hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,267 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.

2003 Volkswagen Beetle electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #9

Feb 042010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • miles


I own a 2003 VW new Beetle convertible, 4 cyl, 6 sp auto. It has 80,000 miles on it. Within the past year, it's started jerking when shifting gears. I've been told by I need a new transmission. After doing some research, I find I'm not alone. There are literally hundreds of others in the same position. According to VW, the transmission is $6,800. Wow - I know! you have to use the dealer because the parts aren't available to the after market. In any event, the car hesitates when you attempt to pull out, jerks when you stop. I've narrowly avoided several rear end collisions as well as said several prayers when it didn't accelerate as quickly as it should have. I'm not a mechanic, but I'm not stupid either. The transmission is fine until the engine is warm. I can shift gears with no problem using the tiptronic part of the system - but others have said this only works for a short period. There are no metal sounds when the engine is shifting. There is nothing wrong with the transmission, it is an electrical issue. VW refuses to put the time and effort into determining what the real problem is. They just replace the transmissions and pocket $6,800. By the way, the blue book value of the car is $6,800. Ironic, I know. I've read post after post from people who had the entire transmission replaced by VW only to find the problems persist. I understand they don't want to find the issue, but I really love my car and want it fixed. Correctly. Please, please, please strongly encourage VW to do the right thing, find the problem and fix it. Any help you can offer is appreciated.

- Mount Olive, AL, USA

problem #8

Aug 202009


  • 66 miles
2003 Volkswagen Beetle--electrical problem engine compartment fusebox melted due to a short. The car was maintained. It just passed inspection 2 weeks before meltdown. The battery was checked as well. No warning or dash lights indicating a problem. The car was nearly not possible to start in recent hot humid weather. I took it to a garage and they found the melted fusebox. This has to be changed asap because it could affect the car's computer and they aren't sure about the alternator yet as it was having a hard time starting the car. This repair is going to cost me $400 out of pocket so far. If this is a design flaw by VW which causes damage because they don't protect the engine fuse box or any related wiring from heat from the battery, there should be a recall. I noticed a similar post from houston, Texas on this site. My car seems to be among several which have had this problem. The mileage of this vehicle is 66,417.

- Muncy, PA, USA

problem #7

Nov 152005


  • 49,491 miles
Air bag light and the warning light for malfunction indicator lamp comes on and does not go out also driver seat is stuck. The vehicle was taken on 11/15/2005 at that time it was only the air bag cause; 00591. Drivers seat belt switch faulty it was replaced on 12/12/2007 the same problem and more but, this time I have done a lot of research on the internet and I have found a alot of people have had the same problem and NHTSA is aware of it.the car is no longer under warranty I have had repair driver seat slider. It has been very frustrating, never purchase another VW.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #6

Nov 202003


  • 15,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact noticed that the air bag sensor light illuminated on the instrument panel. The light remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they stated that the failure was due to a loose electrical connector for the driver's side air bag. The recall repair was performed incorrectly. On three separate occasions, the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for the same failure, but with no resolutions. The contact was concerned of the safety risk involved with the air bag deployment. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The failure mileage was 15,000 and current mileage was 45,000.

- San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 262008


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen new Beetle convertible. While driving at an unknown speed, the contact's daughter noticed smoke underneath the dashboard. She pulled the vehicle onto the side of the road and it immediately burst into flames. There were no injuries. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 54,000.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #4

Dec 182005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact stated that the vehicle fails to start in very cold weather. She notified a repair shop that came out and got the vehicle started. The contact took the vehicle to the Volkswagen dealer who could not diagnose the cause of failure. A few months later, the check engine light illuminated while driving 60 mph. The dealer was unable to find anything wrong with the vehicle. The contact took the vehicle to the nearest shop who stated that the vehicle had enough oil. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and the computer board was changed. The current and failure mileages were 61,000.

- Trumbull, CT, USA

problem #3

Jun 222006

Beetle 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles


When attempting to put car into reverse brake switch does not respond. This has happened numerous times. Driver side window goes back down by itself. Also car shifts real hard in second and third gear. Sounds like transmission will break.

- Mineral Wells, TX, USA

problem #2

Jun 072006

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 16,800 miles
Own a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle. Brake and tail lights failure intermittently fail dealer as replaced the epc switch twice in the last 2-months comment today was "oh, we have been having a lot of problems with that switch.

- Seaford, DE, USA

problem #1

Jul 212003


  • miles
Texas lemon law/ Texas deceptive trade practices act/ breach of warranty.

- Tyler, TX, USA

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