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 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,179 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #10

Mar 012016


  • 15,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact stated that after the vehicle was parked, fluid was leaking from the front passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that coolant was leaking and an unknown hose needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. On another occasion, the contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, a burning odor emitted inside the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the timing chain and the water pump kit needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. In addition, the contact stated that after the vehicle was started and switched into the drive position, it failed to accelerate without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 15,000.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #9

Jun 152015


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph with the accelerator pedal depressed, the vehicle jerked and stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to be restarted but the failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer; however, the failure was unable to be determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 73,000.

- Lancaster, TX, USA

problem #8

Jul 292014

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 76,291 miles
Exiting garden state parkway sb engine cut out in the middle of the exit ramp. Had to be pushed off and then towed. Dealer diagnosed that it was the timing belt tensioner. This is not covered under my used car warranty however this is a known problem with the 2.0L turbo motors. I contacted VW customer service who told me that they do not have any recalls or technical bulletins for this part. I am aware that the part that is faulty on the timing belt tensioner was only corrected in 2012. I personally know someone whose entire engine was replaced under warranty due to the failure of this part. The faulty part being replaced is a spring. I understand that my vehicle is not in warranty however the problem is known by VW and I should be either partially or entirely covered for this repair. If you want to do your own research, this problem is very easy to find on the internet.

- Middletown, NY, USA

problem #7

Jan 152014

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles


Engine stalls while driving. Epc and check engine light goes on. Loss of power steering. It is a very dangerous problem. It has happened multiple times. The last time was 7/8/2014, the vehicle is in the shop. I am afraid to drive it. Repairs have not been successful in the past. Volkswagen has been contacted they say not recalls are listed.

- Oswego , NY, USA

problem #6

May 242014

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
The battery to alternator wire on these cars overheats and catches fire. I own a car dealership and just had it happen to me. I was lucky and stopped anything horrible from happening but most people would not know enough to stop it or that it was happening. These cars are a huge fire hazard and you need to issue a recall. Check the pictures of burned cars on google. You wont find one complaint but many and plenty of burned cars. So I ask that you do your best to fix this issue. The car I own has a history of the alternator being serviced. Obviously a recall issue that maybe VW should figure out how to fix instead a band aid and out the door. Check car fax on this car. If someone let there car warm they could burn down there house. I am going to reroute this wire and replace it with a better grade of wire.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #5

Feb 172014

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The car was unresponsive. The car turned off. The car was steered to side of the road. The car caught fire and was destroyed in less than 10 minutes.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #4

Mar 202012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles


Ever since we purchased our used 2004 Beetle converitble, the transmission has been a problem. When shifting from 1-3 gears the car jumps and halts. It is horrible. We had the trip tron switch replaced and still no help. I was informed by the mechanic that this is a problem with these cars from 2003 to 2008. A new transmission is over $6000. Apparently, it has to be replaced.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #3

Nov 102012


  • 75,000 miles
My car was fine and it started running a lil funky so I took it to get a diagnostic test and turns out there is a recall on my air bags ! transmission and body valve ? it absolutely doesn't want to go in reverse anymore and I barley bought the car in July of 2012 and this incident happens just 5 months later. Very disappointed please help I am a working nursing student that still makes payments on this car. I know my rights and I feel you can help me out please and thank you. ## VIN failed ##

- Tulare , CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 262012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 49,500 miles
Newly purchased vehicle that has a know issue. The tiptronic automatic transmission slips during gear changing. VW refuses to fix the issue because it is out of the 4 year warranty but the vehicle has less that 50000 miles. There is a know issue for this but I will have to pay $6500 for the repairs>"?" not fair for new buyers who are kept in the dark about a know issue..

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #1

Sep 012012


  • 67,000 miles
Erratic shifting up and down between 1st and 3rd gears. Car lurches to the point that a natural reaction is to relieve your foot from the brake which could cause a rear end collision in some cases. Problematic part is internal valve body which is a known problem with VW's of this make and model. We had the problem fixed then called VW customer care to see about reimbursement and were told that an extended warranty was issued for 7 years or 2010. Since my car had low mileage the intication occurred outside of warranty and I was told by VW that it is now my problem to take care of it to the tune of $2300 parts and labor. Incidentally, I also did not receive the warranty as I was told it would have gone to the original owner anyway. Considering this is a known issue and acknowledged by VW to be problematic up to 70,000 miles I feel that VW should offer up compensation in that it is their faulty part. Any help in recouping costs incurred to fix this problem would be appreciated.

- Nixa, MO, USA

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