definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,934 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

problem #2

Oct 152007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,621 miles


Headlight went out while starting the car. Dealer found a burned wiring harness to be the cause. Cost to repair $ $159.31. This could have been a major problem if both head lights would have gone out while traveling on a dark hwy at high speed. Burned wiring harness is in my possession. Second problem was with a brake light that went out date 10/30/07. Cause as per dealer was a faulty light socket. Cost to repair $ $73.61.

- Gilroy, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 212005

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,246 miles
Like many others we had high hopes and dreams for our new 2003 Beetle, we thought wrong. Like many others I am finding more and more complaints about these vehicles and this car just follows the trend. As for the classic Volkswagen dealership, they have blessed us with one of the worst customer service experiences that we have ever encountered from a car dealership. The vehicle is now sitting at the dealership awaiting a new wiring harnesses for the turn signals and headlights (since the electrical jobs did not correct the problem the first 3 times). We are very calm and understanding people and gone in every time with a semi-positive attitude and asked them to just fix the problem. After biting my lip the 4th time I went to the service manager (pierre andre) and explained the issue to him. Pierre's immediate reaction was to pawn the issue to a service advisor (brian alexander who gives excellent presentations on partially burned out bulbs). After becoming a thorn to pierre he made an un-grateful attempt to diagnose the problems with the car, I had to force him to take accountability for the issue. To keep a long story short I have heard every excuse from this deal ship including but not limited to: Partially burned out bulbs, corroded sockets, loose wiring harnesses, defective wiring harnesses, sun damage, user damage, road damage. We also made several attempts to contact the dealership head manager/president ken emerson who never attempted to contact us by any means. In several attempts to escalate the issue to a higher authority I was given the VW corporate 1-800-blowup number, which provided us several useless options. At this point we are biting the bullet and planning an attempt of the Florida lemon law; if we do not succeed we will sell it to some person who wants a project vehicle.

- Orlando, FL, USA

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