definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,684 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2001 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #4

Feb 282006

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,738 miles


These are secondary safety issues: 1) gas gauge requires $700 instrument cluster 2) headlights shipped from factory missing retainer band and require $650 fix just to align. VW san jose, ca invoice [xxx] on 2001 VW Beetle lemon [xxx]. updated 07/17/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Merced, CA, USA

problem #3

Dec 142004

Beetle 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Multiple requests to have our 2001 new Beetle tdi headlights adjusted properly have not been complied with by gurley-leep VW service department, since the first year of ownership, 2001 when the car was new. Specifically: Low beam headlights are set far, far too low; I estimate the headlights illuminate about 60 feet in front of the vehicle, limiting travel at night to ~35 mph; this is obviously a safety hazard for two reasons: 1) we can't see hazards soon enough, and 2) our lower speeds present a hazard to other vehicles traveling at higher (normal) speeds. When I ask why the headlights are set too low, I'm told by service department personnel that "they're set to spec". latest, 12/14/04: Service department again told us they set the headlights "to spec", but the right light assembly doesn't stay in adjustment, I.e., it "drops", and we need to buy a new assembly at about $330. This is a strange situation because the left headlight illuminates the road at the same distance as the right headlight, and the gurley leep service department people did not tell us there was a problem with the left. Bottom line: This is apparently either a manufacturing defect or a poorly managed maintenance department; either way it is a safety hazard and must be corrected by VW at no charge.

- Galien, MI, USA

problem #2

Mar 012003

Beetle 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 32,000 miles
I have had the headlight bulbs (low beams) 3 times in my New beetle. The manufacturer suggested that I not run the lights while driving during the day. They said that excessive use of the headlights will cause the bulbs to burn out faster. Sorry, but the headlights come on automatically when the car is on and the parking brake is released. So the lights are on all the time the vehicle is available for motion. The driver has no control on the use of the headlights orther than engaging the parking brake while driving. Hmmm, does not sound like an alternative that is useful. The lay person can not change these bulbs, it takes a mechanic to remove/disassemble the entire lamp assembly to get to the bulb. And VW is not reasonable in their replacement cost (labor) of this part. Especially after the third time in 13 months.

- Clayton, NC, USA

problem #1

Jan 202002


  • miles
Headlight is burned out. To replace it you have to take the fender off of the vehicle. A coworker of mine also has a New beetle and his headlight burnt out within a year. Also driving around you constantly see New beetles with burned out headlights. I think this must be a manufactuerer defect that needs to be addressed. I have to note the dealership will repair it for free since the car is less than a year old, however I don't believe the headlights should burn out this frequently.

- Brunswick, OH, USA

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