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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,853 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

problem #8

Apr 042013


  • miles


Cpsc:I1340048A. 2012 Volkswagen. Consumer stated that VW made a software change to the car which caused it to race dangerously when the brake was released or put in first gear.

- Palmetto Bay, FL, USA

problem #7

Apr 122013


  • 37,000 miles
I was on an approximately 6 hour road trip. Approximately 100 miles from my home, my 2012 Volkswagen Jetta tdi was being driven at approximately 70 mph on the highway. The glow plug light on the instrument cluster began flashing. Vehicle then went into "limp mode", slowing to approximately 45 mph on the highway. I was able to make it to the next exit off the highway, and come to a stop at the off ramp stop sign. The vehicle then stalled, and would not restart. This left my wife and I stranded 100 miles from home. Vehicle was towed back to the dealership, where the vehicle was purchased. Mechanic at dealership stated the high pressure fuel pump "exploded", sending metal shards throughout the vehicle's fuel system. Dealership states this may be caused by "contaminated fuel". a small amount of online research revealed this is a common problem with Volkswagen tdi engines.

- Arlington, TN, USA

problem #6

Dec 282012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 14,364 miles
I was driving at about 45 miles an hour and the vehicle suddenly lost power steering and all power. Without power steering it was difficult to get all the way over to the side of the road. The vehicle was towed by roadside assistance and to the nearest VW dealership who evaluated the problem. The dealership indicated that the main fuse had melted and blown out the entire fuse box and the alternator cable had melted. The repair invoice indicates: "found alternator cable at fuse box melted, replaced fuse panel, alternator cable and fuse on front of fuse panel. Replaced wiring harness. Tested battery and charging system and road tested car. " I believe this is a fire hazard.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #5

Oct 032012


  • 81 miles


Picked up the car from the dealer on 10/03/12 at 11:00 a.M. it was new---had 47 miles on the odometer. Drove it to work and then arrived home at 6:45 that evening with odometer reading 81 miles. As I was parking the car in the garage I put it into reverse to back it into the spot and then switched the gear(this is a automatic transmission) to drive to straighten out. The car continued to move backwards in reverse and if I had not had my foot on the brake I would have crashed into the concrete wall of the garage. Tried to put the car back into drive--the gear shift was stuck in reverse. I turned off the car and of course, could not start it again because the car was in reverse. The electrical panel on the dashboard continued to read that the car was in park. Tow truck driver arrived and he had to manually pull the cable wire in the engine while the car was running to change gears and get the car to start. This is a very serious problem---the dealer and Volkswagen claim it has been fixed by simply tightening a clasp on the transmission cable. Why was the clasp loose? I maintain this is a design flaw. If I had been trying to make a U turn in traffic or park on the street the result could have been horrific.. I am petrified to drive the car again and the dealership and Volkswagen want to sweep this incident under the rug. Please investigate and prevent this from happening to someone else. Thank you

- Washington D.C., DC, USA

problem #4

Jun 262012


  • 850 miles
After less than 3 minutes of operation, the vehicle can stall under a specific set of circumstances. The incidences (13 and counting in 2 months) always occur when in second or third gear at ~30-35 mpg. The driver is slowing down (as to stop at a red light) and then accelerates (light changes to green). About 2-3 seconds after acceleration begins the engine stalls and must be restarted. The engine just cuts out during acceleration.

- Burnsville, MN, USA

problem #3

Aug 172012

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 950 miles
Hello, purchased a VW Jetta SE on 7/20/12 and almost 1 month after the purchase I was driving on a local highway at apx. 50 mph around 5:30pm when car headlights blinked and car died (stalled). Attempted to re-start a car without any success. Since VW dealer was closed already - called a local auto shop and they towed a car to a shop to find an issue. Mechanic could not see anything obvious so he re-set a computer in my car and he was able to start it. Drove home. Later in the evening - drove to pick-up some food and on the way home (inside a development) - while making a left turn at apx. 15-18 mph - pressed brakes and realized I had none and at the same time car stalled and since it was raining and I was already slightly turning left - car slid in the direction on my turn and right rear tire hit the curb, tire fall off, car hit a street sign and an electric pool (both fell to the ground) and brought me to a complete stop on the grass. Police was contacted and a car was towed to a nearest body shop. Filing a complaint with VW - will see what they have to say.

- Morganville, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jun 232012


  • 580 miles
Reverse lights on both driver and passenger side of vehicle are not working with 580 miles on the car and after 1 month of ownership.

- Hesperia, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 142012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 17,000 miles
Drove the vehicle home from work Friday 1/13, weather was below freezing causing ice build up. Parked the vehicle in my garage ~45 degrees. Ice began melt, and when trying to start the vehicle Saturday afternoon it turned 1/4 turn and the engine stopped. My assumption is that the engine inhaled water causing a hydro-lock, I continued to try to start the vehicle a total 5 times (it turned over once and ran extremely rough and died once). The last time trying to start the vehicle I smelled smoke, I popped the hood to find the starter and wiring on fire. I was able to extinguish the fire relatively quickly, considering the vehicle was parked in my garage attached to my house this could have extremely catastrophic if I wouldn't have been able to get the fire out. *** this is the second time for the hard / no start problem, this one however resulted in the fire. Volkswagen will not follow the below tsb since the vehicle started after wiring and starter replacement. Issue mirrors tsb # 21 11 06 / 2025464, which includes engine will not turn over, "dead battery" starter action (due to hydraulic resistance in cylinder), and starter/electrical fires (due to starter overheating during attempts to start locked engine).

- Brooksville, KY, USA

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