really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,333 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2001 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #3

Nov 122010


  • 50,000 miles


Sudden loss of air pressure in tire(s) on 2001 new Beetle with 17 inch aluminum wheels. Caused by corrosion on the bead area of the rim. Caused severe damage to tire, had to replace one expensive tire because of damage to sidewall. 3 total occurrences on 2 different rims. Tire dealer "cleaned up" the bead area and remounted the tire. Luckily all failures either occurred at low speeds or noticed with car parked. Could not reinflate tire as rim would not reseal without remounting.

- Manitowoc, WI, USA

problem #2

Sep 072006

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles
While driving home from work at about 12 am in the right hand lane on highway 217 in tigard Oregon, just passed exit 4 my steering started pulling me to the right side of the road, towards the guard rail. (was traveling at approx. 55 mph) I tried to correct by pulling the steering wheel left, but the vehicle would not respond. I then hear a very loud snapping/breaking noise under my left foot and the next thing I know my car slides to the right hand side, into the guard rail. I then bounced off of the guard rail and the car continued sliding/spinning until coming to rest in the left hand lane. Tigard police arrived at the scene and stated that it looked like the "suspension broke and the wheel fell off", causing the wreck. There was substantial damage to the front end (left side) and marks on the rear bumper. Witness following behind me stated that they saw me driving in front of them and then all of a sudden the car started spinning, apparently for no reason since there was no impact.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #1

Nov 302002


  • miles
I'm reporting this to NHTSA as I believe this failure constitutes a safety issue. This is the 4th, or 5th, rear wheel bearing failure that has occurred on this 1 year old car. This time the bearing failed suddenly becoming very noisy. I had enough time to drive the car directly to the dealership, approximately 20 miles. By the time I arrived at fitzgerald VW in frederick, md the repair facility was closed. I was unwilling to take a chance on driving the car home and back again on Monday (an additional 50 miles) as I'm certain it would not have made the trip. While I realize that any mechanical thing can break, I find it unreasonable that this vehicle would have 4 failures in the space of less than one year and in only 26,000 miles. Previous failures have occured slowly and showed up as a noisy bearing. Today's failure happened suddenly and within the space of 30 minutes and 20 miles of driving the noise in inside the car was so loud you could not hear the radio. Also, the car developed an increasingly bad vibration in the right rear. After checking the dealer, I called the VW customer care center, recorded the problem and left the car at fitzgerald VW in frederick, Maryland as I was afraid to drive it farther. It was, in fact, undriveable in my opinion as the right rear wheel had a slght tilt inward at the top when compared with the left. Better safe than lose the whole wheel on I-70! again, I would not be writing unless I felt this was of safety significance. Since it has happened 4 times in one year, I believe there could be one or more reasons for the failure: Improper or no lubricant; bad metalurgy; improper assembly, or improper assembly during repair. Notes: The car has the original wheels and rims; the car is not raced or thrashed; it has not been heavily loaded; its never been wrecked or pranged; bearing failures have previously occured on both the left (2X) and right sides (1X) of the rear axle.

- Woodbine, MD, USA

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