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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,570 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 Jetta engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Volkswagen Jetta:

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

2001 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #32

Mar 022012


  • 36,000 miles


I bought this car used in 2003 and had problems with it since. ESC light comes on all the time. Replaced ignition coils, mass air flow sensor, oxygen sensor, and spark plugs multiples times to try and fix the check engine light that keeps coming back on. It keeps spitting out random cylinder misfire codes. Passenger side window broke. The arm rest hinge broke. The glove compartment hinge broke. Brake lights need replacing constantly. Water pump broke while driving in the middle of freeway and the temperature gauge shot through the roof. A random tube/hose in the engine broke. Transmission problem, could not shift from park to drive. Interior cabin smells like crayon. Very rough idle, need to warm up the car for at least 5 mins every morning or else the car will stall. I noticed if you do not warm the car long enough, you have to press the brake pedal very hard to get it to stop. I can cope with all the above issues but I cannot tolerate the car randomly stalling/engine dying while driving around the city. Lately the car is making weird noises like it ran over a pothole. I gave away the car and will never again own any cars made from Volkswagen.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #31

Jun 102010


  • 100,000 miles
The VW Jetta VR6 2001 that I purchased last year for $7,000 (financing through my credit union) is a lemon. I have had it less than a year and already spent $2000 on minor repairs and I estimate that right now it needs about $4000 more in the next few months. I believe that sundance improperly sold this car, knowing that a massive amount of things are wrong with it. I had a garage with which they are affiliated look at it and completely misrepresented the shape of the car. Since acquiring it I have been plagued with difficulties with it, from head lights mysteriously going out, to the water pump failing, to the serpentine coil failing, now to the air compressor failing, as well as the computer to the A/C, and today it is the epc code (which I believe has something to do with either the catalytic converter, or computer - but the thing is losing power and the brake lights don't work which is a major safety hazard), not to mention the transmission slips and will need to be replaced. Having been plagued with these issues, I have come to find out that there are many other VW Jetta VR6 2001 owners who are adamant that this car is a manufactured lemon. VW needs to be in some way held accountable - all of us have had nightmarish lives and are paying for the defects every day.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #30

Feb 072010


  • 99,000 miles
I have my car at school in South bend Indiana and it is stored outside. Early this winter the car started to idle very rough. If I tried to go too quickly after turning the car on I would get a flashing check engine light that read for a random cylinder misfire when the code was pulled. This happened several times. So I had to let the engine idle for at least 10 minutes so that it could try and warm up before I could go anywhere. In mid February I turned the car on in the afternoon and I noticed it was idling very rough. So I cracked the hood and there I saw sparks jumping from the beginning of the spark plug wires to the engine block. A mechanic confirmed what I suspected, that the coil pack was cracked and needed to be replaced. I did an online search and found that VW had issued a recall for vr6S that had problems with cracked coil packs. However, when I called them about it I was told that my car was not included in the recall. It was not the right engine model because they changed engine models half way through 2001 and my car was the old model. Despite the fact that I have the same problem with a cracking coil pack in a car of the right model from the same year they wouldn't do anything. These coil packs have been a problem for many VR6 owners as evidence from the extensive online forums. I don't understand how my car with the same problem and documented history as the 2003 recall isn't also covered in the recall. I have not had the coil pack repaired yet because it costs 500 dollars and I don't have that to spend right know.

- Holmde, NJ, USA

problem #29

Oct 012009


  • 153,000 miles


2001 Volkswagen Jetta wolfsburg edition: Cylinder 3 misfired due to a faulty coilpack. Coilpack was replaced, however cylinders 2 and 4 misfire. When the mechanic tested the coilpacks, they were working properly. Presently, random cylinders continue to misfire even though brand new coil packs are installed. This causes my vehicle to lose power and idle very rough. The check engine light continues to flash which is causing damage to my brand new cat converter.

- Hyde Park, NY, USA

problem #28

Feb 102009


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving 50 mph or less, the vehicle would rev and performed as if it would stall. The check engine warning indicator also illuminated on the instrument panel. No repairs have been made. The current and failure mileages were less than 100,000.

- Mt Pleasant, MI, USA

problem #27

Feb 182009


  • 103,000 miles
From the time I bought the vehicle it has been stuttering while idle. I have replaced the mass airflow sensor, master sensor, several hoses and connectors and parts of the engine. Now it stops while I'm waiting at red lights.

- Woodland Hills , CA, USA

problem #26

May 262008


  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact purchased a used car and, within the same week, it began to stall. The dealer could find no failures. She took the vehicle to another Volkswagen dealer and they gave her a list of all the failures. The list included the transmission, rattling in the engine, and the brake sensors. There are four different tires on the vehicle and each are the incorrect size. The contact stated that she does not have the money to repair all these failures. The failure mileage was 110,000.

- Paris, CA, USA

problem #25

Aug 062008


  • miles
I own a 2001 VW Jetta. I bought it 3 years ago, used from the Volkswagen dealership. The automobile was sold as a "certified" auto, which I found out later does not mean much. My trunk is locked shut and does not open manually or with remote, I've had to replace cv boots, catalytic converter, transmission and numerous headlight, taillight and blinker bulbs. And today one of my headlights is so dim, it doesn't really provide any light when it is dark. I have replaced it and replaced it. It stays fine for about 2 days and then just dims out again. I can't afford to keep taking it to Volkswagen. It's a rip off and they don't even fix anything right anyway. My engine fan went out all of the sudden the other day, causing the car to overheat. I had to get it towed. That isn't the first time I have had to pay to have it towed. The interior plastic coating on armrests and all plastic inside is peeling and looks terrible. When I push unlock all doors, the driver's side back seat door will not open unless I reach inside and pull the lock open manually. There is so much more, but I don't want to waste my time. I know nothing will happen, even though it is so obvious that these cars are complete lemons, and they need to stop selling them to people.

- La Quinta, CA, USA

problem #24

Jul 022008


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle intermittently stalled. The check engine warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was not taken to an authorized dealer. The vehicle has not been repaired. The contact experienced failure identical to the one mentioned in the recall, although the VIN was excluded from the recall. The VIN and recall number were unknown. The failure and current mileages were 52,000.

- Farmingdale, NY, USA

problem #23

Jun 102008


  • miles
I own a 2001 VW Jetta gls VR6. Since I have owned this car I have had problems with it. I am a young woman in the military and am in full time school, so I don't have the money to run around and fix it as much as I have been forced to do. First my gas gauge went out three months after buying it $600(under warranty) then a month later O2 sensor $300(non warranty). Then it was the catalytic converter$1500(non warranty) wiring system$1000(of course non warranty) windows wont roll up without rolling down again and sometimes get stuck$700(non warranty) cruise control went out$845 (non warranty), windshield wiper motor... stationed in Alaska and couldn't go without that $750(non warranty) now my secondary air pump is out and I was quoted $1294 from private mechanic and $1400 from VW. Also the cruise is still out and the windows are doing the same again. I have talked to many people in the same boat I have been in with so many repairs. Is there anything that can be done to stop VW from making faulty parts and charging an arm and a leg? I feel though that if it is brought up to you that my voice will be heard, because when I call the volkwagen customer service and complaints I get nowhere.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #22

Apr 182008

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,604 miles


1). incident happened without warning. Vehicle stalled out while driving, leading to a loss of power and manueverable. Owner had to drift into right-hand lane to find a place to pull over. 2). no damage or injury was caused by the incident, as there was minimal traffic on the highway at that time of day. However, losing power suddenly and without warning could be disastrous in heavier traffic situations or adverse road conditions. Consequence was to limp to car dealership to have them diagnose and make repair to vehicle at owner's out-of-pocket expense. 3). car dealerships diagnosis found faulty engine speed sensor (part # 06A-906-433-C). Sensor was replaced at owner's expense.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #21

Mar 082008

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 78,521 miles
The failure was that the loose spark plug widened the combustion chamber and that caused the loud vibration in the engine. It also affected the function of the braking system, too. So, I was told by the riverside VW dealership that the whole chamber has to be replaced at the cost of $5,400. The riverside dealership made a contact with new century dealership in glendale, ca and they did the tune-up on April 5, 2004. It was clearly the mechanic who did not screw the spark plug tightly. It was the human error on the part of the dealership. I could not use the car due to this unnecessary error that could be preventable. I have been taking my Jetta to all the VW dealerships to do maintenance services and repairs, as well. My feeling is that they should replace the part where the spark plugs are at no cost due to careless error.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #20

Jul 032007

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The car would increase/decrease speed inconsistently. Additionally, the exhaust system would smell horrible. The check engine light would be on/off intermittently and I took the car to the dealer for recall work. I was told that I needed to replace the ignition coil and that it was already done under another recall. Turns out that it wasn't done under a recall- I paid for it out of pocket after the recall was issued February 03 by Volkswagen. I called Volkswagen to find out if I could be reimbursed for the coils that I paid to install and was told that "my vehicle does not qualify for the recall." The press release clearly states that"all Volkswagen equipped with the 2.8L engine" qualifies. Now- I'm stuck. I need to pay for new ignition coils again and neither set qualifies for the recall. A web search has turned up many other consumers that are dealing with this same issue with VW. It's a safety hazard for those of us driving VW and others on the road with us. This is my fourth Jetta and may be my last based upon my experiences in getting this resolved.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #19

Sep 182006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 38,000 miles
We purchased our 2001 Jetta 1.8L turbo wolfsburg edition in Jan of 2003 from a certified used VW dealer. When we drove off the lot, not 5 minutes later, the turbo seemed to fail and we began to lose power, epc light came on, check engine light came on. We immediately took car back to dealer and they fixed problem. Everything ran fine until Sept 2003 our check engine light came on, shortly after we received notice that there had been a recall regarding ignition coils. We took our vehicle to a local dealership where they replaced the coils free of charge. This solved the light issue for a couple of months, then it came back on again, this time when idling fluctuating between 700 RPM and about 1500 RPM and stalling on occasion. We took the car to a local garage and they ran a diagnostics, cleared the failures to see if that solved the problem, which it did temporarily...ever since we have been running diagnostics trying to determine why our check engine light keeps coming on, each time the problem is temporarily solved. At first the mechanic thought it was the airflow sensor, but once they looked closer determined it was a different problem. We have had corrosion removed, connections cleaned, and our lambda sensor replaced. Now our car continues to run and idle poorly and sporadically, the car stalls when you slow, the turbo works on occasion, losses power when accelerating, when car first starts it barely moves with accelerator floored, brakes are very sluggish, sometimes really having to push to get car to stop. No one seems to know what the problem is. Everytime we take it in multiple errors pop up, last time there was 17 fault codes, mechanic keeps going down the list of what to check hoping to find the problem. The bill just keeps getting bigger and nothing has been solved. Recently think that the original issue and current issues are one in the same as symptoms are becoming more similar. Help!

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #18

Jun 122006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 47,000 miles
Cel light would turn on and off. Car started to idle bad, sometimes it would not move when cold even with gas fully depressed. Then the car began to stall while driving. I took it to the dealer and they replaced the maf but the symptoms are still here and the car is returning to the shop today. I have read many, many accounts of the same issue.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #17

May 172006

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 67,000 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle coolant leaked into the electrical wiring harness. An independent repair shop performed a diagnostic test, but no failure codes displayed. Upon further inspection, the mechanic determined there was a coolant migration problem. The electrical wiring harness was corroded due to the coolant leak. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer to await repair.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #16

Oct 092005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Within the first month of owning my VW Jetta 1.8L turbo, the check engine light has been on and off. Each time that I take it in to have the problem diagnosed something is repaired, but in a few days the light is back on and there is a new problem. I have already had thousands of dollars of work done on the car and nothing seems to help the problem. Recently, the check engine light has been on and the car will shake violently for about 2 minutes until the car is warmed up. If I try to drive the car before the shaking stops, it barely moves even if completely depressing the accelerator, and the brakes seem to lock up, nearly hitting other cars when parked in a parking lot. When the car does warm up it lurches forward but then seems to run just fine. I have had the recalled problems fixed as well as numerous other repairs, but I am concerned that this same problem keeps happening, and that I have seen this problem on several other websites.

- Loveland, OH, USA

problem #15

Mar 092005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Ever since I bought the car back in 2001, there has been numerous problem mainly with the check engline light. I bought the car brand new, and within the first few weeks I had minor problems that got fix and is fine now. Now my main issue is the check engine light, it been on and off ever since the first year I bought the car. We are in 2005 and I'm still having trouble getting rid of it. Usually when the check engline light comes on the car would sputter and shake and sometimes it would shut off. Sometimes when I'm driving the car would shut off on me in the middle of the streets. Thank goodness the time that it happened I wasn't on a busy road. When I first start up the car when the check engine light is on, the brakes seems to fail to work becauase I would have to step on it really hard to get the car to stop. After getting fix the light would reappear a couple weeks later. So I dont know what the problem is since all the times I did take it in they said it was the air mass flow sensor which they have replaced already. Tomorrow (4/1/05) I'm taking the car in again for the check engine problem because lately the problem has been worst. Now when I first turn on the car, I have to warm it up for a few mins before being able to step on the gas and go or else it'll shut down on me. Even with that the car barely moves then all of sudden it will jerk and drive on a normal speed. I had major service done on the car and the air mass flow sensor has been replaced twice. Tomorrow will probably be the third time and we'll find out what else is new. I doubt that the problem will ever go away because I been having the check engine light ever since I got the car and I own it for few years now and it still has not been fix. I honestly think I been sold a lemon, but speaking with the people at the VW dealer, they don't the issue is big.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #14

Feb 242005

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2001 Jetta- makes winding noise at 40 mph, ear piercing, technicians claim this is normal but overpowers radio? unacceptable. Transmission shifts erratically all the time, car will lunge forward when at a stop when foot taken off brake pedal. Car makes a knocking noise when at a complete stop.

- Hampton, GA, USA

problem #13

Nov 102004


  • 89,000 miles
After starting the vehicle it stalled. Consumer had to restart the vehicle. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

Read the next 12 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?