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pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,816 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2009 Volkswagen GTI Owner Comments

problem #14

Jan 012010


  • 13,055 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Gti which was purchased in 2009. She stated that while the vehicle was in drive the gear would slip into neutral and would not respond to the accelerator as it should. She had repairs performed on the vehicle twice under NHTSA campaign id number, 09V333000, power train:automatic transmission to no avail. The failure occurred more than three times. No repairs were made to actually correct the failure to date. The current and failure mileages were under 13,055.

- Del Monte, CA, USA

problem #13

Oct 012009


  • 3,000 miles
I purchased the car in the beginning of July 2009, noticed weird shifting but figured it was part of car break in process. Now I notice it happen almost daily. The car shifts harshly during acceleration and deceleration. It jerks forward a lot during bumper to bumper traffic. Lately the car will hesitate when going from complete stop to forward then "buck" forward.

- Lyons, IL, USA

problem #12

Jul 152009


  • miles
The mechatronic unit in my dsg transmission was found to be defective. It would cause the car to shudder and jerk back and forth when starting from a dead stop. It would also do the same thing while in reverse.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #11

Aug 202009


  • 180 miles


The car had been driven for ~20 minutes, then sat for ~45 minutes, and then was driven for an additional 20 minutes before the event occurred, leading me to believe that the engine and transmission were both up to normal operating temperature. The vehicle was exiting a right hand turn and accelerating when the engine rev's shot up to redline and there was no power going to the wheels, only forward momentum kept the car going. It was as if the car was suddenly put into neutral. The indicator on the display was still indicating that the car was in drive. The car was then pulled over to the side of the road, and while still in drive, when the gas pedal was pressed only the rev's shot up with no power to the wheels, exactly as it would in neutral. The ignition was switched off and back on, and the car then operated normally. This was a brand new car with less than 200 miles on it. It has only happened one time. We are currently not driving the vehicle. I'm not sure if this is considered a automatic or manual transmission, but it was a dsg transmission. I will submit it as automatic.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #10

Aug 082009


  • 900 miles
My car was purchased approximately 3 weeks ago. I first noticed an issue during the first week when around 20 minutes into my journey on the Florida turnpike at 70 mph where my Gti's RPM's suddenly swung around to the top for about 2 seconds, I did not notice a loss of power due to the time. This happened again the following week at exactly the same spot! my husband was then driving the vehicle 2 days later (the date listed as incident date), we were in traffic with foot on brake when car jumped and dashboard prnds lights all flashed around 5-6 times. The following day, about 20 minutes into journey at 40 mph, the car disengaged gears and RPM counter went up to top again - perhaps 2-3 seconds. We decided to take car to dealership the next day (Monday Aug 10), (the car did the same thing again on the way). We were called that day to say that they could not duplicate the issue. The next day, we were told that an inquiry was open with VW tech and called later to say it was a sensor issue and would be 2-3 days. On the Thursday evening, I was called to say it was a megatronic unit and would be 30 days - I requested a new car as I had only had this for 3 weeks and was told a manager would call me on Friday. The same service consultant called me on Friday and said they had worked late with VW tech and decided that it was not megatronic but a temperature sensor. The car remains at the dealership and I have been told it should be ready next Friday. I am not sure that the dealership or VW tech are sure themselves what this problem is.

- Saint Cloud, FL, USA

problem #9

Aug 062009


  • 488 miles
At the time of the incident I had been driving for about 20 minutes in moderate traffic on a city street. I stopped at a red light nb at a busy 5 way intersection on a curve. The gear selector was in D. when the light turned green I applied the gas pedal lightly and the car did not move forward. The engine rpms increased but the car made no forward progress. I then attempted to put the car in neutral and back into drive. Also I put the car into S and tiptronic modes as well. None of these actions produced any effect. The only change that I noticed was that the lighted gear indicators next to the shifter flashed "prnds". because I was on a curve traffic approaching from the rear was not able to see me. As a result I activated the hazard flashers. Cars were having to drive around me but fortunately a man in a pickup parked behind me and helped me push my car out of the lane of traffic. After getting the car into a safe spot I turned it off and upon restarting the car it functioned normally.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #8

Aug 022009


  • 1,300 miles


Driving on highway in drive at 65 miles an hour. The gear shift indicator symbols started to flash and the vehicle appeared to be in neutral. Step on the gas and the RPM's go up but I was not moving. I almost got hit from behind by a tractor trailer that was moving at constant speed while I was quickly decelerating without the ability to accelerate. I had to pull over to the side of the road and turn the vehicle off for approximately 5 minutes, before I could get the vehicle to accelerate. Even than it ran rough and not like it did before. The same thing happened the night before but I was on a side road going 40 miles an hour. The vehicle is only a month old and has 1300 miles. Today is Sunday unable to contact dealer for repairs.

- Hampstead, MD, USA

problem #7

Jul 162009


  • 800 miles
My 2009 VW Gti with dsg very briefly lost power while attempting to accelerate on the highway. The engine revved, but the transmission felt as if it were not in gear. This lasted 2-3 seconds, during a merge. Had there been fast-moving traffic closer behind, I could have easily been rear-ended. Lifting off the accelerator and re-applying seemed to get the car back in gear. This was the only occurrence. The car has not been taken for service; I am submitting this complaint in response to the NHTSA's investigation into VW's dsg.

- Farmingdale, NY, USA

problem #6

Mar 012009


  • 7,000 miles
Purchased 2009 VW Gti with dsg transmission in October 2008. Transmission seemed fine until about 7000 miles. Dsg started to have jerky/hard shifts in lower gears 1/2/3 and below 10mph would have surging during light acceleration or coasting to stop. From stopped position would also jerk forward with only a slight throttle input. Problems seems to be only after the car has been driven15-20 minutes and gets hot. When the car is cold it drives normal. Symptoms also seem worse during bumper to bumper traffic when more demand on lower gears and more heat. There is sometimes a noticeable clunking sound when dsg is down shifting from 2-1 and sometimes after the car has come to a stop and need to creep forward (still in 1st gear) will get the clunking sound and like the car almost stalls. All these symptoms happen in either D/S/M mode but reverse gear has no problems. Have asked the VW dealer where I bought the car about this problem and they say they can not reproduce the symptoms.

- Broadlands, VA, USA

problem #5

Jul 122009


  • 5,000 miles
I bought my 2009 VW Gti in January of this year (6 months ago). It now has 5100 miles. At about 2500 miles, the dsg automatic transmission started slipping out of gear at seemingly random times. It only happened a couple of times before my 3000 mile checkup. At that time, VW could not replicate the problem and told me that the car was "operating within specifications." In the last couple of weeks the problem has become a lot more frequent -- happening several times per day at seemingly random times (in parking lots and on the jersey turnpike). When it happens, it acts like I am holding in the clutch on an automatic (no gears at all) and the prindl light on the dashboard flashes. Once, the shift lever also froze and I could not shift out of drive. The only way to get back into gear is to restart the car - and VW tells me that this also resets the fault indicator so that they can diagnose the problem. This problem causes a safety hazard -- losing all power to the engine when I am trying to merge into traffic or in a crowded place where I cannot coast to a safe place to stop and restart the car is extremely dangerous. The general shifting of the car in low gears is also somewhat jerky, but this problem pales in comparison to the complete loss of power at random times.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #4

Jul 022009


  • 1,500 miles


The dsg transmission randomly goes into neutral. Happened to me on the highway, had to stop the car, and turn it off to put the car back in gear. Luckily I was next to the shoulder already since I was taking the car in to the dealership for this problem.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #3

May 152009


  • miles
I purchased my 2009 VW Gti in August of 2008 and have been using it as my daily driver since its purchase. Not knowing the technicalities and specifications of the dsg transmission I drove the car as usual until after having the car for 2 or 3 months when I went to start the car the prnds was flashing in the dash and the key would not turn to unlock (I could attempt to start it though) nor would it remove from the ignition. After 3 failed attempts to start it I got out of the car and returned an hour later to start it and it worked without any problems. I made an appointment with my dealer and they "fixed the issue" my replacing a magnetic sensor in the triptronic unit. I drove the car as usual for a few months and everything was fine (or so I thought). I had a friend ride with me who owns another VW with a dsg transmission and he commented on how bad the shifts were and how it rode bad, so I began to investigate the issues (this being the only dsg car I have driven I did not know my car was driving bad). Turns out the car had a faulty mechatronic unit that was causing my car to have rough shifts, "lurching" motions while in 1st gear and reverse, and then would feel as though the car was going to stall and cut out. I had become accustomed to driving the car as such and had to take extra precautions when parallel parking so my car wouldn't "lurch" and hit the car on either side while parallel parking. You can read about multiple other people with the same problem with a late model VW Gti (particularly 2008 and 2009) on a VW enthusiast forum:

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #2

Jun 102009


  • 5,100 miles
This problem relates to the Volkswagen 2009 dsg transmission available on several 2009 models. Mine is a 2009 Gti. It has occurred several time since purchase 3 weeks ago. From time to time the transmission will unexpectedly shift into neutral. The gear shift lights on the dash flash. This can happen while standing at a stop light or while at speed. The problem seems to be largely unknown by dealers, but is now well documented by owners. Some owners have now had the problem resolved. A discussion of the problem can be found at: like many owners, I have had the car in for diagnostics. No problem was found. Don howson grapevine,

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #1

Jun 022009


  • 1,100 miles
I own a new 2009 VW Gti, dsg, 2-door. I had it just over a month and has about 1100 miles on it. About 2 weeks ago, I parked in my condo and was in "park" and noticed the gear shift lights on the display (P-R-N-D-S) were flashing/blinking. I turned off key and next day everything was fine. About 3-4 days later the same thing happened while in "park" at my house. Again, next day everything was fine. Today, I was at a traffic light in "drive" with the foot on the brake and noticed the gear shift lights on the display were blinking again. When the light turned green, I stepped on the accelerator but nothing happened. The car was running, all power (radio, lights, etc) were operating fine, but it was like the car was in neutral. I shifted into park, reverse, neutral, then drive, and it did not correct the problem. I then turned the car off for 5 seconds then back on and it worked fine. I did research online and on multiple car forums, many others have had this problem recently as well. Most have had their mechatronic module replaced, some have had their shifter assembly sensor replaced and some have had the transmission temperature sensor replaced. This could pose a serious threat of injury or death if this happens while someone, including myself, are turning into or from an intersection and the car goes into this "false neutral" stage with no accelerator to get out of the way of any traffic. Please file this complaint and hopefully VW might issue a recall which is seriously needed for this problem. Thank you!

- Greenbelt, MD, USA

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