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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,909 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.

2003 Volkswagen Jetta brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 052007


  • miles


Starting car in the morning or at end of work day and brake warning lights came on. Car cannot be moved - brakes have hissing or whisking sound when pressed. Car cannot be driven, unless turning ignition to first on position putting car in neutral then starting the car. 2. brakes do not work properly - car is unsafe to drive 3. dealer claims that there is some sort of brake switch that has a "universal recall" that is causing the problem. I did research before buying my '03 Jetta and found that several complaints about brake failure and brake problems have been on-going. When I questioned the dealer they knew nothing of the sort and said "if there had been problems in the past they have been fixed." Apparently these problems have not - I continue to experience them as have other Jetta owners with whom I have spoken.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #5

Aug 042006

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles
My wife's 2003 VW Jetta tdi brakes will aggressively lock-up when lightly depressed for slowing down or coming to a slow stop. The problem is intermittent and will occur without warning. When the brakes lock up they can only be released after placing your foot under the pedal and forcing the pedal backwards. In the event another diver follows too close, the failure will result in a rear end collision potentially causing serious injuries to both parties. After experiencing the defect the car was immediately taken to the VW dealer for service and we received a "no fault found report". now the problem has become severe and is a major safety concern for my wife and I. earlier this year, the alternator pulley bearings seized and the pulley was ejected from the alternator causing damage to other engine components in the serpentine system.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #4

Mar 102004

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 3,419 miles
Whooping noise from brakes of new VW jettta with poor compression and braking. Clunking form gear box. Failure of brake may lead to avoidable accident in the future dealer changed brake booster but this did not help. Dealer unable to fix after several attempts.

- Yorktown, IN, USA

problem #3

Jan 252004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


While driving 25 mph in inclement weather consumer applied the brake pedal and the brakes failed. This caused the vehicle to crash into a tree. Upon impact, both frontal air bags failed to deploy. Vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection.

- Hyattsville, MD, USA

problem #2

Jan 282004


  • 17,000 miles
Vehicle was towed twice because the defect described in the ABS ECU recall 02V03100 occurred while driving. This vehicle was not includedin the recall due to model year and VIN.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #1

May 202004


  • 3,034 miles
While braking 55 mph vehicle jerked, causing extended stopping distance. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Washington, DC, USA

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