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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,189 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 Golf drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Volkswagen Golf:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Volkswagen Golf Owner Comments

problem #8

May 282016


  • miles


Like many owners of Volkswagen tdi vehicles, the 1-2 second hesitation when accelerating from a complete stop is very unnerving. It can be dangerous when merging into traffic or crossing an intersection. It happens daily and the dealership was unable to fix it while the vehicle was under warranty. VW updated the software on the transmission but that "fix" didn't last more than a few months.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #7

Apr 112016


  • 37,000 miles
Cv joints failed at under 38K miles on automobile.

- Pleasantville, NY, USA

problem #6

Feb 152012

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 20,000 miles
TL- the contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Golf tdi. The contact stated that on extremely cold conditions the vehicle failed to start. After multiple attempts the vehicle was successfully restarted. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The dealer stated that water builds up in the air inter cooler causing the engine to hydro lock, the contact could have to pay for a cold weather inter cooler to properly repair the vehicle. The manufacture was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 11,000 miles.

- Lacey, WA, USA

problem #5

Jun 022013

Golf 4-cyl

  • 4,600 miles


While operating the vehicle under normal conditions, I heard a rattle from the engine, followed by the sound of something rattling in the engine compartment and then falling out. The engine died immediately and I was able to coast to the shoulder. After the dealer inspected the car they found that the water pump was faulty and it caused the water pump pulley to come off and cause damage to the cylinder head, valves, cover, water pump, and timing belt, in addition to the water pump pulley falling off. The dealer then told me this was a known issue for this make and model and that they had made the same repair to several other models in their service department. They advised there was an updated water pump part that had components made of metal rather than plastic to withstand the engine heat, which was what caused my water pump to fail. Additionally, my vehicle was in for a regularly scheduled maintenance appointment days earlier and the dealer neglected to check the water pump or advise me that it might be faulty, even though they knew and admitted later to it being a known problem with the car.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #4

Apr 072013

Golf 5-cyl

  • 9,425 miles
Vehicle was parked and the engine was turned off. Started motor and place automatic transmission in reverse. A loud clunk noise was heard but backing up was ok. Then placed vehicle in drive and the same noise was heard again. The vehicle transmission appears to operate only in the top [high] gear mode. It does not auto shift through the full gear range. Drives forward in top gear only.

- Palm Desert, CA, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #3

Dec 242012

Golf 4-cyl

  • 14,386 miles
On 12/24/2012, returning from a restaurant with my family, I heard a bang and my engine died while driving on a city street at 35 mph. I was able to safely put the car in neutral and roll off the street. I found out on 12/26 that my water pump had fallen apart, destroying my timing belt and engine head. Several vehicles with the build date of my car have experienced water pump failures that destroy the timing belt and cause catastrophic engine failures. Luckily, I was traveling at a slow speed when the incident occurred. VW claims to not know about "a widespread problem." I was also told that no superseded part is being installed; the same water pump part is being put back. The dealer replaced the head, pump, belt, misc bolts, etc. I am worried about my safety that this incident will re-occur."5854747-consolidated-water-pump-failure-thread"5813173-Golf-R-water-pump-madness!!!!

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #2

Nov 262012


  • 11,000 miles
I was driving down the road had just shifted into 4th gear came up to a red light. I pressing in the clutch and started to slow down still in 4th gear. The red light turned green before I could slow down much at all. I released the clutch when I did this the engine and RPM increased. I was still in 4th gear and hardly accelerating but it felt as though I was in second gear. I kinda freaked and looked to make sure I was in 4th and I was.the car began to run normal so I just brushed it off. I came to another red light and made a complete stop. This is when the car began to shake and flash the orange coil looking light. It completely shut off and I was unable to restart the car. My brother came and helped me push it to the side of the road. It had to be towed to the dealership.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 252012

Golf 5-cyl

  • 1,100 miles
Leaving a parking lot, put the gear into reverse and was going forward. Put the gear in parking 3 X and back to reverse 3 X, but still going forward. Couldn't turn off the engine. Opened the door, and after maybe 10 minutes was able to turn off the engine, gave it a minute and then use the reverse gear and it worked.

- Bronx, NY, USA

Not what you are looking for?