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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,596 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.

2005 Volkswagen Jetta electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Sep 222014


  • 66,521 miles


The wiring harness of the driver's door failed, which prevents the left turn signal, windows, door locks and gas fill door from functioning. The car becomes unsafe since the left signal will not work and the window will not operate so the driver can do a manual signal. VW has issued a service bulletin on the issue stating that the original wiring harness is too short and breaks causing this issue, but they refuse to recall the car and fix the problem. A class action lawsuit has been filed on this issue, and is close to settlement, but will only cover cars less than 8.5 years old. Most of the cars effected by this issue, 2005 and 2006 model years, are older than 8.5 years so VW will not fix them. The following youtube video demonstrates all of these issues, please view it for full details: www.youtube.com/watch?V=P1eq5xl-zpm the following web site has information on the class action law suit: www.wiringharnesssettlement.com/

- Solana Beach, CA, USA

problem #28

Sep 012014


  • 94,000 miles
Driver's side rear door wiring harness has broken, resulting in no operation of power window or door lock. Door will not lock. Service technician has advised replacement of the wiring harness.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #27

Jan 012013

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Sometime in early to mid 2013, I received a notice from Volkswagen that I needed to bring my 2005 Jetta in to have the driver's seat wiring harness repaired due to a recall. I had no prior problems with the air bags or warning lights. I took the vehicle in and they did the work. Within a few days, I got an error message in the display that there was a failure with the air bags. I took the vehicle back to Volkswagen. I was told that the technician failed to clear something in the computer memory so the failure message had come on. They indicated they cleared the message and the air bag light on the display did go off. A few months later, the air bag error message came on again. I tool the car back to Volkswagen. This time they said it was not related to the wiring harness and I would have to pay to have a new driver's seat side airbag installed, at a cost of about $700. In November 2013 I corresponded with Volkswagen and complained about the issue because I had no problems until they replaced the wiring harness. Volkswagen's response was that, even though I had brought the vehicle in for recalls on "a campaign related to airbag connectors and wiring", it was now the airbag itself that was bad not the connectors or wiring, so they would not repair it. The airbag light on the display is still there.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #26

May 152014


  • 122,000 miles


TL * the contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that the electric power controls on the driver's side door failed. The window, lighting, fuel door latch, trunk latch, and side mirror failed to function as designed due to the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the defect, but the vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The approximate failure mileage was 122,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #25

Feb 282014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 102,242 miles
Wire harness in both front doors are broken due to short wires and the purge valve is also broken and the over head light is faulty and I feel like the 2005 -2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 should be recalled due to faulty wiring in the vehicle and Volkswagen is aware of the problem but will not resolve the issue and I think they should at least fix the problem for the consumer. I hope someone investigate this issue asap!!!!

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #24

Jan 172014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • miles
The automatic door lock stopped working for passenger door behind driver. There is not way to manually lock.

- St Joseph, MO, USA

problem #23

Dec 282013

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


I went to press the button on the remote to unlock the. Car, but all doors unlocked except the driver side door. I manually had to unlock car door. When I was inside I shut the door but the car kept indicating that it was opened. The window would not roll down, side mirror cannot be adjusted, cannot open trunk or pop the gas tank. Doors are sup post to auto lock at a certain speed which they no longer lock while driving. The switches on every other door are still operating properly except for speed locks. It is a safety issue because children may attempt to open car door while it is in motion. I searched online for same vehicles that have the same issue. There are several that indicate what the issue is, the wires are to short for the doors to open and close which pulls on them and will cause the connection to break leaving the door powerless.

- Olive Branch, MS, USA

problem #22

Aug 252012


  • 118,000 miles
2005.5 Jetta--vehicle has rough shifting between 2nd and 3rd gears. As well as downshifting. While driving on a mountainside, going 65 mph, the car suddenly downshifted to 3rd gear and would not accelerate. I had to pull over on the side of a mountain, with cars flying by me. The car would not shift gears until turned off and on again. This is now happening during regular acceleration at low speeds. This is a huge safety concern, as I could have been rear ended by another vehicle due to loss of power/speed.

- Prescott Valley, AZ, USA

problem #21

Jun 172013


  • 93,330 miles
The windows and doors failed to unlock, the windows would not roll up or down, and the door ajar indicator would not turn off with the door securely shut. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who performed said the failure was caused by the drivers door wiring harness. The dealer replaced the driver door wiring harness. This occurred at 80,000 miles. Failure occurred again at 93,330 miles, and repaired by a different auto mechanic.

- Hudson, NH, USA

problem #20

Apr 102013


  • 111,970 miles
Left turn signal, drivers door/all remote window switches, trunk/fuel door release, drivers door lock key fob locking of drivers door/drivers door internal lock are all inoperative. Occasionally, the cabin interior light remains on with a drivers "door open" indication on the instrument cluster even though the drivers door is closed and secure (but unable to be locked from the drivers door lock switch in the passenger cabin). The primary safety issue related to this problem is that the left turn signal displays on instrument cluster, but does not activate on the rear turn signal light and drivers window (along with all other windows remotely controlled on drivers door) are inoperative if needed to make a hand turn signal or egress from the vehicle in an accident (or submerged under water for an egress). Dealer and manufacture both refused to cover the replacement cost of the faulty part. I have performed every manufacture required service required (all documented) since purchasing this vehicle in the interest of safety and reliability. It had very low mileage on my purchase in early 2007. Per VW technical service bulletin, group 97: 09-01 (201-7600), February 26, 2009, states that the drivers door wiring harness was manufactured 80 mm too short. This results in putting strain on the numerous wires in this harness near the door boot and connector plug causing wires to break and/or electrically short. My vehicle was affected by the VIN range of this manufactures service bulletin. The new replacement drivers door electrical harness are now 80 mm longer than the originally manufactured (installed) faulty part that the manufacture is unwilling to replace at their cost (parts or labor). I will pay for my repair personally, but believe that the safety aspect of this faulty part could compromise the safety of the driver and occupants in addition to other motorist.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #19

Jul 042012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 80,000 miles


Switches in the driver's door have become gradually (and intermittently) increasingly inoperable. Door lock/unlock, windows up/down, window lock, side-view mirror adjustment, and trunk release all have stopped working either entirely or intermittently. The major safety related issues are: 1. non-functional switches are a distraction while driving - can't close window at tool booth, etc. 2. the inability to adjust side-view mirrors. 3. the inability to lock rear windows combined with having small children riding in the back seat. 4. the inability to unlock rear doors (without using the keyless remote - one of which has also stopped working) to get to the kids in the back is a challenge and potentially hazardous. 5. the door switch that indicates to the on-board computer when the door is open or closed also is not functional, causing nighttime lighting issues when parked and opening door.

- Cumberland, RI, USA

problem #18

Dec 212012


  • 68,235 miles
Hi, so my 2005.5 2.5L Volkswagen Jetta started making noises upon acceleration and the engine would shift quite heavily during idling. The check engine light went on and I took the car to dealership. Apparently, there is an issue with the timing chains of the engine. Never missed a maintenance, after only 68,000 miles it doesn't seem okay that timing chains are already affected. After looking at a few forums online, it seems that this is a very common problem for Volkswagen Jettas from that time. Please investigate! thank you.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #17

Jan 122010


  • 60,000 miles
Door locks intermittently fail to lock or unlock, either by the key fob button or door panel lock/unlock switch. I believe this is a safety issue as it may impede access to the vehicle in the event of an accident.

- Versailles, KY, USA

problem #16

Oct 092012


  • 134,273 miles
I purchased this car from a dealership on 10-8-2012 up in the Washington, D.C. area and drove it back home to my house in SC. Everything was fine on the way home. The very next day on my way into work the car hesitated when it was supposed to shift from 3rd gear to 4th gear and then suddenly downshifted all the way back to 1st gear which made the car de-accelerate from 35-40mph to 10mph within 40 feet or so. The engine revved to 6000 plus rpms which scared me but not as much as the big truck that was towing a trailer that had to skid off the road and go around me to avoid an accident. This is now a daily occurrence. I carry my 16 month old daughter around in this car and I'm scared to death that someone is going to smash into the back of us. I've started pulling off the road and letting cars go to avoid accidents. Please help!

- Laurens, SC, USA

problem #15

Jun 122012

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
A few weeks ago, I went to start my car and all the lights were flashing and car didn't start. Jumped the battery, got the car running; but ever since my air bag light has stayed on and the driver's window is slow, the auto up/down feature not working, and if the driver door is open, I can't pop trunk or gas lid or roll down any of the windows. My car is no longer under warranty, so it's going to be very expensive to fix the multiple issues.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #14

May 012012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 105,000 miles
Windows, door locks, trunk and fuel door release and airbags non-functioning due to wiring harness located in drivers door. Found out there is issue concerning the length of the harness that causes wires to break over time.

- Statesboro, GA, USA

problem #13

May 012011


  • 73,000 miles
The car has 83K miles, since approx 1 year ago (73K miles) the lcd multifuction display is getting dimmer and dimmer up to the point that sometimes is almost unreadable and the problem occur only when the car is exposed to high temperatures. (in the morning the lcd brightness is normal). I did some research in the internet and found other people have the same condition. The lcd multifunction display shows the odometer data, the transmission gear position and also shows safety warnings related to air bags malfunction and front and rear doors not properly closed. I was advised by a dealer service advisor to contact VW customer service because the repair of this defect is very expensive and according to him may be caused by defective parts. I was told by VW customer service that there is nothing they can do because is not recognized as a manufacturer defect. I understand that it is illegal for a car owner to alter the odometer during the lifetime of the car, if that is the case should be illegal a for a car manufacturer to sell a car that after six years you are unable to read the odometer information.

- Sylmar, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 272011


  • 196,000 miles
Front end crash into a stopped vehicle on county highway. Approximately 35 mph to 40 mph. None of the air bags deployed. Vehicle was totaled by insurance provider. Seat belt straining upon body, that took full force of stop no other absorption of impact energy. Vehicle kept energized even at the salvage storage area when keys were inserted no electrically safety relays disengaged the vehicle electrical system.

- Canon, GA, USA

problem #11

Jul 082011

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 65,500 miles
Wiring harness between the body and the doors flexes during opening and closing of the door. The wire coating becomes brittle with age and cracks causing stress points in the wire leading to breakage of 1 or more wires in the harness leading to inoperable controls and electronics in the door, possible electrical short, and potential fire hazard. This failure tends to occur after a couple years of usage. This particular vehicle failed at 65,000 miles. Usually the driver's door fails first as it is used most frequently. This equipment includes but may not be limited to window controls, door locks, door open sensor, air bag system crash sensor, trunk release switch, fuel door release switch, door mirror adjustment, mirror turn signal indicator, mirror heating element. Wiring harness must be replaced which costs approximately $150-$200. Harness should be redesigned with longer wires to avoid stretching of the wire and wire coating material changed to avoid brittleness with age and work hardening.

- State College, PA, USA

problem #10

Dec 262009


  • 105,000 miles
Turn signal switch malfunction and fire... right turn signal activated without switch being activated. After about 5-10 minutes in this condition, smoke came out of steering column. Fire/marking could be seen in the switch area. Eventually the turn signal went out and the smoke/fire stoppped. VW service replaced the switch and wire harnes. The plactic on the switch and harnes was melted and charred.

- Zionsville, PA, USA

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