really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,667 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 lights problems

lights problem

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1998 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 042009


  • miles


Low beam headlight bulbs fail prematurely causing loss of vision at night. New bulbs only last about 3 months before they burn out. We asked the VW dealership if there is a remedy for the problem, but they answered "no". I know other people that have the same problem.

- Marlette, MI, USA

problem #2

Aug 012007

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles
Since I purchased my Beetle in 2001, it has been an ongoing money drain. In 6 yrs. I have replaced the manual transmission twice, had the brakes worked on a number of times, been unable to open the gas "door" on the car w/ the gas cap latch, had to replace the hood opening latch, had repeated electrical failures, problems w/ front & rear light wiring, had door locks/alarm fail & subsequently had my laptop stolen from the car, the radio has not worked for 1+ year, & it's cover panel is loose & falling back into the dash, the rear-view mirror switches have failed, the power window switches have had to be replaced, the drivers side door fell off (!) of its top hinge when the hinge broke while opening the door normally at a gas station, the air compressor has failed many times, the A/C is currently not working, the drivers side door lock fell out of the handle(!!!!), the catalytic converter has been replaced twice, & the list goes on. Currently I have not been driving the car for several wks B/C though only a week or two out of the shop, again it is having transmission problems. I am at my wits end with this car & having recently graduated from college, am not in the greatest position to have to buy a new car. Moreover, I am so displeased w/ the car that I would literally feel guilty about trading it in to be sold to some other unsuspecting person. VW should be so ashamed of themselves, & should be reimbursing owners of the 1998 Beetle in full for all of the strife & trouble that they have caused. In fact, after writing this & realizing how many problems this car has had, I may try to take legal action - this is totally unacceptable! finally, our local VW dealer is terrible, keeping my car for wks. Longer than expected, one time leaving a candy bar stuck to my passenger side seat!!!, and acting like they could care less about the poor quality of their products & labor.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #1

Mar 122000

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles
I"ve had multiple failures with my 1998 Beetle. The car was overheating--found out that the engine fuses were melted over the battery terminal. My reverse lights stopped working--no one has been able to correct that yet, my daytime running lights don't usually work, but sometimes will come on all by themselves. Got locked in my car twice. The alarm sometimes goes off for no reason. The car periodically doesn't start. Had it towed to VW twice for this. They could find no problems. Also, something in the car's electrical components is drowning the battery--have to buy a new battery every six months. I have replaced both windows once. I had the brake light switch replaced three times and was rear -ended once before VW finally did a recall on that part. I'm sure I have left something out--there is so much it's hard to remember. Bottom line--this car is a hazard on the road for the person driving and other motorists.

- Beverly Hills, FL, USA

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