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.

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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,572 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.

2004 Volkswagen Jetta transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 302010

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


Catastrophic drive train failure of a VW Jetta tdi 5-speed. While traveling at 65-70 mph on relatively flat terrain on a clear roadway in 5th gear with no input to the clutch or the transmission, occupants felt & heard a single, muffled ┐thump┐. originating drive train failure event occurred spontaneously and completely unexpectedly. After the anomaly, a low metallic rattle was heard. Once clear of surrounding traffic, in troubleshooting attempt the driver engaged clutch and shifted into neutral; immediately the rattling became more pronounced. Fifth gear immediately reengaged and noise abated. Driver navigated vehicle under power to right lane & subsequently exited expressway. Upon approach to side street traffic light, the clutch was reengaged resulting in a renewed rattling; transmission shifted into neutral. When clutch was let out, the constant rattling noise continued as engine idled. With signal change, clutch reengaged & transmission shifted to 1st gear. Clutch slowly, carefully released: Noticeable noise increase followed by short series of loud, sharp noises. Vehicle lurched and stalled. Two attempts to restart engine failed; no engine response. Police notified & vehicle towed to dealer. Significant fluid leakage noticed. Subsequently notified by VW dealer that main shaft of transmission catastrophically failed pressing flywheel into motor damaging casing, bearings & crankshaft lobs resulting in immediate seizing of the diesel power plant. Total replacement of transmission and engine assembly required (est ~$11K). This vehicle had all maintenance service performed regularly at 5K intervals by VW dealer (documented) and had recently had full 100K service including timing belt replacement. No notification/concern for additional transmission inspection/service. Clutch recently seemed to be engaging a wee bit further but no bottoming of pedal or clutch slippage. Owner expected to schedule clutch inspection/work during next 5K service visit.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #6

Feb 062009


  • 78,000 miles
I was driving my 2004 VW Jetta diesel tdi 5-speed home from work. It has 78,000 miles on it. The majority of which are highway/interstate miles due to my work being a long distance from home. I was in 4th gear doing about 45 mph with the cruise control on and was almost home. I heard a "bang" from under the car and lost power. Fluid was leaking from under the car, and I could no logger shift gears. I had it towed to a repair shop. They originally said a part of the clutch had broken off and punctured the transmission case. After additional review they determined it was a piece of the "dual mass flywheel" that had broken off and done the damage. I was forced to pay approximately $2,500 in parts and labor for a new clutch, flywheel, rebuilt tranny, etc... to get my car repaired. After researching this problem more I found that this problem with VW's dual mass flywheel is a pretty common problem. See this link for one source... if the dual mass flywheel had exploded upward toward the interior of the car rather than downward there likely would have been injuries to the occupants of the vehicle. This would seem to be a safety concern to VW.

- Tullahoma, TN, USA

problem #5

Sep 152008


  • miles
The latest incident with this 2004 VW Jetta is one in which everything electric stops working. No A/C, not lights, no blinkers, no windows, no horn - and there is a smell of smoke in the car. This first happened in January/08 and the dealership said it was wiring. Now it happened again! occurs just while driving along. Car smells like smoke and everything stops working. I get the runaround from the dealer, vista VW in pompano beach, fl. They always seem to find something wrong with the car now that is not under warranty. Please investigate this - there is something wrong with these Jetta's! I have found 100's of complaints on consumer sites about this car. I am tired of paying my hard earned dollars to the dealer when this is an issue with the manufacturer of this car. I advised the dealer of this when I took it in in January; his response was, too bad, you do not qualify for the car lemon law since the car is out of warrant and purchased it in Dec/05. Please do something for us consumers that are tired of being manipulated and overcharged for issues that should be the responsibility of the auto manufacturer. Please let me know if there is anyone other Agency I can contact. I will not give up on this and hope you can assist me. Thank you.

- Lighthouse Point, FM, USA

problem #4

Jun 122008


  • 58,000 miles


The clutch failed and left my wife stranded on the road. Dealer states the clutch failure was due to driving, but recent searches on the internet appear to point to other owners with premature clutch failures on Volkswagen tdi's.

- Boyertown , PA, USA

problem #3

Nov 012007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Car lost power as driving on highway, towed to garage and found out coil packs need to be replaced at the cost of $900. I had to pay this but this should not be on a 3 year old car with 55,000 miles, well maintained and can be proven.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 042004

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 1 miles
The wrong transmission was placed in my car from the factory.

- Lyons, IN, USA

problem #1

May 132005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,000 miles
Our 2004 VW Jetta 1.8T has had numerous problems from a clicking/popping noise in the front end at approxmiately 10,000 miles, to the transmission locking up while operating vehicle. The clutch/disc went completely out at 15,000 miles. All the interior and exterior lights went out as my wife was driving in the dark on a non lit back road to work, transmission locked up between 3rd and 4th gears, transmission still slipping, back door locks do not un-lock when remote is activated, service department has re-torqued everything on vehicle but this has not made problems go away. Since May 2005, the service department at local VW dealership has had my car fora total of 62 days for service and it is still not fixed. Problems continue to mount and the dealership for the most part states "that they cannot replicate the problem." The dealership replaced all the wheel bearings in the front of the vehicle and this did not stop the clicking/popping noise, they replaced the clutch disc this did not clear up the problem, the electrical problem could not be replicated per dealership, the engine continues to have a whistling noise, transmission continues to slip. The driver's side leather seat has the seams pooping loose and a part of the frame is pushing through the leather. Trunk latch has been replaced 2 times. Dealership states car is safe to operate, I beg to differ!

- Senoia, GA, USA

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