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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,228 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.

2002 Volkswagen Jetta engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Nov 042008


  • 136,014 miles


Timing belt was replaced at 89,000 miles per my request at VW dealership motor mount bolts failed at 136,000, motor dropped onto crossmember and steering components. Only one of two horizontal bolts was present at failure, remaining one bolt sheared off at block.

- Aberdeen, NJ, USA

problem #27

Apr 052008


  • 121,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving less than 10 mph in the driveway, the vehicle drove very roughly and felt as if it would shut off. Minutes later, the engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic and was informed that the engine coil failed. The vehicle was repaired and worked fine for a month before the failure recurred. She took the vehicle back to the local mechanic and had the vehicle repaired for a second time. The vehicle worked normally temporarily, but three weeks later, the engine light illuminated again. The mechanic stated that the engine coil failed again and they replaced it with a different part. Since the most recent repair, the vehicle has been working properly. The contact researched the failure and discovered numerous consumers with the same vehicle, who also experienced this same failure. The failure mileage was 121,000 and current mileage was 122,000.

- Dighton, MA, USA

problem #26

Apr 142008


  • 72,501 miles
I purchased the 2002 Volkswagen Jetta in August of 2006. The first set of repairs was on 3/2007 at 64,332 mi check engine light mulitple misfires: P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304 replaced ignition coils cost: $200.11 second repair took place in April of 2007 took car in for recall - replacement of brake light switch check engline light was back on - replaced temp. Sensor cost: $199.33 car was jerking into gear, downshifting hard and sluggish. Brought car into dealserhsip in April 2008 worn strut brushings needs rear pads needs rotors check engline light on again needs new coils again spark plugs temp sensor again new T-stat fans not working hoses under intake broken needs new transmission diagnosis cost: $149.21 estimated cost of repair: $6,500.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #25

Apr 282007


  • 71,000 miles


2002 tdi VW Jetta. Had for 1.5 years engine blew at 70K on it.. took to seacoast VW in nh first said might be sludge later said was a chain that slipped caused engine to blow and metal pieces to be throughout. Called VW first said I would have to pay for it and then send them receipts. When not able to afford the thousands it would cost talked to them again spoke to alicia at VW and she called seacoast VW in nh then called and state it would be covered. Went about having it towed to VW dealership to get fixed. When called again was told wouldn't cover it but would give me 1000 dollars off the price of the repair valid for 30 days.. engine still blown car still sitting in garage been trying to get fixed since April of 2007.seems to be a common thing with VW that have major engine problems without lots of mileage.

- Camden, ME, USA

problem #24

Aug 152007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 88,100 miles
Volkswagens use of cheap plastics on the oil stick of my 2002 Volkswagen Jetta caused plastic from the oil stick to fall into my motor and cause motor damage including an oil leak and eurasian auto service in panama city already has a VW product that is broken down in their shop, and even Volkswagen own service manager in panama city, mike boatwright, told VW they should authorize him to make the repairs but they refused, the ostensibly lowest bid plastics used for the 2002 VW's also caused mike boatwright to ask that VW replace my headlight lenses as they are creating a traffic hazard, and not only is this nationwide, but mallory horne of the Florida dmv who referred me to you wrote to me that " your complaint has not fallen on deaf ears, I just got rid of my Volkswagen Jetta for the same headlight problem" and I will be happy to mail you a copy in support of my complaint, also walmart's service manager in callaway Florida is the person who found that my car is now leaking oil due to Volkswagen failing to repair the motor and he says that he saw the same Volkswagen problem in new england at his previous job (scott). Also the cheap plastics used on my car that caused these safety traffic violations, were used on the glove box lock which is broken and the radio aerial which is broken. The first 2002 VW I was given broke down in traffic in the dark and was exchanged the following day. So there are more than enough witnesses that the 2002 Volkswagen Jettas should be recalled, me, jerry P carroll, mike boatwright, reggie at eurasian, mallory horne, and scott at walmart, in addition there are many students at my college with the same problem who are in hope that you will help them also. Breaking down in traffic with limited headlights is a national safety crisis, as far as deaths and injuries, entering zero only means that VW has managed so far to conceal any.

- Panama City , FL, USA

problem #23

Oct 172007

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 29,000 miles
Vehicle is a 2002 tdi Jetta gls 4 door sedan manual transmission. At about 29,000 miles the check engine light illuminated with and obd 2 code of (P0128 coolant thermostat-coolant temperature below thermostat regulating temperature). Took the vehicle to dealer which replaced the coolant temperature sensor and coolant fluid. This did not correct the problem which recurred. I then did research and found VW tech bulletin 4-04 which addresses this problem and is intended to guide technician troubleshooting. I feel this is either a parts design defect, engineering flaw, or vehicle wiring assembly defect. It is not a normal maintenance or wear and tear issue. Dealer is attempting second round of troubleshooting for this problem. Request NHTSA assess other vehicle owners similar complaints and pursue a recall for this VW known problem/defect as vehicle is no longer under warranty but this problem is known to occur for this vehicle.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #22

Jun 192007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


Car stalled without warning. Usually happened when slowing down for a stop or while at a stop. Sometimes stalled when starting up from a stop. This was very dangerous as car stalled and cars behind were beginning to speed up or when trying to cross a busy road and making a left turn. I had about $1000 of service at the local Volkswagen dealer in the past 6 months.

- Niceville, FL, USA

problem #21

Apr 222007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
On April 22, 2007 my son was returning to college in the 2002 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T when the engine siezed without warning as he accelerated to enter a busy interstat 80. Fortunately, he was able to coast off to the side of the road. Interstate 80was heavily used by trucks, and had my son not been in a position to get off to the side the engine failure could have caused a very serious safety hazard not only to my son but to many other vehicles using this highway. I understand that this is not an isolated instance of failure of the VW 1.8 T engine. From what I have seen on the internet it appears that is fairly common for these engines to fail and VW tends to blame the owners for improper maintenance. My Jetta was purchased in April 2006 with 31,000 miles, in the year that we had the car we put approx. 10,000 miles on it and we had the oil changed at least two times. We purchased this car based on VW advertising about the quality and safety of these cars and I feel that VW should take responsibility for their poorly engineered engine and issue a recall to correct deficiencies with this engine. I order for me to correct this problem I have to replace the engine, I also have just been informed that when the engine suddenly froze the transmission was also damaged. The cost of to make this car usable again will be in excess of $7,000. While I don't feel that it is right that I am stuck with the cost of repairs that are the result of a serious design problem with this engine, I am much more concerned with putting lives in jeopardy when an engine stops without warning at high way speeds

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #20

Mar 152007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 329,800 miles
Oil light comes on, mostly during turns. Sweet smell in interior cabin. Water entering interior floor level.

- Staten Island , NY, USA

problem #19

Mar 012007

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,626 miles
(1) many electrical anomalies. Loss of air condition. Dealership advises it is coolant migration causing electrical/power problems. Coolant migrating from coolant bottle into the electrical harness and into all electrical systems. (2)coolant migration has caused severe electrical problems and the vehicle must be re-wired. Cost to me $310.-to be determined(probably 6-10,000$) (3)dealership refused to assist with getting VW of America to correct the problem at their cost. VW of America refused to correct the problem at my request. VW has known since 2001 (see technical bulletin 97-01-01) that the coolant bottle is defective and has not recalled it, or provided technical bulletins as to how to prevent it. Dealer advises the car is not safe to drive in its present condition.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #18

Nov 152006

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,900 miles


In April 2006 we purchased a 2002 VW Jetta from a private party. The car had 65,000 miles. She was the original owner of the car and had taken meticulous care of the car. We have all the service records dating back to it's original purchase. It had been in for all scheduled tuneups. VW offers a 60,000 mile or 5 year warranty on the drive train. In November 2006 the radiator warning appeared on the dash. We took it in to the dealership and they claimed the radiator and transmission were mixing and caused significant damage to he transmission. Estimated cost of replacing the transmission $5,890. The dealership mechanic never stated what caused the mixing fluids and would not speculate. We took the car to our local mechanic. He was able to isolated the problem within 20 minutes. The transmission cooler is leaking allowing the two fluids to co-mingle. As a result of the mixing fluids, the belts, hoses, radiator, and transmission are all severely damaged. According to the mechanic the transmission cooler is sealed within the transmission housing and is never meant to be changed. It's position is protected from any road debris and no quality of how the car was driven would effect the performance of this part. It's his opinion that the part had a manufactured defect. Since the car was originally diagnosed in November it has not been driven. We are currently awaiting an appeal to the VW America.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #17

Sep 032006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles
Way to many to list here. I have had problems from the start. More than $7000 worth of repair (plus more that was covered by warr) the final item that caused me to say I would never consider another VW product was the engine damage caused by a timing belt failure. All services were performed at the dealership. The users manual states inspection of the belt at services (that I paid for) and replacement at 120,000 miles. I only had 92,000 miles. It will cost $5,000 to repair the engine. It is not cost effective to repair this car. It was a great car to drive but quality control is poor at best.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #16

Dec 222002

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
VW Jetta 2002. Car is 21/2 yrs old and has been to dealer 4 times. The ignition coil has failed 2 times. The engine light had to be replaced and the seloniod also had to be replaced. All were under warranty. VW needs to get the quality of their cars up to par. Once my lease is done I am turning the car in and will not get another VW.

- Lyndhurst, NJ, USA

problem #15

Nov 262004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Engine coil failed-lost empoyment. One dealer stated fixed problem, months later another dealer stated never fixed then they replaced. All rear lights off-near accident, dealer fixed, engine noise -dealer not fixed yet fear future engine leak as read in other car owner reviews 2002 VW Jetta 1.8T.

- Schererville, IN, USA

problem #14

Jul 202004


  • 52,000 miles
The vehicle's timing belt failed without warning at 52,000 miles. As a result, the vehicle has become inoperative. Please provide additional information.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #13

May 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,817 miles
This car has had too many serious problems to be limited to this small space. It is clearly a lemon. These problems substantially impair the use and value of the vehicle. The car received a new transmission yesterday after we had reported 3 previous times that there it remained in reverse after shifting into drive. Each time we were told it was unreproduceable and the complaint was never noted on the work orders. Finally, the dealership did relent and replace the transmission. We encountered the same type of treatment with the engine burning oil, and it wasn't until the engine ran completely out of oil, that the dealer would address the problem. The first time we had complained about the oil was 2 months after we had bought the car!!!

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #12

Feb 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
I have a 2002 VW Jetta, automatic, 2.0 engine. I have put 4200 miles on the car and have had it to two different VW dealerships trying to get a problem fixed with no luck. The car will hesitate upon acceleration from time to time. I acts like it is not getting the signal to speed up. The engine does not stall or sputter, it simply remains at an idle for 1 or 2 seconds and the slowly picks ups speed. No engine lights come on when this happens. This has happened at least 30 or more times since I bought it new. It has nearly cause me to have an accident a couple of different times as I am pulling out into traffic. The dealers claim to have never heard of this before, but after some searching I have found very similar complaints from people with the VW passat. I am frustrated that no one can seem to fix it and I am concerned that I may have a lemon car.

- Hobart, IN, USA

problem #11

Feb 232004


  • 34,125 miles
The vehicle burns oil prematurely.

- Abingdon, MD, USA

problem #10

Apr 172002

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85 miles
I bought the car 3 days later the problem(s) started. And they have been going ever since. Shifting hard, display lights, would not start, wondows would not roll down, or iff they did, they made a loud thud.

- Lynden, WA, USA

problem #9

Sep 022003

(reported on)


  • miles
#3 engine coil continues to burn out, causing vehicle to sputter and stall while driving. Vehicle was repaired under a safety campaign two weeks ago, and it experienced the same problem again.

- Fall River, MA, USA

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