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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
48,787 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.

2003 Volkswagen GTI seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Volkswagen GTI Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 012009


  • 62,174 miles


Driving to school and was about to pull into the school when I was cut off, swerved out of the way and went on to the curb at an angle to where it only hit the front right tire. I quickly came down and my side curtain airbags deployed. I was going about 30 but slowed down to about 10 mph right before impact. I have hit potholes harder and nothing happens. Seems like a clear malfunction my friend was hit by the airbag, but suffered no serious injuries. The only exterior damage was that I got a leak in my right front tire and had to get it replaced.

- Cypress, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 042008


  • 97,000 miles
Driver side air bags deployed while I was driving 70mph down I 75 N in Ohio. I did not hit, clip or graze another vehicle. Clear malfunction, have pictures to prove it. Luckily it was 5:30am Monday August 4th, 2008 and there were few cars on the road.

- Liberty Township, OH, USA

problem #4

Dec 012006

GTI 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,600 miles
Was driving the speed limit down interstate 5 in Washington, adhering to the speed limit. When my passenger curtain airbag and side seat air bag deployed for no apparent reason. It is a 2003 Volkswagen Gti. My friend sitting in the passenger seat was bruised up rather neatly.

- Forest Grove, OR, USA

problem #3

Nov 012005

GTI 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 57,000 miles


I was making a left turn across a major highway. Pulled into the lane of traffic when an oncoming car moved into my lane. I was traveling around 20 mph, and consequently slowed to approximately 10 mph. In avoiding the car I turned left and the drivers side of the car hit a curb. The car drove up onto the curb and then quickly off of it. It was not a direct impact, the curb was hit at an angle. The curtain and side airbags both fired on the driver side. There was no significant deceleration, and I have hit pothole harder than this impact and the airbags did not deploy. The car is currently begin evaluated by my local dealer.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #2

Jan 132005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,950 miles
Consumer was driving at 5 mph and struck a pot hole and side door air bags deployed. Also, side window malfunctioned, and seat recliner broke.

- Indio, CA, USA

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problem #1

Oct 172003

GTI 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 18,000 miles
Hit a curb at a low rate of speed ( less than 5mph) and driver side side impact air bag deployed. Only external damage to car was flat tire.

- Princeton Junction, NJ, USA

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