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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,042 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.

2001 Volkswagen Golf electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Volkswagen Golf Owner Comments

problem #8

Jun 022015


  • 174,000 miles


Hello, I noticed a recall done on these VW vehicles. ( the recall is due to the brake lights and blinker lights not working together. If I am signaling left and I put my brakes on, the signal switches sides and the lights start blinking. This happens with both directions. This is a huge saftey issue and its not due to any aftermarket tinkering. I called volkswagon to help me with this problem and they declined any assistance to me. It makes sense for them to fix this if it was a recall at one point. Thank you

- Whitehorse, AK, USA

problem #7

Sep 182010


  • 195,050 miles
A plastic burning smell in cabin was noted at highway speed. Upon exiting the highway, smoke was seen coming from the HVAC control panel. Recirculation fan was switched from high speed setting to off. The smoke continued to intensify, until all DC power was removed from the car. Maintenance found the HVAC controller, rotatory fan speed switch to have melted in the off position due to the heat of the electrical arching in side the switch. Damaged limited to the HVAC control panel P/N 1J0 820 045F manufactured by valeo.

- Detroit , MI, USA

problem #6

Jul 202010


  • 192,285 miles
2001 VW Golf with 192285 mi experienced loss of electrical power to systems that are mounted on the rear hatch back door, (third brake light, rear defrosters, and wiper). Upon inspection of the wiring harness found the wiring chaffed and or broken at point where the harness passes through the harness shield. (where the harness passes from the car body to the lift gate)

- Detroit , MI, USA

problem #5

Jun 042005


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Volkswagen Golf. While driving approximately 60 mph on normal road conditions, the engine experienced low power, rough idling, and hesitation. The check engine and air bag warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. The indicators remained lit until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who stated that the failures were related to the coil pack. The vehicle was repaired. On two separate occasions after the repair, the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for identical failures with no resolutions. The vehicle currently is inoperable and has not been repaired for the malfunction. The failure mileage was 90,000 and current mileage was 150,000.

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #4

Sep 022008


  • 112,000 miles
VW 2001 Golf tdi spontaneously combusted while driving. Auto was a total loss due to fire.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #3

Mar 072005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
2001 Volkswagen Golf experiencing problems with glove compartment lock, driver's side window, ignition coils, and instrument panel. The glove box lock and driver's side window were replaced under warranty. The instrument cluster was not replaced free of charge due to the age and mileage of the vehicle.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 212001

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 51,000 miles
I have a 2001 Volkswagen Golf with the tdi engine (engine code alh). Last night and this morning I had problems with the ECU power relay ("relay 109"). symptoms are sudden stalling of the engine with the inability to restart for 3-5 minutes. This morning during my morning commute my engine stalled 4 times, 3 of which were on an extremely busy freeway during rush hour traffic. This is a known and well documented problem with the tdi engine. There have been a large number of reports of this problem (see and search for "relay 109" for examples). Volkswagen has released an updated relay which fixes this failure mode. Luckily I was aware of this problem so I was able to purchase a replacement and install it myself. VW knows about this problem and it is a severe safety issue... the engine will stop running without warning and may not be restarted for several minutes. Luckily this morning I was only traveling at approximately 15 mph when the first stall happened. I recognized the problem and after I was able to restart my engine and continue on, I got into the right-hand lane, assuming that it would happen again. The next time it happened I was traveling at about 55 mph, and fortunately I was prepared to stop the car safely. This happens to vws with tdi engines up to and including the 2001 model year. The old relay part number is 357906381A and the new replacement is 1J0906381A. This situation may not be considered serious since the replacement part is only about $25 and installation takes less than 10 minutes, but I feel that it is a serious safety issue.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 132003

(reported on)

Golf 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles
The ignition coil failed, which resulted in vehicle loosing power. Dealer had been contacted and replaced the coils.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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