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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,422 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.

2009 Volkswagen GTI brakes problems

brakes problem

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2009 Volkswagen GTI Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Sep 092016


  • 115,160 miles


While driving the vehicle steering system became tight, ABS and brake light came on as well as check engine, steering system malfunction, epc and stability control lights lit up on dash. Also, fuel gauge would drop to empty and speedometer went to zero miles per hour while the car was in motion. This happened on a city street going straight or turning.

- Ocklawaha, FL, USA

problem #36

Mar 212016


  • 52,000 miles
I was driving on the freeway when I had to make a sudden stop. My brakes locked up and my ABS, brake, and ESC lights came on. I tried to regain control but ended up spinning out on the freeway and hitting the guard rail. Had to fix taillight and bumper is scratched. This problem is extremely dangerous because when I was braking I was braking under the impression that my ABS system was working correctly and I did not pump the brakes. I was only notified that my ABS, ESC, and brake were having issues after I was in the panic brake and it was too late to react and start pumping the brakes. The ABS, ESC, and brake lights turn off after the car is restarted but the problem is still there. I have tried braking hard on wet pavement afterwards to test the issue and the ABS, ESC, and brake lights turn on again when the ABS is supposed to engage. I restart the car and there is no warning that the ABS system is having trouble. I began searching for the issue recently and found on a couple forums that many people have been having the same issue. I believe the issue is with the ABS control module. This is extremely dangerous and Volkswagen needs to recall asap.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #35

Sep 122016


  • 90,050 miles
ABS module failure after 90K miles. Result in loss of power steering, antilock braking system functionality, and traction control at the same time. Also, prevents speedometer and other gauges from reading accurately. Major safety concern and seems to be an wide issue specific to 2009 VW Gti/rabbits. Manufacturer should be responsible for replacement/compensation to owners.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #34

Feb 092016


  • 60,000 miles


ABS module failure. When I drive during snow and winter and my car starts to slide my dash lights up like a christmas tree and beeps loudly. I got kids and don't want to get into an accident with them in the car because of it. ABS doesn't work like it used to. 2K for a fix is definitely not something that I can stomach. VW needs to step it up before someone gets hurt or killed.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #33

Aug 192016


  • 88,000 miles
ABS module failure at 88K miles. Multiple fault codes presents with constant beeping and an error message reading " engine fault! workshop! in the heads up display (epc, emergency brake, electronic steering assist off, traction control off fault codes). This is a safety feature failure that can result in loss of power steering, antilock braking system functionality, and traction control at the same time. The failure of this module represents a serious danger to occupants in the vehicle as the safety features are disabled due to the failure of this crucial part. This can happen at any speed while driving/turning.

- Leander, TX, USA

problem #32

Aug 142016


  • 82,270 miles
At roughly 11pm at night while driving home from the gym the car started beeping and the epc light came on. Shortly after the ABS, check engine light, traction control, brake light(flashing), steering wheel icon, and a message saying engine fault workshop all lit up. I imagine all these lights prompting the car to go into limp mode. My gas gauge stopped working along with the spedometer and the car would only rec about 2K rpms trying to protect itself from further damage(limp mode). Problem would continue on from then. The car won't turn properly as it feels like it's really loose and isn't grabbing the road.

- Marana, AZ, USA

problem #31

Jul 012016


  • miles


VW 2009 Gti 80K miles. Solid ABS, solid power steering light, solid check engine light, solid traction control, and flashing "brake" lights illuminate on the dashboard occasionally upon turning on the vehicle, accompanied by 3 audible beeps. Then, the ABS, traction control, brake, epc, steering, and check engine lights began to come on while driving. ABS and traction control stay illuminated, while the epc, steering, check engine, and brake lights come on intermittently, accompanied by 3 audible beeps. The message "engine fault - workshop!" also shows up on the message display center in the dash. Steering feels a bit stiff. Speedometer, odometer and fuel gauge affected. Dealer has indicated an internal fault in the ABS control module requiring complete replacement. VW corporate offices unwilling to provide extended warranty on these common failures. Expensive fix and very dangerous to drive.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #30

Jul 262016


  • 122,000 miles
While driving at speed, "engine workshop" error code followed by ABS, ESC, "brake" traction control, steering warning yelow, steering warning red, and multiple dings and alarms. Speedometer goes to zero, car is slugginsh... when stopped, the brakes seem soft unless "pumped up" I am concerned that the vehicle controls are not relaible.

- Granite Bay, CA, USA

problem #29

Jun 202016


  • 108,000 miles
2009 VW Gti. ABS, traction control, brake, epc, cel and steering wheel light come on. 3 beeps sound. Speedometer doesn't work. After searching, this appears to be a common issue with the ABS control module. Power steering seems to turn off and on unexpectedly and is quite dangerous while driving. ABS won't work and traction control turns off and on unexpectedly.

- Cedar Park, TX, USA

problem #28

Apr 272016


  • 73,500 miles
Beginning around 55K miles (car was approximately 6 years old) I occasionally would experience a chime followed by ABS light flashing when taking tight turns. It turned off when cycling the engine off/on. Also, sometimes there would be three chimes upon starting the car followed by ABS and ESC warning lights flashing. This could not be removed by cycling the engine off/on. It would stay on while driving and only go away randomly the next time I restarted it later; sometimes it would stay on for many consecutive stops/starts. The symptom of the three chimes upon startup got more frequent recently (70K miles). It would appear almost every day. I researched this on web chat forums and the symptoms appeared to be consistent with other 2009 VW Gti drivers experiencing ABS control module failure. I also consulted my local VW mechanic and he concurred my symptoms were 'early onset' failure and anecdotally he said the 2009 VW Gti control modules have a reputation of early failure. It is worth noting the condition renders the ESC and ABS non-functional. I took the car to the dealer at 73500 miles and he diagnosed ABS control module failure and said it was dangerous to drive. I asked for a goodwill warranty extension and got it; the unit was replaced which appears to have fixed the issue. Luckily, I did not ever encounter a situation that tested the driveability of the car with those systems disabled.

- Sunnyside, NY, USA

problem #27

Mar 282016


  • 96,485 miles


My ABS pump & module were determined to need replacement. Searching online, it seems a large number of people with the 2009 model are having this issue. I was quoted at $2200 to fix it. I was driving on a city street to a restaurant after my wedding and the ABS, traction control and brake lights all came on. Days later the car started to rev weird and the speedometer would not work.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #26

Mar 072016


  • 67,000 miles
For several weeks, solid ABS, solid traction control, and flashing "brake" lights would illuminate on the dashboard occasionally upon turning on the vehicle, accompanied by 3 audible beeps. Then, the ABS, traction control, brake, epc, steering, and check engine lights began to come on while driving. ABS and traction control stay illuminated, while the epc, steering, check engine, and brake lights come on intermittently, accompanied by 3 audible beeps. The message "engine fault - workshop!" also shows up on the message display center in the dash. In addition, while the car is in motion, the speedometer will repeatedly alternate between the actual speed reading and a reading of 0 mph. When the speedometer drops to 0 mph, the engine rpms increase. Finally, the car sputters and bucks when attempting to accelerate rapidly, and steering feels a bit stiff. The dealer has indicated an internal fault in the ABS control module.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #25

Jan 152016


  • 51,000 miles
The ABS pump and module died on my '09 VW Gti at just over 50000 miles. When ABS or traction control is called upon, the systems fail, causing the car to lose control. In my case, it happens every time I hit a snowy or icy patch while driving. Also, the ABS, esp, and braking indicator all light up on the dashboard with the braking light flashing and dinging. All maintenance was current on my car. I was not driving excessively when these incidents occurred. VW wants over $2100 to fix the issue. Volkswagen of America denies there are any problems with the '09 Gti ABS system, despite numerous reports across the internet, and has refused my request for financial assistance to correct a problem they say makes the car unsafe to operate.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #24

Mar 012015


  • 65,000 miles
During any emergency braking situation, my car will lock all four tires and the traction control, ABS, and emergency brake (flashing) lights will turn on. The lights remain on until the car is turned off and on. This is very dangerous fault that appears to be very common on the 2009 Gti. This issue is very easy to reproduce by braking hard from any speed greater than 35 mph. I have been told it is the ABS control module, which is in line with all of the other complaints about the ABS system. Vwoa should recall the ABS control module on the 2009 Gti.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #23

Nov 022015


  • 90,000 miles
2009 Volkswagen Gti ABS control module failure. This appears to be a common problem. Driving down the highway and complete system failure occurred. Numerous dash board annunciator lights and loss of speedometer.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #22

Nov 092015


  • 34,000 miles
Purchased this car brand new from the dealership. Because I lived in the D.C. area, I didn't drive it much, so the car today has about 34K miles. A week ago, I was driving on the highway about 65 mph when the brake light and ABS came on, along with the three warning dings. Took it to the VW dealership on austin, who diagnosed as ABS brake module failure. I found a VW repair shop who would change out the module for $400 less, and I drove it home. Strangely, the lights are off. Based on everything we've found online, this is a serious safety issue for this car. First, the lights should not be shutting off as if the problem has disappeared. Second, a car with this few miles should not have the ABS system failing. VW needs to issue an immediate recall to replace all of these 2009 Gti ABS modules before someone is killed.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #21

Aug 032015


  • miles
ABS, traction control and brake light come on all together. The ABS module is failing. This appears to be a rampant problem with many 2009 Gti's. the bad module also makes power steering go out, as well as the fuel gauge and speedometer not work.

- Alhambra, CA, USA

problem #20

Jun 132015


  • 65,000 miles
2009 Volkswagen Gti - ABS control module or pump failure. Under normal driving conditions, several dash lights came on including "brake" and "ABS", as well as being accompanied by beeping. The ABS system in the vehicle was no longer active as soon as this happened. Once the car was turned off and back on, the lights were gone and ABS was active. Now, in any inclement weather, this happens and immediately disables the ABS, which is a huge safety hazard. Volkswagen does not currently acknowledge this issue.

- Rippey, IA, USA

problem #19

Aug 122015


  • 104,000 miles
ABS and traction control warning lights on the dash had intermittently appeared on several occasion over the past three months while driving at various speeds and conditions. The warning lights would stay on until I turned the car off. Once restarted the lights would be off. On 12-Aug-15 the same warning lights came on when I started the car. They remained on after turning the car off and restarting. Three warning beeps were then heard at several minute intervals until I reach my destination. Other warning lights came on briefly then went out. I was informed by a mechanic that the ABS control module had failed. Based on an internet search I understand this is a common issue with the 2009 VW Gti.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #18

Jun 132015


  • miles
One or more of the breaks locked up on the car. The ABS, epc, traction control, and a number of other lights on the car lit up and began flashing. The car's speedometer and fuel guage stopped working. After the car was restarted most of the errors went away but have since reappeared. Based on the number of posts I'm finding online, this appears to be a wide-spread problem with the 09's.

- Herndon, VA, USA

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