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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,573 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #14

Apr 012008

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,203 miles


Ignition coil failed, was told the O2 sensor was bad and needed new spark plugs, I had just replaced the spark plugs 5 days earlier, they only had 11 miles on them, so it cannot be spark plugs, question whether the O2 is truly bad, having ignition coil replaced but was unable to tell whether the catalytic converter is also bad until other problems are corrected.

- Orient, OH, USA

problem #13

Mar 102008

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 49,335 miles
I drove to work the car ran fine. After work I started the car it begin to shake. It lost half its power..the dealership was three miles away. Ignition coil went bad at 46,158 miles and today 3-10-08 another one went bad at 49,036. My best friends passat ignition coil went bad at 19,367. I think these ignition coils are lemons and they need to make better ones.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #12

Nov 292007

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 39,046 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta. On two separate occasions, while driving approximately 30 mph with the accelerator pedal depressed, the vehicle hesitated to accelerate. The contact drove home and had the vehicle towed to the dealer. The dealer stated that the coil inside the cylinder failed and had to be replaced for the second time in one month. The current mileage was 39,890 and failure mileage was 39,046. Updated 03/14/08. The coil pack was replaced

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #11

Mar 132007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving 30 mph, the check engine light illuminated. The mechanic stated that the ignition coil was defective. As of June 22, 2007, the vehicle has not been repaired. The VIN and engine size were unavailable. The current mileage is 76,000 and failure mileage was 69,000.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #10

May 092007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 43,000 miles
Ignition coils on 2003 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T continue D to fail every 3-4 months. I have gone through 6 coils in less than one year. Numerous times a coil failed while on a major highway, especially while attempting to merge into traffic flow. I could recall twice where I came very close to being rear ended because of this sudden loss of power. The engine light would briefly flash letting me know that the car was having a misfire. The vehicle was taken to the dealership for this and plenty of other problems in the past. The service manager suggested that I do a tune-up on the vehicle only 5,000 miles after one was performed. He could not pinpoint' the problem or duplicate it either. Apparently, Volkswagen was aware of the problem, but had not taken action to my knowledge. This was something very serious that should be more of a priority to Volkswagen considering I have found plenty of articles on this particular problem.

- Union City, NJ, USA

problem #9

Feb 122007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • miles
Three out of four of my ignition coils have blown and I have less then 50,000 miles on my car. The dealership admits there is no reason this should be happening, however I have to keep breaking down and getting my car towed in for it to be covered under warranty. This is outrageous they know they are all bad, but if I ask them to fix them I have to pay for it. This is an ongoing problem with my make/model and year. I have contacted Volkswagen directly and they will not do anything about it they say and I quote "I'm sorry to hear that" I tell everyone how many problems I have had due to this issue and have deterred at least two people that were considering Volkswagen to buy different vehicles. Its a shame this is my husband and I's second Volkswagen but the car has been towed/or broken down 9 times in less then 3 years, that's not good. Once this lease is up we will never deal with Volkswagen again. They don't want to do anything to help their customers, and that's a shame. I have done research on the coil issue and there are a lot of people who have encountered this same problem, obviously there is a huge defect and a lot of vehicles were affected.

- New Tripoli, PA, USA

problem #8

Aug 012006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 74,000 miles


Bought a Volkswagen Jetta gls in 2003. Several things have had to be replaced. For example the glove box cover, wheel bearing. My mechanic told me that on most newer vehicles that wheel bearings do not require maintenance. My car has 74,000 miles. Last week I was driving and my malfunction indicator light started flashing and the car if going over 30 mph cut out. There was a rotten egg smell. It immediately went to the dealership and they said the catalytic converter and 2 coils were faulty. They replaced the catalytic converter and ignition coils for cylinders 1&3 and cleared fault codes. The catalytic converter was replaced under warranty. But said Volkswagen feels the ignition coils are a regular maintenance issue. I have done some research and am finding that Volkswagen has numerous complaints on the coils. In my research I found that VW had a customer satisfaction letter that was sent out to VW owners to bring car into dealership to replace the coils. VW representative in Michigan told me that they stopped doing that in 2005. I believe that I should have not had to pay to replace the ignition coils. VW knows that they have had numerous problems with this. I love my VW but I have had problems this car that I have never had in any other vehicle. I trade vehicles every 3-4 years but will not purchase another Volkswagen. Not because I have had so many things go wrong because the strange problems I have had with the car and Volkswagen doesn't take care of their drivers.

- Mansfield, TX, USA

problem #7

Dec 182003

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 2,300 miles
My brand new 2003 Jetta gli failed to start at a shopping center. The car was parked there for only two hours. Seems like the battery and ignition switch works, but the engine would not start. Called aaa. After 10 minutes and numerous attempts of cranking the engine, he was able to start the car. Took car into the delearship. They were not able to duplicate the problem after two days, but put 60 miles on the car.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 232003

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 8,800 miles
This is the second time now that my 2003 VW 1.8T Jetta would not start when I went to leave for work in the morning. I un-lock the doors with the remote and get in the car, press in on the clutch and turn the key, the headlights, radio, door-chimes and interior lights all come on but the engine will not turn over at all. I only have 8800 miles on the car at this point in time, the first time was about two weeks ago and the dealer can't seem to find anything wrong with it. I don't understand what could possibly be causing the problem except that both time it has been near freezing outside and the car had sat over-night. The first time the dealer had my car for three days, without giving me a loaner car before they told me to come pick it up because they couldn't duplicate the problem. This time they have had my car for two days now, and I haven't even received a phone call from them to let me know about the progress of my vehicle.

- Crestview Hills , KY, USA

problem #5

Jan 172003


  • 3,900 miles
Failure (cracked) of multiple ignition coil packs- causes engine to misfire/sputter- allowable emissions exceeded (mil-light indicator). Scc ***dimsii IVOQ entry posted after 12/12/02 cut-over to artemis****770863****

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #4

Jan 272003

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 6,942 miles


Ignition coil failure on the 1.8 liter turbo engine for the Volkswagen Jetta.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #3

Jan 012003

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My coil packs seem to be failing, but cannot be reproduced by the dealer. My 2003 Jetta 1.8T runs very rough in the morning and then runs fine. I am scared that the coil packs will fail in a critical driving situation.

- Normal, IL, USA

problem #2

Jan 232003

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,200 miles
Ignition coil on a brand new VW will go bad. I own a 2003 VW Jetta 1.8T. Ignition coil #3 went out while I was driving on the highway. Car just lost power and started to run very rough. Brought it in to dealership to repair and was inform that they are aware of this problem and parts are back ordered. Shouldn't there be a notice sent out to owners about this problem and it's potential risk?

- Shawnee, KS, USA

problem #1

Jan 132003

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 6,300 miles
Ignition coil packs are faulty on 2002 VW Jetta's with 1.8T engines. There are four of these parts on each 1.8T engine. This problem causes the engine to misfire to the point of the car will stall and can not be driven. VW is aware of the problem and has not issued a recall and will only replace the defective coil that fails not all defective coils. Owners could be stranded on the roadside and face potential danger. One of my coils failed this January 13, 2003

- Allston, MA, USA

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