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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,017 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 #7

May 102011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • miles


I recently purchased a VW Beetle in may of 2010, for my birthday from hollywood auto brokers in los angeles, ca. The car ran smooth for about a course of five to six months, I had to return to the dealership early on because my head lights were out when I first bought the car. As I continued to drive the car, a jerking and extremely weird deceleration of the car would begin, but it would "pop back to normal" after a while, maybe three to ten seconds. This had gone on and has been going on since five months after I brought it. I finally made it back into the dealership and he rode with me on a test drive around the corner and of course it didn't repeat the previous show of defects. He assured me the car is just being broken in. A year goes by and I decided I want to trade in my car for another car, so I head to Nissan. I test drive a car and love it and then go in for the paper work. The guy runs my VIN to see my car value and come backs and tell me my car title is salvaged. To my disbelief and disgust, I immediately called my financial company, al financial of glendale, ca that I am leasing the car from. They give me the run around and assure me that the title is clean and not a salvage. I continue on my investigation and come to a carfax website to get the real facts on my defected vehicle. The information reveals that not only is the title salvage but it had bodily damage and had been totaled out from the insurance company from it's previous owner. The car had been brought back from Mexico and registered in the states again as a new car I believe. I would really love to get to the bottom of this situation asap and get some closure on a recurring problem that is messing with my income as I am a travel nurse for hospice patients. Recently the water pump has gone out and I'm not sure yet if I need to replace the head gaskets. I hope I can hear an response in a good enough amount of time so I can work out an reimbursement of some kind with payment on either behalf.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #6

Aug 132011

Beetle 4-cyl Diesel

  • 86,000 miles
Engine computer randomly detects fault in turbo system and reduces engine power to unsafe level. Then any traffic maneuver that requires acceleration, I.e. merging onto a freeway, etc., becomes extremely unsafe. Volkswagen service department had the car for three weeks and was unable to repair it.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #5

Mar 022011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 87,456 miles
Broken engine mount bolt without any type of impact; broke after accelerating on a traffic light. Engine mount was replaced.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #4

Jun 172009


  • 48,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. The contact stated while traveling at 5 mph, the vehicle began jerking forward and hesitating to shift into gear. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed that the valve would need to be replaced. The vehicle was then taken to a local repair facility where the valve was replaced. There were no prior warnings of the failure. The failure mileage was 48,000 and the current mileage was 63,000.

- Plesanton, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 132007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,300 miles
I purchased a used 2004 volkswagon convertible new Beetle turbo in April 2005. I noticed the oil light kept coming on, so I set up an appointment to have it serviced. They indicated that there was sludge buildup, and stated that unless I had receipts on recent oil change, the warranty would not cover it. I was frustrated because I was paying on a fairly new Volkswagen, and coud not even drive it. They had quoted me a price of $5,000 to repair it.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #2

Dec 152005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,167 miles
10 days after having Volkswagen Beetle serviced for oil light malfunction issues and while driving the oil sensor light came on again, with check engine light, and making a strange noise. Airbag light was back on for the 4th time in one year!! so I turned off car, called Volkswagen service valencia, and they told me not to drive and to have it towed in. This was the 2nd tow in 10 days. At this point, I was told the engine would need to be torn down, that there was a problem beyond just a sensor light, that Volkswagen was not going to cover the oil sludge problem if that was the diagnosis. I spoke with Volkswagen carlsbad warranty department the individual who sold me my platnium factory extended 100000 miles warranty, and they said it should be covered under drive train warranty, so I had my car towed 150 miles to carlsbad, where vehicle was diagnosed with oil sludge. Now the car was seen 10 days before, and I was told the oil looked fine and it passed all inspection, just a sensor. I have changed oil at service departments. I was told either infrequent oil changes or faulty oil product. Volkswagen has an oil sludge problem with engines, and were deliberately using inferior products, and blamming the consumer for there faults. A car with 53000 miles should not be having oil sludge problems. Thiswas faulty manufacturing. When I called customer care 800 number and spoke with a representative she stated, Volkswagen has an oil sludge problem with the 1.8L turbo engines." Well my volkswagenwas S a 1.8L turbo. So, Volkswagen admitted to a sludge problem, but will not take care of resolving the problem and continued to manufacture inferior products and selling them to unsuspecting customer. This is not only a manufacturing issue it is a safety issue. Twice I broke down on the freeway which were both auto failures with the potential of injury to myself and other on the road.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 052005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,197 miles
Oil light came on while driving. Stopped car immediately. Checked oil and it looked fine. Called Volkswagen, and was told to have car towed to dealership. Aaa towed vehicle to chapman scottsdale autoplex VW dealership service department 6601 East mc dowell St, scottsdale AZ 85257. 480-949-7600. Was told oil sending unit had an internal short, presure testing passed. No other problems with oil system was stated by Volkswagen service department. Sensor replaced. Oil/filter changed. Mileage 52197.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

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