definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,164 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.

2001 Volkswagen Beetle engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #8

Mar 142009

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 69,890 miles


Throttle body goes out (02-03-2009) cv axel goes out (03-31-2009 brake lights go out (02-18-2010) cv axel goes out again (4-31-2010) alternator goes out (06-21-2010) ignition coils fail (09-13-2010) ignition coils fail again(01-21-2011) brake switch replaced again (01-21-2011) air flow sensor fails (01-21-2011) air flow sensor fails again (07-26-2011) timing belt replaced (06-15-2011) thermostat replaced (06-15-2011) water pump replaced (06-15-2011) now having problems with throttle body/ throttle body sensor/ electrical issue. Dealer is not sure what the problems is and wants to throw money at it to see what the problems is. This car is just one problem after another after another.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #7

Nov 012011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 40,750 miles
Approximately one week ago I noted that when I put my 2001 Beetle into drive, the transmission did not catch. As I pushed the gas peddle down, it was necessary to rev the engine and then it would finally catch. The problem has gotten worse over the course of the week and will go into the shop this week. The safety issue is that it is necessary to rev the engine to get it into gear. I have almost hit the car in front of me on 2 occasions, but was able to hit the brake in time. I now push the brake and accelerator at the same time to avoid this possibility. I have read of similar transmission problems on the new Beetle and want to add my experience at a paltry 41,000 miles to the list. I have not had the problems described in other postings such as difficulty shifting from 1st to 2nd or 2nd to 3rd. I also have not had the car downshift or shift to neutral as others have described. The major reason for posting this is the two episodes of almost hitting the car in front of me when the transmission engaged.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Oct 022003


  • 43,675 miles
Instrument panel malfunctioned. As a result, speedometer and fuel gauge read improperly. The cause has yet to be determined.

- Metropolis, IL, USA

problem #5

May 152003

(reported on)


  • miles


The vehicle experienced loss of control due to the throttle pedal sensor. The vehicle was repaired by an independent mechanic.

- White City, OR, USA

problem #4

Feb 192002

Beetle 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Driving at 65 mph, engine speed 2200 RPM, vehicle suddenly decelerates to engine speed 1200 RPM (35 mph). Approx 5-10 seconds later the mil ("check engine") light comes on solid and the glo-plug lamp blinks. Obd-II diagnostic code "P0226" (throttle position sensor) code was subsequently read. Throttle control may be momentarily regained by turning vehicle ignition off and back on in order to maintain speed (observing care that road is straight so that steering wheel lock does not lock up). Failure may re-occur within 50-100 yards, repeatedly requiring ignition turn-off/turn-on sequencing for 'bursts' of throttle function between failures being careful to try to avoid steering wheel lock. Alternative to recovery from loss of foot throttle is to quickly engage cruise control (limiting acceleration is limited to 1 mph 'clicks'). VW of America ([xxx] 3-Mar-03, 1210 pst, - cust. Care #30108450) denies knowledge of a problem with throttle position sensors and vehicle defaulting to 1200 RPM 'limp mode'. lithia motors (medford, or - VW sales & service) has also noted the P0226 ("throttle position sensor") code when vehicle was taken to service department for diagnostic trouble investigation but unable to correlate the "throttle position sensor" code with 1200 RPM engine limitation and loss of throttle function. Independent service shop says that throttle position sensors have been modified and are on back order and that the tps in this vehicle (VIN # [xxx]) fails to provide proper signal ("drive-by-wire" throttle) at between 7% and 17% of foot throttle actuation. Problem has occurred approx. 100-200 times since first noted on 19-Feb-2003. Very curious that parts have been modified and are back-ordered when there is "no known problem" and VW and their dealers cannot correlate an obd-II "P0226" code with this hazardous vehicle control failure. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- White City, OR, USA

problem #3

Jan 222002


  • miles
Most of the engine was replaced during the beginning of January. On Jan 22nd, traveling on a highway, engine lost power and was almost involved in a multi-car accident. I was in the middle lane and the power cut from 55 to about 10 miles an hour in the matter of seconds. Other cars were swerving around me and I was finally able to pull off the road. Car was towed back to dealership and the throttle body was cleaned out. On Jan 30th the same thing happened again, only this time I was not on a highway but a side street. Car was towed away again andis in the dealership waiting for repairs. During this month not only was an engine replaced but it malfunctioned twice. It is dangerous to travel on any highway with this car. The engine malfunctioned twice in one week. I can not safely return to driving this car. I was almost killed once and was very lucky not to have been involved in a seriuos accident. The Beetle has engine problems and very major ones. For a car that is 8 months old, this should not be happening.

- New Rochelle, NY, USA

problem #2

Sep 242001

(reported on)


  • miles
Epc and check engine lights come on///car loses power......extremely dangerous as most of my drive to work is on freeway...happened 7/4 and 7/5..taken into metro VW 7/5....told ot problems found....happened again 7/9 returned to metro VW/checked/nothing wrong....happened again 7/12/13...eturned to metro VW....throttle replaced....happened again 7/12 7/13 again to metro VW throttle body replaced......happened again 7/30 throttle body replaced.....again 9/10 9/11...control mod. Replaced again 9/12...thought I was goin to die this time....when lost power 18 wheeler was turnin my way.....again to metro VW.....worked on wiring overlay....waitin to see what happens next!!!

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #1

Jun 212001


  • miles
Vehicle experiences delays in acceleration almost causing several accidents. Dealer #1, lasher volkswagon stated problem was with the brake light switch and replaced it. Vehicle still expericenced delays in acceleration. Dealer #2, roseville volkswagon stated problem is contained within the vehicles software and will take 1 to 3 months to correct. This vehicle is a major safety problem.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

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