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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,771 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 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #22

Jul 152014


  • 43,000 miles


I own a 2012, Jetta, tdi. The dealer had to change the horn. The dealership advised me that they change so many of these defective horns that they stock them. As a law enforcement officer I feel this is a safety issue. It makes me wonder now if there other life-threatening problems with the vehicle they haven't bothered to fix. I see countless VW's with taillights out as I patrol. I can't believe VW is putting their customers in danger with a known common problems.

- Horseheads, NY, USA

problem #21

Dec 312013


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to successfully move the vehicle off the highway by shifting into neutral. The dealer was unable to duplicate or diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 10,000.

- Houston , TX, USA

problem #20

May 302013


  • 45,000 miles
Car ignition will not turn off. Was told by a dealership that it was the steering column lock and sheer bolts would need to be replaced.

- Weatherford, TX, USA

problem #19

Aug 012014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 51,900 miles
Key will not turn to shut engine off, turn key forward like starting car, then release key so it springs back and remove key. Defect, could not shut car off while pumping gas, had to wait till I was home to lookup on internet how to turn key off.

- Hillsborough, NC, USA

problem #18

Mar 282013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 18,959 miles
Engine light and ECM (engine control malfunction) light both come on. Have taken this new car in 6 times in 2 years, and the lights are on, yet again. After VW replaced sensors (four times), and wiring (module), and harness....all under warranty, this is still a problem. And I do not know if it is a safety defect or not. I want to know that before a crash, fire, or fatality happens. Please....if this is happening to your vehicle, make it known to this site. Thanks.

- Alto, GA, USA

problem #17

Mar 112014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 20,045 miles
Approached a red light - was 2nd car from light. Just as I stopped the light changed to green and when I stepped on the gas to go the car cut off. This happened again about 5 days later and then today I was going slowly through a shopping complex parking lot and the engine cut off again. I had my car in for an oil change a few days after the 2nd incident and had them check it out but was told everything was ok. I was told about 8 or 9 mos ago there was a recall on the ECM and the dealer checked it out and assured me all was ok just like they assured me there was nothing wrong when they checked it out after the call stalled out on me.

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #16

Aug 052013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 16,312 miles
I had taken my vehicle to a new VW in el cajon, where I had a new issues pop up with my A/C. my A/C was not blowing as cold as it should have been. When driving I would notice my A/C go from cold to warm a lot. It would randomly do it all throughout the day, I was never getting constant cold air. I brought it in and notified the dealership of the issue and even pointed out a wire that seemed to me to be a odd because wire was showing, they told me don't worry we will take care of this issue. They did not do so they told me that they could not duplicate the issue and said everything was normal, even though I knew it was not because I was the one experiencing this issue. It seemed to me once again they did little as they could to actually help me and get this they supposedly did another multipoint inspection and did not say anything about my tires, something VW kearny mesa said to be cupped and feathered, but yet they did not catch this.

- Lemon Grove, CA, USA

problem #15

Apr 162014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 35,910 miles
When I drove home at 7pm on Wednesday, I stopped the car and shifted to park. But I couldn't turn the key off from ignition. The key was just locked in the on position and the engine just kept running. I drove around and tried it again. But I still couldn't shut the engine. I called the police officer and my insurance company, but none of them can help me with this situation. The engine kept running for an hour and almost 40 minutes until I accidentally turned it off. I was calling my friend and tried it again, after almost two hours it stopped.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #14

Dec 052013

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 64,784 miles
While driving home after a snowstorm, my wipers suddenly stopped working. Because of it, I could not clean my windshield and had to keep pulling over and pouring windshield washer fluid down my front window so that I could see. It is very dangerous in Maine in the winter time to have this happen as we often encounter wet/snowy roads and you must depend on your windshield wipers and fluid system to work properly and keep your windshield clear. I took my car into the VW dealer (O connors in augusta Maine).. they determined there was no power coming out of the wiper switch to the pump. First they replaced the wiper/washer switch which did not fix the problem. Then they had it for another full day and determined the "body control module" was not working. They had to order the part. It cost $1041 dollars to replace the module, part # 5co-937-087-E-Z09 control unit. When I finally picked it up I was told that 5 other VW owners had their cars in for the same exact problem that week. One owner was standing there in the customer service area and he told me the same thing happened to his 2013 Jetta. The shop rep said they were seeing a lot of these since the cold weather set in. My car is in excellent condition and was only 20 months old when this happened. There has got to be a major defect for this many new cars to have this happen to them. I wish you would investigate.

- South Portland, ME, USA

problem #13

Feb 182012

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 5 miles
I was sold a brand new 2012 Volkswagen Jetta without a passenger airbag. Additionally, there were multiple other defects with the vehicle, and by definition, I was sold a lemon. I've tried bringing the vehicle back to the dealership on multiple occasions to repair the problems, and they have yet to be able to correct the issues. The dealership installed a new airbag which has malfunctioned on more than a few occasions, resulting in the airbag light coming on and causing faults in the terminals leading to the tail lights and shorts in the dashboard.

- Littleton, CO, USA

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