hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,394 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.

2002 Volkswagen Beetle engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #5

Jul 252010


  • 134,000 miles


2002 VW Beetle turbo 1.8 while driving the red light sensor would come on stating my car was overheating. Nothing was leaking, sensors were replaced a few months prior due to the same issue along with a ring and it happened again. The red light flashes then about 2 miles later the oil light goes on and if the car is not pulled over immediately then you risk engine damage. The entire engine is made up of plastic parts pretty much which crack and melt very easy when heat gets to them. So now after spending money on water pumps, assemblies, hoses, sensors which total over 3K it is now an issue once again and the car is undrivable. I am extremely disappointed in this vehicle. Also my igniter coils were replaced 8 times (2X each one) prior to a recall and they do not reimburse you all the monies spent. Now there is a recall in my sunroof which the dealership will not fix since the water damage is already affecting the roof of the vehicle. So with all of my receipts not including rental cars for repairs only I have invested over 6K in a car worth less and I doubt no one will pay to take it off my hands which will leave a single mother car less.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #4

Aug 262008


  • 35,000 miles
In August 2008 I went to have my oil changed at a Volkswagen dealer in kalamazoo, mi. They said that the aluminum oil pan plug had been overtightened and the pan was ruined. I was told that potentially the plug could have fallen out at any point in time, leaving me in a dangerous situation, either stranded somewhere but most likely causing a crash. They told me that the aluminum pans wear out and need to be replaced, but this car had only 35,000 miles on it at the time. Something like an oil pan shouldn't just "wear out" after that short a time. They also told me I was better off replacing the aluminum pan with the steel because the aluminum was susceptible to punctures from almost anything. The new Volkswagen are being manufactured with steel pans and Volkswagen should be willing to replace the old aluminum free of charge. The new pan cost me $293.69.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #3

Jun 062008


  • 86,704 miles
2002 Volkswagen Beetle diesel turbo seals and/or bearing failure which resulted in oil filling the inner cooler and air tubes--this resulted in oil being taken into the intake and filling the cylinders--this led to hydro lock of the engine and cylinder damage--had the vehicle not just been started when incident occurred, this condition could have resulted in runaway engine RPM's and no way to shut the engine off, eventually leading to the engine blowing up and/or fire.

- Oak Park Heights, MN, USA

problem #2

Nov 012005


  • Manual transmission
  • 38,000 miles
VW new Beetle - in shop for 3 months out of 24 months owned. Engine trouble, window trouble, starter trouble and now clutch problems.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #1

Apr 162003

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,268 miles
The vehicle's speed dropped dramatically, and then stalled. The vehicle experienced the following: The lights would come on, would not come out of park(repeatedly), lock up, sit for hours/frozen, start but not come out of park, ABS and epc light problems which was fixed under warranty and was told the overload problems should have been fixed, while driven, the vehicle dropped down to 30 mph and down to 20 mph on another occasion, the motor sounded loud and the vehicle had shaken, the dealer found three fault code for throttle control and faulty throttle body(dealer assured consumer that the problem wouldn't happen again), and the consumer was told that there was a misfire on all cylinders and that the plug wires were replaced. On one occasion where vehicle did not come out of park, the dealer suggested that the problem had come from the brake switch and assured that the freeze up(s) were solved. The vehicle sat for five hours, then the vehicle finally started and the dealer stated that the problem was the wiring harness to the ECM(the part had to be ordered).

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

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