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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,688 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.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

Aug 122015


  • 69,868 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that the horn and security system did not function when attempting to lock the vehicle. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact attempted to replace the sparks plugs on four different occasions, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 69,868.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #41

Nov 072015


  • 56,000 miles
Both of the low-beam headlights stopped working as I was driving home on a unlit highway at night. The daytime running lights worked when I turned off the headlights, and the high-beam headlights worked when I tried using them. The next morning I replaced both low-beam headlights and they still do not work.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #40

Oct 052015


  • 38,000 miles
Vehicle has 38,000 miles, we're the original owner, horn became intermittent, then stopped working. We took it to the VW dealer in brandon, fl. They said there's a recall about to be announced in November that will cover the horn, and the potential for an airbag earning light. We're left with major safety hazard with not having a horn. The dealership said it would cost over $2000 to fix, they won't have the parts until the recall is sent. This can't be right and feel we're being put at risk while they figure out what they want to do.

- Lithia, FL, USA

problem #39

Sep 152015


  • 45,000 miles


2012 Jetta tdi. Horn intermittent and about the same time my moon roof stopped working. As a military member stationed near seoul, South Korea, I was in heavy traffic and someone pulled out in front of me even though I was a low speed I still had to smash on the brakes causing the anti-skid system to work. As soon as they pulled out in front of me I was pressing the horn and nothing happened. I believe this is a major safety defect with many people having issues with faulty horns/wiring, especially for a car with less than 50K miles on it. (conveniently out of warranty). I am aware of the recall on the horn for the 2011 models, obviously they didn't resolve the problem when building the 2012 model. In seoul I feel the need to use my horn daily as there are over 150 accidents a day just in the seoul area. This is a major safety issue and should be covered by VW.

- Stevens Point, WI, USA

problem #38

Oct 052015


  • 913,000 miles
The key locks in the ignition while the car is running and in park, will not disengage to turn the car off (steering wheel not locked). I was unable to turn my car off. This first occurred while I was parked in a parking lot (no danger). After the dealership forced the key, I had to pull over to the shoulder on a highway for a flat tire and was unable to turn the car off. I could not change the tire safely and could not get the car towed as I could not turn the engine off. I had to sit at the side of a highway until my car stalled from running out of gas, until I could safely have the car towed. No locksmith was able to correct the ignition lock, as it is an electronic lock in the key housing. I see multiple complaints listed with NHTSA regarding the same issue with VW cars, and many specifically for Jettas, and 2012 Jettas.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #37

Jun 052014


  • 35,000 miles
The first time my radio caught on fire, it was the summer of 2014. My car was parked in a parking lot while I was at work. When I entered the car to drive home, I turned started the vehicle and there was a extremely loud sound, much like an explosion. The middle dash where the radio is located began pouring smoke. After the incident, I contacted the dealership, who "fixed" the problem (they replaced the stock radio for another VW stock radio). Spring of 2015, the same exact thing happened. My car was parked at work, I started the car and the radio began pouring smoke. I again, had the issue "fixed" by the dealership. August 2015, again this happened and September 2015 again. When I insisted that VW must further investigate the underlying issue, they claimed to have fixed the problem after the August 2015 incident. With this incident not only did the radio burn out, my battery was drained out. The explanation I was given was that the power line to the radio was not shutting off, therefore the radio was overheating and the battery was being drained. With this particular incident, I received my car back on a Monday and the radio again caught fire and burned out on the Friday of that same week.

- Watertown, CT, USA

problem #36

Aug 222015


  • 92,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that the epc warning light illuminated and the accelerator pedal failed to respond each time the failure recurred. The contact indicated that there was a drastic reduction in speed. The contact had to turn the vehicle on and off multiple times in order to reset the epc code. The vehicle was to be taken to a dealer for inspection and diagnosis. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. The failure mileage was 92,000.

- Indian Head, MD, USA

problem #35

Dec 012014


  • 54,000 miles
On several occasions the ignition will not turn off. The key is stuck in the on position and can not be removed. On one occasion it took over 7 minutes to remove the key. This may not seem like a long time, but sit in your car after parking then time 7 minutes and you'll see how frustrating this is!

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #34

Jul 102015


  • 42,049 miles
Ignition lock/switch stuck in "on" position. Unable to turn off engine or remove key. Safety and security risk being unable to secure vehicle or turn off engine.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #33

Jul 102015


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact's key became stuck in the ignition switch while in the run position. The dealer was able to shut off the engine only by disconnecting four of the five fuel injectors. The dealer stated that they would need to destroy the trim and remove and replace the ignition lock and switch assembly. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 72,000.

- Sarasota , FL, USA

problem #32

Jun 262015


  • 50,100 miles


The vehicle was being backed out of a driveway into the roadway when the horn began to sound continuously and the airbag warning light illuminated. The vehicle needed to be turned off completely to stop the horn. Subsequently, the horn sounds whenever the ignition is engaged sometimes stopping once the engine turns on, sometimes not. Once started the vehicle is driveable but the airbag warning light is illuminated, the horn on the steering wheel is inoperable and the steering wheel controls are inoperable. The vehicle was taken to a Volkswagen dealership and diagnosed with a faulty clock spring that requires replacement. The incident appears to be similar to that described in NHTSA investigation PE 15-010.

- Saxtons River, VT, USA

problem #31

May 042015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Volkswagen Jetta. Consumer writes in regards to key stuck in the ignition. The consumer stated the vehicle could not be turned off. A mechanic un-plugged a wire. The vehicle had to be towed to the dealer.

- Carle Place, NY, USA

problem #30

May 062013


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. While at a complete stop on an incline, the brake pedal was depressed and there was a two second delayed response. The vehicle was equipped with an electronic hill start assistance feature. The failure recurred numerous times. On a separate occasion, the unoccupied vehicle was parked on a slight incline and the vehicle rolled with the emergency brake engaged. The vehicle crashed into a tree. Failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the vehicle operated as designed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 9,000.

- Lawerence , KS, USA

problem #29

Apr 142015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Cannot shut engine off. Cannot remove ignition key.

- Wrightwood, CA, USA

problem #28

Nov 012014


  • 70,000 miles
For this year of Jetta the doors lock around 10 miles an hour. Mine does not lock. The doors will keep attempting to lock with no success. If you go on a long trip and slow down to the 10 mph range they will try to lock again. The door also does not lock when you push button. You must keep pressing it until it finally locks.

- Seneca, KS, USA

problem #27

Dec 212014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Upon returning home on Sunday 12/21 at 3 pm, smoke was coming from our garage. We opened the garage door to discovery my car on fire and a garage full of smoke. We called 911 and requested fire assistance. We then proceeded to extinguish the fire using 5 commercial size fire extinguishers. The fire department arrived and extinguished the flames and dragged the car from the garage. The car had not been driven for approximately 18 hours.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #26

Nov 192014


  • 17,000 miles
The horn on this vehicle becomes unresponsive at times. When it does work, the horn tone is very low and is difficult to hear. This could be a safety issue. It also concerns me since an operational horn is needed to pass the state safety inspection. I have not taken it to the dealership yet for repair, but a quick internet search, I have confirmed this is far too common problem on newer model Jetta's.

- Bedford, VA, USA

problem #25

Oct 212014


  • 43,000 miles
I took my Jetta to get an oil change and the mechanic went to move my car in the bay and could not get it turned off. I had to have it moved to a Volkswagen dealer to what I thought was a faulty ignition and Volkswagen said a bad steering lock.

- West Linn, OR, USA

problem #24

Aug 162014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 46,448 miles
I purchased a 2012 Volkswagen in August 9, 2012. One week later after purchase, the car stopped in the middle of driving with no warning. I called hertz car sales where I purchased the car and to no avail the problem did not get resolved. I then noticed that the horn works at time and then doesn't work. I really shouldn't have to explain what a safety hazard the car can be if you can't alert another driver with your horn. I then did some research and found out that Volkswagen did a recall for the 2011 model but did not include the 2012 model which is obvious that the same problem exist. I called Volkswagen and found out that my car was manufactured 2/2012. If the same part was used in my car which is showing the exact same malfunctioned parts that were recalled in 2011. It is more than likely that the earlier 2012 models had the same problem as the 2011 problem. I used this car to get myself and my son back and forth to dr.'s appointments, school and other daily errands. I consider the car to be a hazard with the horn malfunctioning and the car stopping I the middle of driving.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #23

Sep 182014


  • 56,500 miles
While pulling into intersection, ignition quit. Tow truck driver restarted vehicle. Dealer found fault with electronic ignition. Replaced ignition switch.

- Washington, DC, USA

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