hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,584 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.

2004 Volkswagen Beetle electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Volkswagen Beetle:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

May 192004


  • 15 miles


The first time I rolled windows down in my driveway so that I could take top down. They would not roll up properly to make a connection to the top convertible of the car. So the car was not weather safe.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #34

Jun 212016


  • 64,000 miles
Power passenger side rear window. Stopped 3/4 of way up, heard a "crack". rolled down and no longer works.

- Antioch, IL, USA

problem #33

Feb 292016


  • 79,000 miles
Just purchased this vehicle in November 2015, February 29, 2016 the vehicle wouldn't start, had my sons jump it and drove it to work, after turning vehicle off tried to start again right away, vehicle dead. Made an appointment March 4, 2016 with Volkswagen dealership, they stated that the issue is a burnt alternator cable and melted fuse box. After reading numerous accounts online, it seems that is goes out between 70,000 - 80,000 miles, my vehicle had 79,000 miles when it happened. Volkswagen isn't doing anything about it even though it is a common complaint I've seen...wanting Volkswagen to pay for repair...very frustrated, don't think I would own another Volkswagen again!...if this is the way they treat customers. There wasn't a fire, but it could've happened, isn't Volkswagen concerned about individuals safety, think they should resolve the issue by providing a different solution to how the vehicle is designed pertaining to the fuse box, etc.

- Rapid City, SD, USA

problem #32

Nov 202015


  • 75,000 miles


For the past 3-4 years my Beetle has had worsening electrical issues. Sometimes it just turns off all by itself. Everything electrical goes out. It has even happened while driving, I was in traffic and it shut off. I was nearly killed.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #31

Jun 152015


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph with the accelerator pedal depressed, the vehicle jerked and stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to be restarted but the failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer; however, the failure was unable to be determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 73,000.

- Lancaster, TX, USA

problem #30

Jul 102015


  • 80,000 miles
It started with the battery light coming on. I made it home. I turned off the car and when I tried to restart, dead. I first assumed the battery needed to recharge and did that. It wouldn't hold a charge. When I looked at the fuse block on top the battery, it was melted! along with the wire going to the alternator. This seems to be a very common complaint with these vehicles.

- New Iberia, LA, USA

problem #29

Feb 192015


  • 76,000 miles


Attempted to start vehicle. Vehicle acted as if the battery was dead. Opened hood and found a partially melted fuse box fuses, burn marks and melted wires.

- Blaklick, OH, USA

problem #28

Oct 012013


  • miles
The back passenger window motor was replaced. Today 12/09/14 not the front passenger window motor needs replaced. I think this is faulty. This is a common occurrence according to the local VW repair dealership.

- Bettendorf, IA, USA

problem #27

Jun 062014

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
My 16 year old daughter drives this car. Initially the headlight was burnt out. Ordered a new headlight and installed it and it worked fine for about an hour. Then my daughter drove the car approximately 10 miles. When she arrived at her destination she attempted to turn the car off but the key would not come out of the ignition. When I arrived I could smell something burning and the car battery was now dead. I had the battery jumped but now the headlight that I just replaced was not working again, and now the brake lights and the running lights were not working. The next morning the battery was dead again. When we finally got over to the mechanic the wiring was completely melted and the headlamp modulator was blown. The window washer fluid reservoir was melted and ruined. After about $1000 in repairs the mechanic is explaining this is just the one side, the wiring for the other side is going to need to be replaced in next 6 months or so. He explained this is a common occcurance with these cars. I am honestly afraid to allow my daughter to drive the car as it seems it is a fire hazard.

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #26

Jun 122014

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 95,400 miles
My engine light came on and the ac stopped blowing cold air. I also noticed a beep sound that would come on when I turned the headlights on but the sound would turn off and on while I drove. Then the alarm stopped working and the interior lights malfunctioned, the radio also gave out and the vehicle seemed to hesitate while driving it. I checked the fuse box on the battery and discovered that the slot where the fuse slips into on top of the vehicle battery was melted and there was something on the driver side headlamp cover like some type of gas or fumes had escaped the battery and sprayed the headlampcover. I changed the fuses around and got the ac going again, then I changed them all out, and everything worked great for about 5 days, then the interior lights went out again, the alarm stopped working, radio is out, the beeping sound is back and when I checked the fuse, it was melting again. I am afraid that while in the vehicle with my children I will have a malfunction and be injured. I just paid off the vehicle... what a gift for paying off a vehicle... seems like everything in and on that vehicle is a hazard and an accident waiting to happen.. its sad because I use to love my new Beetle.

- San Antonio , TX, USA

problem #25

May 242014

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


The battery to alternator wire on these cars overheats and catches fire. I own a car dealership and just had it happen to me. I was lucky and stopped anything horrible from happening but most people would not know enough to stop it or that it was happening. These cars are a huge fire hazard and you need to issue a recall. Check the pictures of burned cars on google. You wont find one complaint but many and plenty of burned cars. So I ask that you do your best to fix this issue. The car I own has a history of the alternator being serviced. Obviously a recall issue that maybe VW should figure out how to fix instead a band aid and out the door. Check car fax on this car. If someone let there car warm they could burn down there house. I am going to reroute this wire and replace it with a better grade of wire.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #24

Feb 172014

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The car was unresponsive. The car turned off. The car was steered to side of the road. The car caught fire and was destroyed in less than 10 minutes.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #23

Dec 272012


  • 80,000 miles
Car wouldn't excel while driving suddenly 1 mile from town suddenly traffic slowed from snow storm in town, the vehicle smell was funny black smoked slowly leaked inside the car windows up heard a misfire engine light went on blinked then I heard loud blast like I thought it was a plow trucks muffler loudness realized ir was my vehicle stopped immediately less 1/3 mile at bank. Shut off motor M now seeing smoke slowly entered in the middle of the 2 front seatsand console. Feeling hot under belly of floors. Orange glow through electrical outlet in back of console appeared to be hotwith plastic casing in and under floors hot sizzling crackling under center casing/I try to call 911 misused the cell wouldn't operate effectively flagged down a man N woman at the corner light of bank they declined to help so I went to car put snow on compartment and wet it down and aired out smoke with passenger door open.I went in bank for assistance.this vehicle was recalled for safety issues by manufacturer in the past.were said to be corrected by repairman also said seatbelt harness was a issue heated seats were a issue and airbags tranny also recalled for electrical issues and or transmission and air bags on some 2004 VW vehicle Beetles recalls so far occurred to this VW were airbag sensors/ also the seatbelt harness cases were breaking repeatedly once purchased due to putting the seats up and back to get in the vehicle. Now this mysterious fire and headlamp issue..

- Plainfield, MA, USA

problem #22

May 302012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
I have had the regulator replaced in my rear driver's side window and my front and rear passenger side windows. It seems that there might be a manufacturer defect with the regulators/windows. Thank you.

- Londonderry, NH, USA

problem #21

Aug 252011


  • miles
The battery fuse box the fuse to the alternator has melted 3 times within the last 2 months costing me over $1000 in repairs. Battery replaced, alternator replace voltage regulator replaced, alter. Harness replaced and numerous other things but fuse keeps blowing and melts fuse box and car dies loses complete powerwithout warning. There is a potiential fire hazard. There are dozen of complaints of the same problem and no recall has been issued.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #20

May 102011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • miles
I recently purchased a VW Beetle in may of 2010, for my birthday from hollywood auto brokers in los angeles, ca. The car ran smooth for about a course of five to six months, I had to return to the dealership early on because my head lights were out when I first bought the car. As I continued to drive the car, a jerking and extremely weird deceleration of the car would begin, but it would "pop back to normal" after a while, maybe three to ten seconds. This had gone on and has been going on since five months after I brought it. I finally made it back into the dealership and he rode with me on a test drive around the corner and of course it didn't repeat the previous show of defects. He assured me the car is just being broken in. A year goes by and I decided I want to trade in my car for another car, so I head to Nissan. I test drive a car and love it and then go in for the paper work. The guy runs my VIN to see my car value and come backs and tell me my car title is salvaged. To my disbelief and disgust, I immediately called my financial company, al financial of glendale, ca that I am leasing the car from. They give me the run around and assure me that the title is clean and not a salvage. I continue on my investigation and come to a carfax website to get the real facts on my defected vehicle. The information reveals that not only is the title salvage but it had bodily damage and had been totaled out from the insurance company from it's previous owner. The car had been brought back from Mexico and registered in the states again as a new car I believe. I would really love to get to the bottom of this situation asap and get some closure on a recurring problem that is messing with my income as I am a travel nurse for hospice patients. Recently the water pump has gone out and I'm not sure yet if I need to replace the head gaskets. I hope I can hear an response in a good enough amount of time so I can work out an reimbursement of some kind with payment on either behalf.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #19

Feb 192010


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle stalled after all the warning lights illuminated on the instrumental panel. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who stated that the fuse box and the wiring harness to the alternator burned and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted but offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 84,000.

- Plymouth, MI, USA

problem #18

Nov 062010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Well it has been nothing but trouble. First thing, the transmission went bad and then right after that there was no brake lights. The top will not come down by it self. The dash lights come on ( air bag, brakes, check engine, emissions). Sounds like there are holes in the muffler. Last but not least the right rear window fell down and they won't 800 to fix, there are several complaints about this and nothing is being done.

- Plainfield, IN, USA

problem #17

Jul 112009

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The rear window regulators went out on both windows, convertible top won't work 90% of the time. Replaced headlight 4 times in 2 years.

- Trinity, AL, USA

problem #16

Apr 082007


  • 96,000 miles
2004 new Beetle conv turbo. Always in shop. Always had problems. In the shop more than at home. Elec issues, windows not working, air bag lights flashing, top staying down wont go up one repair after another. Now the transmission is gone. What a piece of [xxx]. just hope some one reads this and talks their daughter or wife out of making a 20,000 dollar mistake. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Dickson, TN, USA

Read the next 15 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?