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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,093 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.

2012 Volkswagen GTI drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Volkswagen GTI Owner Comments

problem #6

Jul 162014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Gti. While the vehicle was parked, the contact discovered that the vehicle would shift into neutral on its own. The contact lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unavailable.

- Prior Lake , MN, USA

problem #5

Jan 292015


  • 37,200 miles
Within seconds of starting, the engine stalls (making a sputtering sound) and dies. This seems to happen on warm starts, not hot, not cold. I'm typically able to move the car (only a few feet) before the stall out occurs. The temperature gage seems to be around the 11 O' clock mark when this occurs. Specifically, it's happened after driving the car for 20-40 minutes, then letting the car sit for 1-2 hours. The car starts up again and runs anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour after the incident - closer to the 30 minute mark, pressing the accelerator seems to help the car from stalling. It is difficult to duplicate this behavior, there are no warning lights indicating what the issue may be, and it seems that there is either no fault code generated by the electrical system or it is being erased periodically. This has made it difficult to have the issue diagnosed and repaired by dealer service centers. This is very dangerous, considering it may cause the car to stop in traffic leading to an increased risk of crash. This is not an isolated report, there are other complaints on this site and on several VW forums posted online (these accounts include several videos that confirm this is a consistently experienced problem). Potential issues commonly identified include the fuel pump, fuel filter, or the fuel pump control module. Another VW vehicle - VW tiguan, model year 2007-2014, has been recalled for a similar issue attributed to the electronic control module (ECM) of the vehicle.

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 312012


  • 5,550 miles
While pulling away from a full stop (light) the engine RPM surged to approximately 4000 and the transmission indicator light flashed (a "wrench" icon). The engine continued to rev but there was no movement of the car as if the car was in neutral. I turned off the car and restarted it. The car then shifted properly and the "wrench" icon had disappeared. This occurred while in the middle of an intersection.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #3

Aug 082012

GTI 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles


Vehicle is a manual 6 speed. Two incidents - first, the car wouldn't engage into reverse from a stop until the vehicle ignition was turned off and on several times. Car operated normally for about 2 weeks. Second incident, car wouldn't engage into any gear while moving 10-15 mph uphill while in first gear. During loss of power train, the engine revved in the 4000-5000 RPM range, smoke was visibly coming out of the engine bay and there was complete loss of brakes, including the emergency brake. The vehicle started to roll backward downhill and was stopped by turning the vehicle into the sidewalk. Towed the vehicle to boardwalk VW in redwood city, ca and the service personnel and tow truck driver witnessed that the vehicle's reverse power train was not engaging properly. After 2 days of diagnostics, the technicians were not able to replicate the issue and concluded that the vehicle was operating within manufacturer specifications. No repair was formally performed.

- San Carlos, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 082012

GTI 4-cyl

  • 10,498 miles
I was driving down the road and was coming to a stop sign. I had the clutch all of the way in and shifted into neutral while slowing down I put it into 1st gear with the clutch all the way in and the clutch engaged, causing the car to jerk violently. It went from 2200 RPM to over 6000 immediately. After getting stopped and in neutral I released the clutch pedal for it to stay slammed to the floor. It would not go into first easily with the clutch all the way in.

- Fairmount, IL, USA

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problem #1

Sep 262011

GTI 4-cyl

  • 310 miles
During rush hour traffic, I had to slow down a little in order to allow the car next to me to pass so I could change lanes without hitting the car in front of me. The car seemed to shift into neutral and did not respond when I hit the accelerator. The accelerator pedal actually sunk down to the floor with no response. After a few seconds, the transmission did shift into gear and took off too fast. In the meantime, I was almost rear-ended. This happens almost every day that I drive in heavy traffic. I can't control it so I have to make sure there is not a car within 1/4 mile behind me when I change lanes because the car frequently almost stalls. This also happens sometimes when I make a turn - again, I have to make sure there isn't a car within about 1/4 mile because I may end up practically stopped right in front of an oncoming car. It generally happens when I decelerate and then accelerate and the transmission is in drive. I took the car to the dealer for its 3-month checkup and told them about this. They had a dsg software upgrade which they installed. Neither VW nor the dealer had notified me of this upgrade even though it applied to my car. Unfortunately, the problem still occurs on an almost daily basis. The dealership told me to let them know if I still have the problem when I come back for the 10,000-mile service. This is a safety issue which should be addressed now, not in 7000 miles. I understand that this problem has been reported in Gti's with dsg transmissions since 2009, but VW still has not corrected it.

- Concord, CA, USA

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