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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,507 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.

2009 Volkswagen Jetta brakes problems

brakes problem

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2009 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #17

Jun 132016


  • 100,000 miles


Here's another ABS module failure thanks to VW's horrible design. The failure is causing the entire dash cluster to go haywire. Car beeps all the time because it thinks the emergency brake is on. Speedometer doesn't work! fuel gauge jumps up when engaging brakes. ABS, traction, epc, cel lights constantly on, and sometimes it goes into limp mode making it dangerous to drive on the highway. VW charges $2,000 for the part excl labor which is 20% of the price of the car new. This should not happen with a seven year old car at only 100K miles

- Spring Valley, CA, USA

problem #16

May 022016


  • 59,000 miles
Randomly, most of the vehicle warning lights, check engine or malfunction indicator light, brake system, ABS, traction control or esp, airbag fault, appear while I am using a brake for red light and driving on any kinds of roads. Then I feel the wheel as heavier than usual, the past (cannot turn smoothly like before). I just purchased the used vehicle on December 16, 2015. The cardealer, autonation, sold the car by advertising that's well maintenanced and all checked. However, within6 months after the purchase, those vehicle warning lights came up on the display. Autonation suggested me to go to wollswagen dealer. The mechanic at the local Volkswagen dealer gave me an estimates for the repair around 2,000 usd saying that ABS system is not working and needs to be replaced by a new one. I asked a help to autonation, but the dealer said that's why Volkswagen car is known as a risky choise. The dealer appolozied me saying that he cannot help me. Is there any way to return the car to autonation or to get my car repaired by autonation?

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #15

Nov 142015


  • 55,000 miles
During normal driving ABS, brake, and ESC lights turned on to inform me there's problem with the braking system. My vehicle at the time only had around 55,000 miles. I believe the ABS module prematurely malfunctioned. VW dealer confirmed a faulty ABS module and it will cost $2,200 to fix it. When searching for related issues on the internet, if found numerous similar complaints regarding the ABS failure. I can only assume that there are more drivers who have experienced the problem like me, but has not filed a complaint yet. I didn't even consider filing a complaint until I finally got it confirmed that it was the ABS module failure. I believe VW should replace the ABS module at no cost to owner.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #14

Nov 252015


  • 90,000 miles


Here's a video I made that shows the effects: I'll just be driving along and suddenly the car will start beeping and the power steering will quit working and every warning light on the dashboard will come on at the same time and the speedometer will drop to zero no matter what speed I'm driving and sometimes the car will pop out of gear while I'm driving 70 miles an hour on the freeway. It started out intermittently in 2014 and the dealership couldn't diagnose the problem. But then it started happening more and more frequently and the issue could be identified in late 2015. So now 2 different VW dealerships have told me that the issue is a faulty ABS module. It's crazy that an ABS module can shut down so many different systems while the car is in motion. If you look around online you'll find it affects several different VW models, at least the Jetta and the golf, maybe others. My wife and I don't drive the car anymore because we don't want to get in a wreck when the car just pops out of gear for no reason. But I bet other people have been hurt by these faulty ABS modules and all the dangerous effects they have on the car.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #13

Sep 192015


  • 79,181 miles
ABS warning light solid yellow, break light flashing red and beeping, esp/asr light solid yellow (inactive.) VW dealership replaced ABS module and pump total bill $ 3109.44

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #12

Jun 242015


  • 72,015 miles
I was driving down the street when a loud beeping and the red ABS failure + every light on dashboard lit up. Every gauge stopped working (the gas gauge, speedometer, etc) I was close to home and carefully proceeded to the house. After a half mile the car stalled and the engine died. Because I was prepared for an event, I immediately set hazards and rolled to the side of the road. I restarted the car and made it the rest of the way home (2 blocks) without it stalling again. I have not driven the car since, I took it the VW dealer and it was determined the ABS module failed / broke and caused the problems. This is obviously a manufacturing the defect which can cause an immediate harmful affect. If I was on a highway or being careful far beyond any normal sense I could have easily been in a life threatening accident.

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

problem #11

Apr 092015


  • 64,000 miles


Upon driving through a highway interchange at a lower rate of speed the electronic stability control disconnected with an amber solid light on the instrument cluster indicating so, the anti-lock braking system also disengaged indicated as well with an amber solid light on the instrument cluster, and the brake light was flashing red on the instrument cluster. Upon turning off the car and turning it back on it resets, however the issue is becoming more common as time goes on.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #10

Feb 092015


  • 83,000 miles
Anti-lock brake and stability control failure during braking event. During braking event on slippery surface: 1.) ABS engaged as normal at start of braking event. 2.) ABS stopped working and wheels locked up resulting in vehicle rotation. 3.) stability control and brake warning lights came on accompanied by a beep. 4.) after braking event warning lights remained on and ABS/stability were non-functional. 5.) after car restart warning lights were gone and ABS/stability control worked. Under gentle braking on slippery surface ABS works. Able to consistently recreate issue with hard braking or hard acceleration on slippery surface. There is no indication of an issue prior to failure. Car was checked by VW dealership prior to failure and no error codes were returned pertaining to ABS/stability control.

- Cambridge , MA, USA

problem #9

Jan 252015


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owned a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving at approximately 45 mph and applying the brake pedal, the ABS, the stability, and the brake warning lights illuminated. In addition, there was a loud abnormal noise and the vehicle spun out of control. The vehicle flipped three times and crashed into a bush. The air bags did not deploy. There were no injuries. The contact did not disclose if a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the rear passenger axle was fractured. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Bellflower, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 032015

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 111,000 miles
My VW Jetta tdi had many problems since I purchased it. First, we had problems with the injection system imploding. They asked if we ever put in gasoline instead of diesel. I told them absolutely not. They wanted to charge me $6500 because car was out of warranty but service manager got VW to pay for it because I said I was going to get an attorney. On June 27, 2014 we had with an electrical problem where the battery was draining from a short in the radio modulator. The car had 101,348 miles. They fixed the problem which took 9 days to fix and cost $1238.56. I noticed the radio would stayed on with the key out of the car after that though. Then we had the check engine, air bag, ABS and traction lights on at 109,452. I took it to my service station on 11/28/2014, but he said the dealer had to program update the software and check the ABS module for electrical problem. The dealer said it was the O2 sensor on number 2 cylinder. They found no problems with the air bag, ABS module or traction control. They charged me $600. The lights were all off. On January 3, my 17 year old daughter and her girlfriend went to the movies last night with the car. It was lightly raining out. She left the movie theatre around 8:20 pm. She came up to an intersection that was turning red. She applied the brakes and skidded through the intersection hitting another vehicle that was crossing. She was doing about 40 mph. She said the car did not want to stop. She said there where lights on the dashboard when she was driving. People in the other car went to hospital.

- Forked River, NJ, USA

problem #7

Aug 282014


  • 93,400 miles


Going down the interstate at 70mph beside a semi, the car slightly (not enough to take me out of my lane) pulls to the side & ding! ding! ding! 'ABS' & 'esp' lights come on & the emergency 'brake' light on the dash starts flashing. No additional symptoms that I noticed on the next 15miles to work, just the dash lights. Upon arriving at work I park & shut the car off. Restart it. And everything appears as thou it was an aberration. No lights. No dinging. From a car that goes nuts when you're simply just low on wiper-fluid, it could be something major like an ABS module or 'speed sensor' (from what 100S of other owners say online) or something 'minor' like a corroded fuse. Needless to say, while I'm wincing at the potential repair costs, I'm in fear of & dreading my drive home this evening. I'm glad no one was hurt this time but as we all know, the odds are someone is going to get hurt. Whatever is causing this problem for numerous VW owners is a safety issue. If ABS & traction control are mandatory features on a car via the NHTSA, it stands to reason that rampant problems such as VW Jetta owners are experiencing is a manufacturer's quality issue. It's not normal wear & tear. I actually trust the NHTSA to do the right things here; find out what the problem is & make VW fix it. The only other option the NHTSA has is to ignore a blatant problem with the ABS & traction stability controls of a mass production family sedan/vehicle.

- Owenton, KY, USA

problem #6

Jan 272014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 74,366 miles
My vehicle was stuck in a snow drift at the end of my road. I deactivated my electronic skid protection to get my vehicle free from the snow drift. I successfully made it onto the road and only going 20mpn due to icy roads and bad weather conditions. 1 to 2 miles down from where I was stuck, my ABS and esp light came on and I almost lost control but because I was going so slow, I was a ble to keep it on the road. I pulled into the closest gas station to investigate and my rear brakes were locked up and would not come loose. I thought they may ahve been frozen so I cleaned what snow was on there and actuated the brakes several times, moving my vehicle back and forth to break them loose. This did not work so I drove it about 4 miles to the closest VW dealership, which was very difficult due to the icy roads and my rear wheels locked up. The VW technician told me that because my rear wheels were stuck in that snow drift and my front tires were trying to get me unstuck, a code popped up which activated my rear brakes. He cleared the code and my car works perfectly fine. If this "code" had tripped 10 minutes later, I would have been on the highway traveling at higher speeds on very bad road conditions and would have cause an accident. I do not know if the dealership was truthful as to what they found, if it was truly a code or if they were just frozen shut which created the code. I just wanted to create a complaint to log this issue in case this happens again, I have proof of the issue and complaint.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #5

May 022012

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
My ABS light came on when I was in cruise control at 60 mph and knocked me out of cruise control. Another time I was getting ready to stop for a stop sign and the brake pedal started to vibrate and I almost couldn't stop and the ABS light went on.

- Palm Desert, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 012011

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 56,855 miles
I picked the car up from the dealer on Friday Sept. 30 for repairs from the earlier incident and drove the car approximately 95 miles. On sat. Oct 1 I drove 5 miles and as I turned into my drive way the car shut off in the same manner as before, the doors unlocked and the dash board lights went black. Only this time it did not restart after waiting. I had the car towed to the dealer again, and this time it was a faulty climate control switch in the electrical unit. I contacted VW America again about the issues with the car. See compliant #10428913. I expressed my issues the safety of the car and that the car was suddenly shutting off. VW America covered the cost of the second repairs but not the first.

- Oxon Hill , MD, USA

problem #3

May 232011


  • 15,800 miles
My Jetta gli stalled on me while I was on the highway in 5th gear. The epc warning light came on prior to the car stalling. I was unable to start the car after.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #2

Apr 022011

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
1) ABS/esp lights came on while cruising at highway speeds. 2) diagnosed as an internal electrical failure of the ABS hydraulic pump. ABS and esp inoperable. 3) hydraulic pump must be replaced for a shocking $2,800!

- Kennett Square, PA, USA

problem #1

Nov 152009


  • 10,000 miles
Shortly after purchase, car began to fill with water. Not directly from the sun roof but from a disconnected or damaged drain hose. Causing serious mold & electrical problems. VW has reluctantly looked into the problem, replaced parts, but only made it worse. And the car is now undrivable.

- Sitka, AK, USA

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