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7.1

pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,128 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Volkswagen Golf Owner Comments

problem #6

Mar 182013

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 13,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Car purchased November 2011. August 29, 2012 (much <10,000 miles) reported rough shifting of automatic transmission to Volkswagen of alexandria. Told that experience was normal. Trusted mechanic and used vehicle. March 18, 2013--complete transmission failure while driving in a parking lot. Engine shut off while moving and abruptly brought car to a stop. This is the same problem that prompted recalls for this car in australia, china, and Japan. Brought into Volkswagen of alexandria and told problem was related to computer errors controlling transmission. July 10, 2013--(@15,000 miles) car loses reasonable amount of power, makes grinding noise, engine light appears. Blocks from Volkswagen of alexandria. Just able to make it in. Technicians report that a number of faults were reported and have contacted VW of America to advise what to do next. Ultimately they decide that the mechatronics unit (part of transmission) should be replaced but will not be available soon. Alexandria Volkswagen advises me to take the vehicle back into my posession and drive it as is until the part arrives. They claimed it to be just a noise issue. I object and have to point out the complaint about severe lack of power and previous complete engine/transmission failure (which they claimed to be unrelated). After complaint told I could rent a car. Finally able to complain my way into a loaner. I have read about this tactic for ways around lemon law liability. Was advised to report it here.

- Washington, DC, 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

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. forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php"5854747-consolidated-water-pump-failure-thread forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php"5813173-Golf-R-water-pump-madness!!!!

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #3

Nov 102012

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 7,500 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The car is a 2012 VW Golf tdi, purchased around April of 2012. It had approximately 7500 miles at the time of the incident. I was on a short drive to the store and back (5 miles round trip from home). On the way back, I heard a metal grinding sound coming from the engine compartment and noticed a lack of power. I turned off the radio to confirm that the sound was coming from my new car and it was. At the next stop light, the car died and could not be restarted. I confirmed that I still had diesel fuel, and sure enough, I still had 1/4 tank. So I was not out of fuel. The engine would crank, but not start. Thankfully this happened at a stop light instead of on the hilly interstate I take to work 20 miles each day. Aside from hearing the metal grinding sound for approximately 30 seconds, I had no warning. The car had to be towed back to the dealer. The dealer took a few days to diagnose the problem as a faulty fuel pump. Apparently, the fuel pump malfunctioned and shot metal shards through my entire fuel system. It took the dealer well over a week to replace every component and the cost of labor and parts was over $10,000. Thankfully, VW covered the repair as being under warranty. A quick google search confirmed that hundreds of other VW diesel engines have had the same problem. Unfortunately, the dealer did not replace the fuel tank. Based on reports I have seen online, I can expect another failure any day. Please investigate this further and force VW to issue a recall. I have owned 5 Volkswagen in the past (own 2 right now) and love them, but I will never buy another one after this incident.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 112012

Golf 4-cyl

  • 2,766 miles
At 2766 miles I was cruising down the highway at 70 mph on my way to work when the engine suddenly lost power and the epc light came on. The engine was completely unresponsive, I pulled off to the shoulder, called roadside assistance and was towed to the nearest dealer the service manager told me the water pump seized and seriously damaged the engine. I went to look and there was a big hole in the side of the engine. He told me they had to order new piston heads, rods, etc... basically, needed to rebuild the engine. Speaking to the mechanic actually working on the car, he said it would probably need an engine replacement. They quickly realized repair wasn't possible and had a new engine en route. After a little searching online, I found that this has happened to at least 5 others (there are more now). It seems to be an issue with the water pump pulley. I am most concerned because VW denied they had ever heard of this. I have no confidence that the replacement engine will not suffer the same issue.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #1

Aug 122012

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 6,519 miles
At 6,519 miles, while about to enter the on-ramp of a local highway, the check engine light and glow plug indicator light began to flash. I was able to veer off the entrance ramp and continue down the down to the nearest safe parking lot area; as I pulled into the parking lot area, the vehicle shuddered and suddenly shut off. It would not re-start, and we had to arrange for a tow to a family members house through our insurance company. In the morning we had a tow to our dealer set up through Volkswagen roadside service, who would not cover the entire cost of the tow to our preferred dealer, so we paid the difference out of our own pocket. I was notified by the dealer that the fuel pump (commonly referred to as hpfp) basically imploded and sent metal throughout the entire fuel system, which now needs to be replaced. We own two Volkswagen diesel (tdi) vehicles; this one, a 2012 Golf tdi, and a 2010 jetta tdi. They are both filled up at the exact same pump from the exact same station about 99% of the time. At the time this incident occurred, the Golf had 281 miles on the current tank of diesel which was filled up on 08/03/2012. I filled up my jetta tdi at the same pump on 08/06/2012, currently have over 230 miles on that tank of diesel, and have not experienced any problems. We keep meticulous documentation of our diesel usage, cost, etc. With receipts and other logs, and can safely state that this was not due to a mistake on our part. Rather, this is a design failure and/or oversight on the part of both Volkswagen and Bosch, the hpfp manufacturer. I am a veteran member of the tdiclub VW diesel online community, and there is extensive information and documentation there of these repeated failures. Please visit the following threads for information; forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php"T=286380, forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php"T=299854.

- Miami, FL, USA

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