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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
17 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,850 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Jun 042005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,150 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was driving my 2003 VW Jetta under normal road conditions. I stopped at a red light in an intersection, continued when it turned green. I hit a small sized pothole at the other end of the intersection at speeds below 15mph, which caused the wrongful deployment of the side curtain and seat airbags as well as locking the seatbelt tensioner making it inoperable. I inspected the vehicle after the incident and found no damage whatsoever to all body panels and wheels/tires. The following morning I had a mechanic inspect the car for any suspension or steering problems and none were found. I took the vehicle to the dealer where I purchased it to have it fixed under warranty and the dealer and VW of America have denied warranty repairs and have not yet done anything to fix the problem. I did research on the internet for similar incidents with this make and model and have found that there have been 500 similar incidents of spontaneous airbag deployment in 2002-2004 VW Jettas, golfs, gti and new beetles around the country.

- Roselle Park, NJ, USA

problem #24

Feb 112005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Very simple: I was driving and the passenger side airbag exploded. Something needs to be done!! this car needs to be recalled. The deploying of the airbag scared me so much that I almost crashed over this!

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #23

Sep 242003

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 39,500 miles
1. accident where the car was struck at 90deg between driver door and rear passenger door by pick up truck 2. side impact airbags did not deploy 3. dealer did not want to get involved, manufacturer ignored the issue, stating that the air bags do not deploy in all circumstances.

- Colchester , VT, USA

problem #22

Jun 242004

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

In June 2004, I was driving down joplin rd near quantico, va and driver-side airbag deployed. While its a winding road, I didn't feel any impact. The dealer said that although there was no physical damage to the outside of the car, something hit the inside of the car on the passenger side telling the airbag to deploy. They said my insurance company will have to cover the airbag/seat replacement (about $2500). This is the second time an airbag deployed in this vehicle for no apparent reason. (note: I previously reported this complaint in July 2004 but had included both incidents in one complaint.)

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #21

Dec 252004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The driver was making a right turn out of the parking lot when all of a sudden the air bag deployed inadvertently. Manufacturer was contacted by the owner.

- West Nyack, NY, USA

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problem #20

Jan 082005

Jetta

  • 17,700 miles
Complaint received via E-mail. My brother was driving my 2003 Volkswagen Jetta on route 17 in New Jersey and passed over railroad track at a speed between 20-30 mph (on 50 mph highway). After clearing the tracks the drivers side curtain airbag and side airbag deployed. Luckily, no one was hurt... immediately he came to my job (I work at a car dealership) for one of the technicians, for me to look at.vehicle. We could not find any damage or any signs of a collision. So, I took my car to Volkswagen so this could be fixed. Then, I was informed because driving over the railroad tracks triggered my crash sensor causing it to register a crash or collision, this was not covered. The dealership then informed me to call my insurance company and file a claim. Now I would like your advice is this suppose to happen, and since it happened to me, should it happen to everyone if the warranty doesn't cover it. Wouldn't a faulty sensor rather then a busy road traveled by thousands a day cause this.

- Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, USA

problem #19

Jul 192004

(reported on)

Jetta

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Inadvertent air bag deployment in the 2002-2003 Volkswagen Jetta and 2003 Honda Accord.

- Washington, WA, USA

problem #18

Apr 182004

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,485 miles
I hit a pothole and my side curtain airbags deployed. VW states that the airbags should have deployed in this situation and that I am responsible for the cost of repairs ($2196.85 in parts plus whatever they charge for labor).

- Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #17

Jun 242004

Jetta Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
In December 2003, I was driving on I-495 in the DC area and hit a small rock (felt similar to hitting a pothole). My passenger-side airbag deployed...after inspection, the dealer said that, although there was no damage to the outside of the car, there was a small scratch on the airbag sensor. It was considered a collision and my insurance had to cover the bill (around $2500). Six months later (June 2004), I was driving down joplin rd near quantico, va and driver-side airbag deploys. While its a winding road, I didn't feel any impact. I just got a call from the dealer's service dept. Saying that (again) while there is no visible damage to the outside of the car, it appears that something hit the inside of the car on the passenger side telling the airbag to deploy. Again, they said my insurance company will have to cover the airbag/seat replacement.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #16

Jun 052004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,500 miles
While exiting the baltimore harbor tunnel North bound at 55 miles per hour I hit a pothole. The pothole slightly damage the right front(passenger side) rim and broke the tire seal. The driver side curtain and seat airbag deployed unexpectedly. Also can not retract or adjust my seat belt. Minor medical injures ocurred. Decided to check for others who have had this problem and it seems Volkswagen in all those cases will not take responsibility, so I decided to file a complaint. Will speak to my dealer asap.

- Timonium, MD, USA

problem #15

May 062004

Jetta

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While driving 25 mph consumer ran over a rock. This caused the driver's side seat air bag to deploy. Consumer drove the vehicle to dealer for inspection, and mechanic informed consumer that a cause had not been determined. A representative would inspect vehicle and then make a determination.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #14

Apr 202004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
While backing out of my driveway, at no more than 1 or 2 mph, the drivers side, side curtain airbags deployed. VW has thus far claimed the vehicle hit something causing them to deploy.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #13

Mar 142004

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,630 miles
The consumer was driving down the freeway and without notice or cause the curtain air bag and passenger air bag deployed, injuring the passenger. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer. However the dealer said they will not cover it. There were minor scratches found under the vehicle which could have been proof of a previous accident but there was no damage on the passenger's side of the vehicle which would have been the cause of the air bag deployment. (model-gls tdi wagon)

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #12

Mar 312004

Jetta

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
While driving between 65 and 70 mph and without any warning front and window passenger air bags deployed. Dealer notified.

- Dale City, VA, USA

problem #11

Feb 082004

Jetta

  • Manual transmission
  • 3,100 miles
Passenger side and curtain airbags deployed upon driving over a pothole. Volkswagen of America has refused to acknowledge this as a defect in the vehicle and has refused to repair the interior damage caused by the deployment under the limited new vehicle warranty. A memorandum from my insurance company notes that both they and an employee of VW have seen this occur with other VW Jettas. My insurance company also seems to be of the opinion that the sensors are too sensitive as it "detected" a crash when there was neither a crash nor an accident.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #10

Dec 272003

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
I was driving down a city street and stopped at a red light. I proceeded to make a right hand turn; about midway through the turn my drivers' side front and rear side curtain air bags as well as the drivers' seat airbag deployed. There is a pot hole at that intersection, however I do not remember hitting it, I only remember getting hit in the head by the airbag. If I had hit the pot hole, the airbags still should have not deployed because I was only going at most 10mph, the rims nor the tires were damaged. There was no damage to the car at all besides the airbags. The police were contacted, they would not fill out a complaint since there wasn't actually an accident. I then contacted the local dealership and they said they would fix it since it's under warranty. However VW America had a different idea. They told the dealership not to fix it and that we would have to file with our insurance because there were crash data codes. They did not bother reading the codes to see how fast I was driving, but they decided it was my fault since the alignment was off, therefore I must have hit a pothole. After 3 weeks of fighting with VW America, we filed a complaint with the better business bureau, after 2 weeks of waiting to hear from them, they also said they could not help, they stopped helping airbag deployment accident victims over a year ago. We filed a claim with our insurance and had to pay the deductible. We are currently filing a complaint with the state for the pothole that allegedly caused the airbag deployment. I have constant headaches as a result of getting hit in the head by the airbags. I will never again own a Volkswagen, they are unsafe vehicles and the way they treat their customers is unacceptable!

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #9

Mar 072004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 18,292 miles
Driving along a bad road hit a pot hole going around 45 miles per hour and the passenger side air bag went off. This happend on March 7 of 2004 around 1:30am. No visable damage to the car. Dealership said its not covered by the warenty. Air bag went off by going over a pot hole. That is no reason for an airbag to deploy, need dealership to replace the airbags.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #8

Feb 042003

Jetta

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While turning into the parking deck at one of my satellite offices, my passenger side curtain and seat airbag deployed. I immediately contacted the manufacturer as there was no evidence of an impact anywhere on the vehicle. Once the vehicle was towed to the local VW service center, I was informed that they could not begin work on the vehicle until they contacted a VW representative due to a technical bulletin. It took 3 days before the VW representative returned a call to the dealership. It took several days longer before the named representative from VW customer relations contacted me. The service center at VW advised me that there was crash data and a mark on the underside of my vehicle. After several more days and after involving my insurance company, VW finally responded advising me that I must have hit a curb or speed bump which caused my airbags to deploy. It is now over three weeks later and I have just today been informed that the parts to fix the vehicle are backordered and no other parts are available in country. In the short 7 months that I have owned this vehicle, this is the second time that there has been an incident (malfunction) and both times the parts have been backordered from overseas causing a delay in servicing the vehicle of more than three weeks.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #7

Dec 282003

Jetta

  • miles
My daughter-in-law was driving her VW Jetta 2003 on a city street when the driver side (window curtain) air bags burst open. She had not hit anything, not even a pot hole when it went off. However, the bag hit her leaving her with bruising, a strained neck, and muscle aches. She is also quite afraid to drive the car. VW of America refuses to do anything about it. ODI#10061865

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #6

Dec 022003

(reported on)

Jetta

  • miles
While making a left hand turn side curtain and side air bags inadvertently deployed. Driver sustained minor burns to arms and hands.

- Denton, TX, USA

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