definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,798 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.

1998 Volkswagen Beetle engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #6

Apr 252005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 97,785 miles


This vehicle has had a series of problems since I have owned it. I have always been a Volkswagen enthusiast. So when I saw the new Beetles I was naturally excited and couldn't wait to own one. What I expected was Volkswagen usual excellent quality and value for money. What I got was a vehicle that not only is an inconvenience to drive, but is also a safety concern. This vehicle has had at least 8 major defects. I call them defects because so many others have experienced similar issues with their new Beetles. Keep in mind the vehicle is regularly maintained, and is only at 97,000 miles. 1. check engine light is on and vehicle stalls or cuts out on a regular basis. 2. the low beams on my headlights always burn out. I change the lights and they just burn out again. I always have to drive instead with my high beams on. 3. my driver side and passenger side windows have fallen into my doors. Meaning that they wont roll up, a loud, noise can be heard when you try. I was told by Volkswagen that they were "aware" of the problem. They even told me that it was because they used plastic clips to hold the windows and they are now replacing with metal clips. Fine and good, but while my windows were down my seats became severely stained. (they stain easy) who's going pay for that"?? 4. the window switch that controls the windows going up and down broke off in my hand. 5. the radio tries to load a tape when there isn't one. Hood latch broke, has to be opened with screwdriver now. Thanks vwoa!! 6. heater motor turns up and down on its own 7. engine holds high rpms in highway, rapid iol consumption. 8 reverse lights malfunctioned. Questions vwoa" call me, we'll chat 269-986-0996.

- Tekonsha, MI, USA

problem #5

Sep 151999

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
When cruise control was engaged vehicle would suddenly accelerate beyond the set speed. The dealer examined the vehicle, and found that the throttle control module was defective. The vehicle's speedometer would not go past 60 mph. The A/C compressor failed which caused a loud squealing noise when turning the A/C on. The mil light illuminated intermittently. The dealer replaced the air hose, air pump and mass air flow sensor.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #4

Jan 082004

(reported on)

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
Headlights will go out while in use without warning. When vehicle is in cruise control mode it will either surge or continue to accelerate. Dealership stated they need to separate the engine and transmission in order to fix the problem. The windshield wiper works intermittently. The dealership replaced the motor but the problem recurred. Consumer noted he has seen a lot of one headlight Beetles and that the problem is widespread.

- Gregory, MI, USA

problem #3

Nov 042003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


While driving at highway speeds speedometer only registered up to 65 mph. Dealer determined the cause of the problem, but did not inform the consumer what parts had to be fixed.

- Anniston, AL, USA

problem #2

Jul 012000


  • miles
Many problems/failures between 10600 and 19000 miles. Dashboard left turn signal indicator intermittent failure persists for >1 year and devonhills VW refuses to fix the problem because it would be expensive for them (in the mean time, the light is useless since half the time it is on, half off).

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #1

Jun 052001

Beetle Diesel

  • miles
No summary listed for above vehicle.

- Roswell, GA, USA

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