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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
12 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,388 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2002 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #33

Jun 082016


  • 49,706 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving at any speed, the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the air bag module was faulty. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not provided. The failure mileage was 49,706. Updated 08/22/16

- Cranford, NJ, USA

problem #32

Nov 242015


  • 94,000 miles
Oil light is blinking, I was told by several mechanics that Jettas as well as Volkswagen in general are known for having terrible sludge issues. I took the car to the dealership, they charged me over $150 to diagnose my car, after diagnosing it they said that the engine needs new oil bearings due to sludge issues, they said that the oils pressure is fluctuating and that soon my engine will blow up, they said that this was not covered under similar recalls that they've had on other models of theirs and that to fix my problem I would need a new engine which would cost me over seven thousand dollars. It seems to me that this is a very well known problem for VW, they've known about it for years but just like the problem they're having right now with the software, they've kept this quiet.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #31

Oct 062015


  • 230,000 miles
While driving our Jetta at approximately 30 mph the drivers side curtain airbag and side seat airbag spontaneously deployed. There was no impact. There was no pothole. It was the only car on the road. Going straight.

- Gilby, ND, USA

problem #30

Jun 262009


  • 57,000 miles


I purchased a certified used vehicle in 2006 from a Volkswagen dealer in Virginia (Volkswagen of dulles). Two months after the vehicle purchase, we noticed the car electrical system shut down while approaching a stop sign in reston, va. The local dealer attributed it to a fuel system problem and charged us for a throttle body cleaning." Over the course of two years, we had multiple electrical shutdowns, some at high speed on the highway at night when the vehicle's headlights would go out and the engine would die. At one point the dealer reported a ??loose ignition switch?" and replaced that switch. After several more scary events, I emailed VW America with a description of the problem and our fears about the vehicle being unsafe to drive. In March 2009 I called VW customer service and talked to a regional case manager. On that day, the car had shut down in the middle of an intersection narrowly avoiding a collision. VW replaced the alternator and battery. Three months later, driving on memorial parkway (rt. 66) at night when the vehicles lights failed, the electrical system shut down and the engine died. I once again called VW customer service and was returned a call from a representative who said they would not address the problem further, that the warranty on the vehicle was over and that I had no recourse with Volkswagen for further investigation of the problem. I recently asked VW America customer service for copies of their records relating the case. They refused to give them to me, saying they were proprietary.?

- Jamestown, RI, USA

problem #29

Jul 072014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Stopped at a light, when the driver side seat airbag deployed. Subsequently put on flashers, and pulled over to a curb. Passenger side seat airbag then deployed (approximately 1 minute later after the first). Seat airbag deployment resulted in abrasions on driver and passenger. Checked the exterior of the car, but there was no damage. Approximately an hour and a half later, the side curtain airbags on both sides spontaneously deployed while again stopped at another red light. Third passenger in rear was uninjured during incidents.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

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problem #28

Jan 042014


  • 158,000 miles
I was leaving a parking lot that had a slight curve and I hit some black ice. The car went straight into the curb and with the impact, which in my opinion, was not a great amount, caused the side curtain and passenger seat airbag to deploy. With how the wheel hit the curb, it also damaged the alignment of the wheels.

- Columbus, IN, USA

problem #27

Apr 042013

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 143,000 miles


Traveling at 70mph under normal driving conditions on interstate the roof and seat airbags and seatbelt lockdown on the driver's side spontaneously deployed causing temporary loss of control of vehicle and neck strain. Repairs to fix airbags cost over $4,000. Volkswagon investigated and were no help. Gave no reason for spontaneous airbag deployment. Very unsafe experience!

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #26

Jul 042012


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact was driving 35 mph and crashed into the rear of a preceding vehicle. The air bags did not deploy. The contact sustained injuries as a result. The vehicle was towed from the scene and was not inspected for the failure nor repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and the current mileage was 91,000.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #25

Apr 192012

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 108,154 miles
When backing out of my driveway my drivers side airbag deployed for no reason. I didn't hit anything. Now the engine starts then stalls. All dash lights are now out.

- Center Conway, NH, USA

problem #24

Nov 012010


  • 32,400 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that the air bag fault warning light illuminated intermittently, followed by a beeping noise. Both the dealer and the manufacturer were notified of the failure who offered no assistance to the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was approximately 32,500. The failure mileage was approximately 32,400.

- Nottingham, MD, USA

problem #23

Sep 172010


  • 50,000 miles


TL-the driver owned a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving approximately 60 mph the vehicle was involved in a multi vehicle crash in which only the front passenger side air bag deployed. The police appeared on the scene and the driver was injured. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to an insurance company lot. The vehicle was not examined for the cause of failure and was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and she was informed that whenever the seat belt was held intact the air bag would not deploy in the event of a crash. The failure and current mileages were 50,000. Sm.

- Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #22

Jul 282009


  • 103,256 miles
I have a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta this morning while driving my car to work in houston Texas on interstate 59 South my driverside window airbag deployed as well as the seat airbag. After getting to the side of the road my car cranked back up and I got out to inspect if there was any damages. I found no damages on the car and the air bag deployed for no reason. I am lucky I did not swerve or there would have been a huge wreck. I believe there should be a recall on all of these 2002 Jetta since there have been so many occurrences of this happening.

- The Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #21

Feb 152009


  • 162,500 miles
I own a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. On February 15th I was driving just outside of madison, wi on 1-94 heading East and hit a disk size piece (about the size of a hockey puck) of debris which flew up into the under carriage of my car. At the same time, my side curtain and passenger seat airbags deployed. There is no apparent damage to the exterior of my car and I was able to drive it home. Upon inspection there is no apparent damage or markings to the under carriage, body - both metal and plastic. In researching airbag recalls, I came across the NHTSA action number PE04081. This description most accurately describes this incident. Of the 499 vehicles who experienced the problems I am having now - no notice of recall or notice of potential defect were provided. I feel this matter should be reopened for those vehicles who continue to have unintentional airbag deployment. Most notable is the body style for this vehicle has remained unchanged from model years 1999.5 - 2005. Yet only 2001 - 2003 vehicles seem to be affected. This would indicate that some manufacturing trend is the causative factor in these unintentional deployments.

- Pewaukee, WI, USA

problem #20

Jan 032008

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
As I entered a parking garage and picked up a parking ticket my passenger side rear tire hit the curb and my passenger side seat and curtain airbags deployed. I just got my parking ticket and was turning from a dead stop so I could not have been traveling more than 2 miles per hour. The dealer said it was an accident but there is not damage to the tire or wheel other than a scuff mark on the tire where it rubbed on the curb. I have contaced VW of America and the initial response is that they consider it an accident not a mechanical failure. The initial repsonse from my insurance company is that it is a mechanical failure and VW is at fault. Based on research, more than 500 similar incidents have been reported to the NHTSA, and it is common knowledge that only a small portion of the population report problems to the NHTSA. I welcome any additional insight that you can provide. Thank you.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #19

Dec 122007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The 2002 Volkswagen Jetta was involved in a accident and none of the air bags deployed. The car contains a lot of air bags. Front passenger and driver and side curtain airbags. None of the airbags deployed in the crash even though the car was totaled. The car had been hit from the side and then the car hit a concrete barrier from the front after the car had spun.

- Bedford Heights, OH, USA

problem #18

Oct 022006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 37,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 45 mph, the vehicle hit a small pothole and both side air bags on the driver side deployed. No warning light was illuminated prior to the deployment. The vehicle was taken to the dealership who kept the vehicle for one month. The dealership informed the contact the manufacturer would send a technician for inspection however, the contact never knew if such inspection ever happened. The contact was very concerned that an unexpected deployment could cause a serious accident. 1/31/2007 -

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #17

Jan 172006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
The front, side and side-impact airbags in my 2002 Volkswagen Jetta all failed to deploy when I was struck on the passenger side by a truck traveling at 40-50 miles per hour. The paramedics and responding officer encouraged me to file this complaint, saying that I was fortunate to be riding alone because a passenger would not have survived the accident without airbag protection. I have already contacted VW and submitted the forms and photographs they requested for validation of my claim, but - as expected - they have not responded. I have no intention of suing, but I am disturbed by Volkswagen' recent campaign to market the Jetta based on its safety. In the 3 1/2 years I owned the car, I had to return it for recalls/repairs 14 times, so I believe the airbag failure to be yet another symptom of the Jetta's poor manufacturing. I would greatly appreciate your investigation into this matter and would be happy to provide documentation and photographs.

- Homewood, AL, USA

problem #16

Dec 022005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
My wife was in a car accident on 12/2/05 in her 2002 VW Jetta gls. A lady had ran a red light and collided with the front driver side of the car at approx: 40 mph. The car was equipped with front and side airbags; neither of which airbag deployed. My wife hit her head on the front driver side window because the airbags did not deploy.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #15

Oct 302005

Jetta 16-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,500 miles
We own a 2002 VW Jetta 2.0L. We were driving through an intersection and the passenger side curtain and passenger seat airbag deployed without cause. We pulled off to the side to check for any exterior damage that could of caused the deployment but could not see any. We drove it home (@ 1 mile) and had it towed to the dealership where we will hear about their course of action to repair the issue. Is this a occurrence that is under investigation? if so it might be helpful to know since this will be a very costly repair and haven't had the best of luck with VW even though it's still under warranty.

- Charl, MA, USA

problem #14

Sep 142005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,900 miles
A car pulled over in front of me trying to turn left. I had the right of me with no stop of traffic light at this intersection. I hit the left side of that car with the front/front left corner of my car at 45 mph and none of the air bags deployed. I would expect that at such a speed at least one airbag would have deployed. Please advise.

- Apex, NC, USA

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