very bad accident. I take my 76 year old mother to the doctor several times a month. She has had 2 major back surgeries this year. I have had the car in the shop on 9-4-07, 9-18-07, 9-21-0. all for the same thing. On 9-27-07, I was in down town dallas and it happened at least 7 times. I called the dealership and they had a wrecker to put me and the car up. They are telling me today 10-26-07 to pick the car up that they can't get the car to duplicate the problem. There is a bad problem with this car not having any power and I am scared to drive it.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #6

Sep 012005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • miles
Purchased brand new. Problems I have had with this car: 1. rear power windows have both taken turns falling down into the body. Will not power up. One has been replaced. Dealer now won't fix second one because they 'don't see it as a known problem.' 2. headliner around rear window has come undone. 3. headlights have to be replaced constantly. For example; a light bulb was installed on a Saturday, and had stopped working by the following Wednesday. 4. rubber coating on glove box and on interior doors is peeling off. Dealer would not even condsider fixing or addressing. 5. key assembly for arm console broke almost immediately. It took approximately 8 months, and several reminders, to get dealer to replace. 6. sometimes radio stays on after key has been removed from ignition. 7. air bag light stays on. Won't go off. 8. hand release on front passenger seat often gets 'stuck' and will not work. 9. cup holder has come off track. I only drive this car to-and-from work. No kids/passengers ride in it. It has not had any owner abuse. I will never buy another Volkswagen product.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #5

Dec 152005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,166 miles


Major electrical, mechanical malfunction (see 10148507, 10148481) 5th electrical/mechanical safety issues/4th airbag light/malfunctioned. Vehicle 2nd X towed in 10 days for same issues for freeway breakdown electrical/mechanical malfuction.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 192005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,959 miles
4th electrical failure, 3rd airbag light/malfuction. 5 days after servicing car for airbag safety issue, same repeated problem. (see complaint 10148516, 10148511).

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 122005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,963 miles
3rd electrical failure, 2nd airbag light/malfunction. Continued issue with airbag light on/malfunctioning spontaneously.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 042003

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,048 miles
4 days after purchasing volksw Beetle 1.8L turbo I had a complete electrical system failure while driving. No readouts, engine will crank, but does not turn over. No electrical lights or readouts. Had to have vehicle towed to bob baker Volkswagen dealership where car was purchased for service. Repeated electrical issues/repairs to current date.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 042004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
Consumer complained about electrical problems; the speakers didn't work/windows kept going up and down, and transmission failed. The car was not even a one year old. The replaced transmission still performs poorly. The air bag light came on at least 3-4 times.

- Bloomington, CA, USA

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