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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 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.

1998 Volkswagen Cabrio body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1998 Volkswagen Cabrio Owner Comments

problem #4

Nov 222004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The convertible top ripped above the rear window. The consumer contacted the manufacturer and the dealer and was told the vehicle was not included in the recall. The manufacturer told the owner that the vehicle was no longer under warranty. Provide further details......the dealer stated this car of different years was recalled. Consumer found many complaints of same tear/rip in rag at same spot. The material the roof was made off distintegrated a sa few years went by. The vehicle was noisy and potentially dangerous by not having a secure roof.

- Key Largo, FL, USA

problem #3

Nov 231999


  • miles
After one year, the top started developing black marks, the marks do not come off with soap and water, the top also started turning orange and became sticky, the dealer stated the problem was sun damage, however the vehicle was mostly kept in a garage, the top is now ripping near the back window, VW stated they will pay for half of the repair costs, consumer feels they should be for 100 percent.

- Half Moon Bay, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 012002


  • miles
My tan-vinyl convertible top begin to chemically break-down after 3 1/2 years of owning the car. I was told by VW of America that I was past my warranty and there is nothing they can do. The top continues to deteriorate over time. I have found 15 other 1998 Cabrio owners who have experienced the same problem. All these 98 Cabrios were manufactured at the Volkswagen de Mexico plant between 11/97 and 10/98 and have all exhibited the same problems after exposure to the weather and the sun. VW told me when I purchased my car that the top would be good for over 150,000 miles and I was recently told my a vinyl manufacturer that the material VW uses on the Cabrios should last at least 10 years. The pobrlem is not simply an aesthetic issue. Many owners tops have begun to rip and the glass in the back of the top is coming out. Even my top has begun to tear. Chemical experts say something that was used on the top during production has caused the polymers to leech out of the pvc in the vinyl with exposure to sunlight. And as the vinyl continues to weaken we have less material keeping out weather conditions. In addition, in the event of an accident the top will not provide any barrier for dirvers and passengers. This is a serious issue. I eventually went to my local dealership, seacoast VW, and they looked the car over as did the VW district manager and they offered me 50 percent towards the top reaplacement. So I would have to pay $600 out of my pocket for a defect that originated with VW. I have various and numerous documneted info of the problem, which I can provide you with if needed. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

- Portsmouth, NH, USA

problem #1

Jul 201999


  • miles
Dealership did not remove shipping cover tabs from convertible top, causing black marks on vinyl top, and major water leakage

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

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