really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,800 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

Mar 252016


  • miles


When I drive the car go slow then fast

- La, CA, USA

problem #4

Sep 252014

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
Bought this VW Beetle used. Had terrible smell, like burnt crayons. Cleaned it intensely, inside and outside. Thorough detail job. Still smells, causing headache. Air bag light and buzzer stayed on even after latching seat belt. Cruise control works erratically, lunging forward suddenly, then chugs, then lunges forward quickly again. Speed works consistently when cruise control is not engaged. Very unsafe with cruise control in use. Lighting issues. Interior lights would not work, unable to see interior gauges in the dark. Turn signals blinking erratically, and not in sync. Took vehicle in for repairs at an authorized VW dealer, paid $1,300. Still not working properly. Took it back in 4 days later because drivers side window almost fell out while driving, and interior lighting issues still did not work. Was charged another $600. Vehicle will not engage into drive position easily, and sometimes not at all unless the steering wheel is jerked on. Dealer said sensors were the problem, and that I will need to bring it back again to have the cruise control fixed at a cost of $250. I am scared to drive this vehicle now. There should be some recalls on the smell issue, and the air bag/seat belt issue. Also cruise control issue, because I have been told it is associated with the electrical problems.

- Yoder, IN, USA

problem #3

Nov 242010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 157,000 miles
My fiancee and I purchased this Beetle in November of 2010 and have had nothing but problems with it. It has been in the shop a number of time (5-7) and we have spent hundreds in trying to fix it. Yet no luck. It is a danger to my fiancee and new born baby. On day it will run fine but then after driving for ten minutes the epc light come on and the brakes barely work if at all, and it wont speed up even if she has her foot to the floor. So now we have a $6000 dollar car that not even the VW dealership can fix. It sits on our road. I have seen so many complaints about people having the same problem and I believe its only a matter of time before some one gets seriously injured or even worse. Please do something about this monstrosity that VW refuses to admit.

- Bradford , OH, USA

problem #2

Sep 302001

Beetle Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer states that the vehicle will intermittenly lose power at a certain speed and stay there for about 30 seconds the consumer has tried to step on the gas pedal but the vehicle will still drive at the same speed. Contacted dealer and the dealer is not willing to do anything.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #1

Feb 032002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Car downshifts extremely hard when coming to a stop, causing driver and passengers to be lunged forward in their seat.. dealer states that this is a characteristic of the car. Problem is intermittent and increases when vehicle is warmed up. On occasion downshift occurred so hard that I thought I was just rear -ended by another car. I bought the car for my wife and now she is afraid to drive it.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

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