really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,073 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #102

Mar 202012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles


Ever since we purchased our used 2004 Beetle converitble, the transmission has been a problem. When shifting from 1-3 gears the car jumps and halts. It is horrible. We had the trip tron switch replaced and still no help. I was informed by the mechanic that this is a problem with these cars from 2003 to 2008. A new transmission is over $6000. Apparently, it has to be replaced.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #101

Oct 262012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 49,500 miles
Newly purchased vehicle that has a know issue. The tiptronic automatic transmission slips during gear changing. VW refuses to fix the issue because it is out of the 4 year warranty but the vehicle has less that 50000 miles. There is a know issue for this but I will have to pay $6500 for the repairs>"?" not fair for new buyers who are kept in the dark about a know issue..

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #100

May 042012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,600 miles
1) inferior automatic transmission pump valve assembly caused very hard down and up shifting that could startle the driver. It was replaced at owner's expense. 2) left side rear window regulator failed and was replaced at time of purchase (Feb. 2012). Right side rear window regulator has failed July 2012 and must be replaced at owner's expense.

- Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #99

Apr 032012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 52,220 miles


This VW Beetle a six speed automatic. Any time I drive slower than 40 miles per hour (after the car is warmed up - 15 minutes or so) it starts to lurch between gears - both when accelerating and decelerating. Speeding up, it revs high and then feels like it jumps into the next gear. Slowing down, it jerks so hard it feels like I'm being rear-ended. One time, as I was parking it, it clunked so loudly when I shifted from R to D, I thought the transmission was going to drop to the ground! it seems the worst going between 2nd and 3rd gear. I feel like I'm being driven around by someone who doesn't know how to drive a stick shift. But it's an automatic. I'm being charged to remanufacture the entire transmission. It will cost $6,700! I only bought the car for $8,400. This 2004 car will cost me $16,100 by the time it's drivable. (by the way - your drop down for vehicle components doesn't work in ie 9.)

- Sierra Madre, CA, USA

problem #98

Dec 272011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
I have a 2004 Volkswagen 1.8 turbo convertible Beetle. The car is jumping back and forth when it tries to shift gears. I brought it in to the local VW dealer and they told me that they would need to run diagnostics in order to see what the problem was. By looking on line we had a pretty good idea that it was the valve body or the transmission. After they ran the diagnostics they confirmed that it was the valve body. They had extended the warranty from 5 years 70,000 to 7 years 100000 miles. We where then advised that the car had missed the warranty by a few months but that we should still process diagnostics as VW normally assists when so close to warranty expiring. They know these cars have this defect. The dealer contacted VW America and told me that they would not assist with the repair because I was the third owner of the car. I purchased the car in 2007 from a VW dealer and it was a certified vehicle. I am the 2nd owner. I am afraid that I will have an accident the way the car thrashes back and forth when the transmission shifts. I am also very concerned as I am pregnant. It is unacceptable that VW is unwilling to make this repair when they know that they have this problem. This was our third Volkswagen. The car only has 72000 miles.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #97

Dec 312010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
My 2004 Beetle ran fine for the first several months after a purchased it from the dealer, now the car stops running at 65 mph on the freeway several times a week, during my travel to work. I have read several postings on the internet stating the same issues from thousands of VW owners. This is a serious problem. I have had my car diagnosis stating I need to replace the trans, but theres no indication trans failure. One week there car runs great then, next it stops during travel and has jerky feels during movement. I'm sure there hundred of thousands of complaints of the same issues and that's just one of the many too many to list.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #96

Aug 112011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


6 speed automatic transmission began shifting very rough after 45,000 miles. I am concerned the transmission will fail potentially causing a fatal accident, especially if driving on a 4 lane highway. VW dealer says the car needs a new transmission and it will cost $7200! the transmission valvle body on this model car has already been declared defective by VW.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #95

Jul 282011


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen new Beetle convertible. The contact was driving 50 mph when the vehicle exhibited a loud, abnormal noise while shifting. In addition, the vehicle would jump gears unexpectedly while driving. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where dealer advised that the valve body was faulty. The dealer replaced the valve body but the failure recurred and had become worse. The dealer replaced the valve body a second time but to no avail. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and the dealer re-installed the original valve body, advising that there were no failures with the initial valve body. The dealer also stated that the transmission needs to be replaced. The transmission was not replaced. The failure mileage was 63,000.

- Perryville, LA, USA

problem #94

Dec 262010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
2004 VW Beetle turbo began jerking, surging, etc, Sept/Oct of 2010. Took car to dealership twice for transmissions problems, as obvious. Staff said no transmission problems, but paid over $1000 for "other" issues. Dec. 2010 car abruptly stopped running while I was on the interstate. Lost all power! car will surge unexpectedly while driving or parked. Dangerous to drive. Unable to control as car shifts itself inappropriately. The happens everyday after the car is warmed up. Every time you brake or accelerate, it jerks, surges, stalls, etc. Finally, April 19, 2011, (3 car shops later), another transmission shop confirmed my problems. Only 69,000 miles on my car.. need new transmission! VW dealership has turned their back on me and "covered up" the fact that this model car has major transmissions problems and was made defective. I can not believe the number of people that are experiencing this horrific ordeal. A recall is imperative. I could have had two cars for the price that I am still paying for this car. Very unsafe and scary ride. An injustice and insult to the public, hard-working tax-payers!!!

- Flowood, MS, USA

problem #93

Dec 102010


  • 100,000 miles
2007 Volkswagen Beetle convertible transmission, valve body defect. Vehicle will not shift and only solutions is replacing both with a cost of about $6000 for transmission and $2000 for valve body. Very unsafe condition when you are on the freeway and your car will not shift.

- Elkmont, AL, USA

problem #92

Jan 042011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 81,503 miles


My 2004 VW new Beetle with 81,000 miles on it needs a new transmission. Harsh shifting between 1st and 2nd gears; did a trans flush; now it won't come out of 3rd gear. Been sitting since January in my driveway. I was told I need a new transmission which is $5,800 + tax. My daughter was nearly rear-ended several times! VW has to do something about these failed transmissions. Purchase 2-1/2 years ago - still owe another 2-1/2 years of payments and I thought this car would get my daughter through college and beyond - boy was I wrong. They certainly don't make vws the way they use to. I had a bug when I was in college and the floorboards rusted out before the mechanics of the car!

- Quakertown, PA, USA

problem #91

Nov 012010


  • 93,767 miles
[xxx] I received a warranty extension letter from Volkswagen of America in November 2010 extending the warranty on my 2004 VW Beetle for hard shifting caused by the valve body. My Beetle experienced the problems described in the letter. I submitted the form for reimbursement for repairs made to the valve body. My claim for reimbursement was refused by martin a. customer care advocate. He stated that the repair would not be covered because the extension cover repairs to the valve body only. I am seeking reimbursement for the valve body only. When the repair shop inspected my Beetle for the hard shifting issue, they also inspected the transmission and found excessive metal debris in the żpanż. the repair shop told me that they recommended repairing the transmission at the same time as replacing the valve body. I could have elected not to have repaired the transmission at that time. I am being told that my claim is being refused because the replacement of the valve body was related to the repair of the transmission which it clearly was not. VW offered this extended warranty and I feel as though they are trying to find any excuse to not fulfill this offer. I contacted VW customer care on Friday afternoon February 25th to explain that the valve body replacement was not related to the rebuild of the transmission and was very frustrated when the advocate repeatedly interrupted me as I attempted to explain this to her. My daughter and I have purchased multiple vehicles from VW over the years and are trying to understand why VW is denying this valid claim, we would like to be able to continue to be loyal VW owners and are hopeful that VW will do the right thing for us. Please review the documents that I have included and IżM sure you will be in agreement that this claim should be approved. Please contact the responsible parties. Parts of this document have been redacted to protect personally identifiable information pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Branford, CT, USA

problem #90

Dec 122010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
I do not know who to turn to now. I have been experiencing problems with my 2004 Volkswagen new Beetle. I purchased the car March, 2010 and a few weeks ago it started acting up. The gears have been shifting very violently, so much so that it feels like someone rear ended me every time. Mind you, this only happens after I have driven the car for more than 15 miles, so I figure that it's once the car has completely cooled. I received a letter from Volkswagen in November, 2010 for an extended warranty on the transmission valve body because they have noticed that a lot of people have been having problems with this. I have been trying to get this fixed and now they tell me that I was only covered until September, 2010. The letter says it will cover to 7 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first from the vehicle's original in-service date. This makes no sense to me because technically I'm still on the 7th year and I'm currently at 54K miles. I have been doing a lot of research on this problem and have found that there a lot of Beetle owners experiencing the same misfortune and Volkswagen is doing nothing of the matter because they know it will cost them millions. This is very upsetting, seeing that I've only had the car less than a year and it's had 2 previous owners. I tried calling voa and the "manager" tells me that they're looking into the matter because they have gotten a high volume call this whole week regarding this. I call 2 days later and they tell me that I am out of luck. It really does seem that this is a designer flaw, and VW is failing to step up to the plate.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #89

Sep 152010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
I have a complaint against Volkswagen of America regarding my 2004 Volkswagen new Beetle convertible automatic transmission. At 71,000 miles, it has had hard shifting issues and has actually jerked forward when I came to a stop at a light, and then has proceeded to get stuck in 3rd gear until it was shut off and restarted. Volkswagen has extended the warranty for the transmission valve body, but they have determined, $300 later, that it is not the valve body, but needs the transmission replaced at a cost of $6,300. The vehicle is not safe to drive. Volkswagen should replace these defective transmissions!

- Salinas, CA, USA

problem #88

May 052010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
I have a complaint against Volkswagen of America about my 2004 automatic new Beetle convertible transmission. I received a warranty extension for a skipping transmission. A year ago the Volkswagen dealership recommended that I replace the entire transmission to fix the problem, which I did for $6,500. The new extended warranty said I could be reimbursed for work done, I filled out all the paperwork an had copies of the original work requests and receipts and sent them in as instructed. I have since received a letter stating that I do not qualify because I had the entire transmission replaced (as recommended) and not just the valves. It is a catch 22 and unfair as I just followed the dealers recommendation in getting the car repaired.

- Seabrook, TX, USA

problem #87

Oct 102010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 76,500 miles
2004 Volkswagen 'new Beetle' has serious design / oem-component flaws in the transmission and/or transmission control module, creating very-dangerous and unpredictable 'stalls' (step on gas, motor revs, but transm. Does not engage immediately) in traffic. VW is aware of this, because they have sent a 'warranty-extension / replacement offer' letter for the valve-body of the transm., however, dealer 'computer' says it's not the valve-body, but rather a 'mechanical issue due to an incorrect gear ratio' and offers a complete transm. Replacement for $5500. (!) not a very 'helpful' solution for a car worth that or less. It would seem there is a 'control' problem with one of their oem components (ie: Transmission control module and/or solenoid-pack) as there are *thousands* of owners with such problems, across this country, and imho, VW needs to recall these cars and fix / replace the transmissions - here is a link to a 20-page thread detailing others' experiences: townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.F124D77/0?@704.H96paxobgwb@ - this is* a 'single-consumer' or 'personal periodic-maintenance issue', and may have grave consequences for someone / some family(ies) if not recalled by VW -please, help us!

- Reseda, CA, USA

problem #86

Oct 012010


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen new Beetle. The contact noticed a scrapping noise coming from the vehicle intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility where the vehicle was inspected and the technician discovered a hole in the transmission case caused by the separation of the dual mass flywheel. The technician advised the contact that both the flywheel and transmission would need replacing. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted in regards to the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The current mileage was approximately 118,000 and the failure mileage was approximately 113,000.

- Sedona, AZ, USA

problem #85

Dec 212010


  • 72,000 miles
I have a 2004 VW newbeetle. My car was shifting funny and shaking as it drove. I took it to my local dealer and was told it needed a triptonic switch. They replaced it. After test driving the car with this new part they determined this wasn't the problem and that I needed a new transmission at a cost of $5400.

- Van Buren, AR, USA

problem #84

Nov 292010


  • 80,000 miles
Transmission shifts hard and slips in lower gears.

- Whipple, OH, USA

problem #83

Jul 172009

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
2004 VW Beetle transmission slipping between 2nd and 3rd gear. It started around 67000 miles and happens just after the vehicle reaches operating temperature. Dealership says transmission needs to be replaced at $7000. I have also read on the internet and I have noted there have been extensive complaints regarding this particular yr model Beetle with the same type transmission problem. Dealer will not help, but stated they know of the issue but are unable to do anything until VW take ownership of the issue, there has been no recall issued yet on this vehicle.

- Rockville, MD, USA

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