really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,479 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.

2005 Volkswagen Beetle drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Sep 102012


  • 91,000 miles


After having the valve body fixed under an extended warranty in March 2011, I am currently having the same exact transmission issues. VW refuses to cover this expense since the extended warranty is now void, and the parts warranty is void as well. However, I've driven this car for less than 6K since the repair. I also just had this vehicle at the dealership a month ago to fix the tiptronic transmission which just went out. Now, two weeks after that repair, the valve body just decided to give out" well, VW is telling us the issue now is a valve body harness.." this is just starting to seem ridiculous on my dime.

- Fort Knox, KY, USA

problem #17

Oct 022010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 67,222 miles
Shifting and jerking of the vehicle while driving. The jerking gets so bad that it can delay acceleration and mimic getting rear ended, yet service states nothing was wrong.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #16

Jun 012012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Transmission valve body malfunctions and causes the card to shift harshly. This causes loss of control during acceleration and deceleration.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #15

May 212012


  • 50,040 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact stated that while driving at highway speeds the transmission fell out of gear. The contact lost power and had to exit the highway. The failure persisted repeatedly as the contact was taking the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer informed the contact that the transmission would have to be replaced because the valve body cover had failed. The contact stated they were unable to get an answer for why the full transmission needed to be replaced instead of just the valve body covers. The failure and the current mileages were 50,040.

- Roverside , IL, USA

problem #14

Jan 032011


  • 75,000 miles
Transmission is jumping when shifting gears and slowing down. Volkswagen has issued an extended warranty for this transmission problem but not if the vehicle is older that 7 years from the inservice date. I reported my problem Jan. 2012 after I had learned of the extended warranty for this problem. I had been having this problem for many months earlier. I was told that the inservice date was Nov. 2004 therefore I was ineligible by about 6 weeks.

- Lancaster, SC, USA

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problem #13

Feb 012012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
I've been having shifting problems between 2N and 3rd gears. The car dramatically jerks to get into gears and throws the gear to first when breaking. I took it to Volkswagen to get it checked and they said I had two options to fix the problem. 1. replace the valve body at a cost of $1950 (and it might fix the problem) 2. replace the transmission at a cost of $6900. There is a warranty extension on the valve body but, since my car is over 100,000 miles they will not repair my car. I contacted Volkswagen of America in hopes to get some assistance on the repair since this is an ongoing problem with this car, but was told that they already made on extension on the warranty and could not assist me in any way other than a $500 voucher to buy one of there new cars. Really"?" with the kind of problems Volkswagen cars are having I wouldn't even consider buying a Volkswagen again!!! also they have numerous complains on this matter and should repair all of their faulty cars. It is very dangerous to drive a car in this condition.

- Oakland , CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 052012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 79,500 miles


My 2005 VW Beetle is a turbo/automatic. It has 79,500 miles on it. The car jerks and shakes when slowing down for a stop. It happens at various speeds, from 60 mph and less. I had the transmission fluid checked and changed, but the problem still occurs. I don't feel safe in my car anymore. I don't know what it's going to do which might endanger me or other drivers around me. I've read many Beetle owner complaints on-line about the same problem, and it appears to be a common occurrence. I am aware that a letter from NHTSA was sent out to some VW Beetle owners to "extend the warranty that covers the valve body in your vehicle's transmission to 7 years or 100,000 miles". I never received that notice! to have a new "valve body" installed would be an expense I can't afford. I am a senior citizen, and I occasionally have my grandchildren in the car with me. I don't feel my car is safe enough to have them in the car now. When I purchased the vehicle, I expected it to last me longer than 7 years, especially since VW has a good reputation. I checked the blue book value of my car, and the repairs would probably be about half of what the car is worth. I can't sell it and make any money on it; I can't trade it in and get much for it; and if I had to purchase another car, I'd have car payment that I can't afford. I am now "stuck" with a car that doesn't work properly and possibly dangerous to drive. I am very disappointed.

- Napa, CA, USA

problem #11

Dec 062011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
My 2005 VW Beetle's transmission failed at 49,000 miles. VW has an extended warranty item on the transmission valve body that they acknowledge can fail which had failed on my vehicle. However I'm being told that my transmission has also failed. VW is claiming that the failed valve body did not cause damage to the transmission and that I would have to pay for the transmission replacement myself. This is a dealer maintained, commuter car that is unaltered and under 50,000 miles that I have had other professional mechanics look at and they do not see how VW can claim the failed valve body would not cause this kind of damage and eventual failure. We have contacted VW of America multiple times and they refuse to take responsibility for their product.

- Bainbridge Island, WA, USA

problem #10

Nov 222011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
My VW Beetle 2005, has a 2 to 3 second shift delay whether in manual or automatic. When pulling out in traffic or taking off from a light or downshifting to slow down the car acts like it's in neutral. The engine revs but the car takes anywhere from 2 to 3 seconds to respond. Sometimes it won't shift out of 4th gear and I have to pull over (in traffic that is going over 55) turn the car off and then turn it back on. I consider this very dangerous when cars are piling up behind me and ican 't get over to the side of the road to turn it off. I had my car towed to a certified VW repair shop over a 100 miles away because I knew it wouldn't make it. They informed me my transmission is gone. I need a new one. They can't rebuilt it. A new transmission is $4500. Not including labor. I got my car in January of this year. I have $8000. Invested in it already. My car is worthless. I am 60 years old. I have no steady income at this time and I can not afford to pay another $6000. I called Volkswagen of America and they informed me they will do nothing about it. My driver's side window is also acting up and they will pay for that, but really, big deal. I have heard, unfortunately too late, that VW's with my kind of transmission are having the same problems and I think VW of America should stand behind their car especially when they still have low miles. My car is now considered a throwaway car but I don't have that kind of money to throw away. This has hurt me deeply financially and all VW of America will offer me is a loyalty customer coupon towards a new car. If I could afford a new car I wouldn't have bought a used one.

- Pahoa, HI, USA

problem #9

Nov 152011


  • 96,000 miles
This car is horrible! at 70,000 miles the car would jerk while it was driving. It was especially scary if it started to jerk/kick while on the freeway. I got a new transmission, new engine. Then 20,000 miles later, it did it again and now Volkswagen said it needs a new transmission! again! more jerking, and it became worse after I took it to the dealership to get it fixed "under warranty" I will complain to the BBB as well. Horrible that I put so much money in only to be told that the car still wont work. Safety problems as well.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #8

Nov 132008

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


While driving the car stop and go-when I stepped on the gas, the transmission would not shift to the next gear-the rpms would rev and finally the next gear would "catch" really slam into gear and the car would shift. I had many near miss accidents due to my car failing to move forward in traffic. I took it to the dealer several times and each time they could not duplicate the problem. No repairs were made. I finally drove it directly to the dealer while the problem happened and the mechanic was able to "witness" the problem, the repair was made-replaced transmission parts at 62,000 miles. Now at 80,000 miles, the car does 2 things-while driving on the freeway, the car feels as if it has lost power-the car stays on, but there is no power to the engine-step on the gas and nothing happens-no rpms, nothing, the car slows down immediately, but because it happens so suddenly, cars that are following me don't always react in time and I have almost been rear ended-after a few seconds all of a sudden the car will regain power. The 2nd problem happens randomly-as I am driving, the car just shuts off. All of the dash lights flash on and the car dies-no power steering, nothing, just a dead car. I have to put the car in gear, turn everything off (radio, air etc), and turn the car back on. This has happened during a left turn, at a stop sign, while driving on the street. Again VW mechanic finds nothing on the computer. This car is a lemon-I have had to replace 2 batteries, several headlights, tail and turn lights, air bag sensors, all 4 window regulators, plus 2 of the same window regulators twice, trunk latch, rear ashtray holder, convertible straps, rear convertible window clips, and now whenever it rains my car leaks. I am terrified to drive the car in it's current condition, afraid to cause or be involved in an accident. This car is not safe, please help.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #7

Mar 012011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Recall for transmission valve, brought to dealership, replaced valve and then transmission went out. VW said this had nothing to do with the valve being replaced and would not cover the transmission, which was 6500 in addition to another 1500. With that being said, the car is now just suddenly losing all power at red lights or whenever stopped, this is a real road hazard, it is an accident waiting to happen. These 2005 VW are dangerous cars on the road. VW needs to step up and reimburse folks for the transmission so that they can go and get new cars. It's difficult in these times to be able to go and get a new car when I have just socked 8000 into this one. I cannot believe that VW is getting away with this transmission issue, just unbelievable. And the car will go back in the shop again next week. I am really asking for this government Agency to investigate and do what's right for all VW Beetle owners that are going through this. The recall is surely a cover up for the real issue, a "faulty" transmission.

- Greenwell Springs, LA, USA

problem #6

Aug 012011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 61,500 miles
Intermittent hard shifts between 4th and 5th gear with occasional slipping between 4th and 5th gear and also getting stuck in 4th gear which required stopping on side of the road and turning the car off and restarting it. Took the car into the dealer and was told the transmission had to be replaced. After researching it seems this is a common problem with these cars. Dealer told us that valve body replacement was not an option because the hard shifts were between 4th and 5th, not 1st and 2nd. Contacted VW of America customer service and was told they would not do anything to help. The week prior to taking our Beetle in for servicing, we took our 2002 jetta in and was told it also needed a new transmission!

- Soddy Daisy, TN, USA

problem #5

May 052011


  • 74,788 miles
Slippage in the transmission between 2nd and 3rd gear causing jerking and slowing. This causes unpredictable vehicle performance which is a clear safety hazard that could result in a serious accident, injury or death. Replacing the valve body as VW has indicated it "might"--if your vehicle meets certain requirements--will not fix this problem permanently. The entire transmission is at fault and must be completely replaced to ensure safety of the driver and passengers.

- Newberg, OR, USA

problem #4

Jan 032011


  • 72,000 miles
I currently own a 2005 VW Beetle with 72,000 miles. About one year ago, it began to violently jerk between first and second gear after about 20 minutes of city driving. When accelerating from a stop light or stop sign, the car would stall, then buck forward as if I was being rear-ended. The level of unreliability is really dangerous, because I never know if it's going to speed up like it's supposed to. I'm in constant fear that I will get rear ended or stuck in the middle of an intersection. I've taken it to two mechanics and talked to two transmission specialists and all of them have said that they won't work on a VW Beetle's transmission and that I need to take it to the dealer. I've tried aiding the problem with a new battery, but that hasn't helped. Other complaints online (300 on townhall-talk.edmunds.com) have stated that repairs for this problem are $5,000-$7,000 and that it hasn't always fixed the problem.

- New York , NY, USA

problem #3

Jan 042010


  • 72,500 miles
This is on a car with a 1.9L bew engine and 6 speed dsg gearbox. Problem emerged as a rough idle (like a cylinder was missing) and knocking sounds while at idle and during engine shutdown as engine comes to a stop. Car was taken to dealer and dealer diagnosed as failing dual mass flywheel, $1398 to fix. I got lucky and mine didn't explode/disintegrate as some others have, although I don't know yet if it has caused other damage to engine or transmission. Car has 73,000 miles on it and is out of warranty, spent extra money on extended warranty when I bought the car new to hopefully avoid situations like this - the longest warranty I was offered was 7 years or 70,000 miles. VW has re-designed the dual mass flywheel to improve it and they have recalled the cars in other country's because of this failure but not here in the U.S. they obviously know there is a problem, otherwise why the re-designed part or recall? the failing flywheel could also cause sever damage to the transmission and engine.

- Rice, MN, USA

problem #2

Apr 152005


  • miles
Purchased 2005 VW Beetle with 7,300 miles assured full warranty....guaranteed paint on front bumper would be corrected...did it twice still peeling off....electric windows repaired twice....began making noises when weather was damp...took it to be checked out and was assured it would not always happen but normal...told them transmission seemed to be slipping....one headlight had a short, and then recall on brakelight...they did repair that...but informed me that was all they had time to do that do due to recall...gas cap cover was sticking as well...didn't fix it either....then my air bag light came on...took it in for recall on that...after it was supposedly fixed airbag light did not go off, insisted it had nothing to do with sensor that was recalled...noise in front end began and floorboard flooded during heavy rain....with no obvious entry point....did search for problems with VW Beetles and there are thousands having the very same problems I have been experiencing....now heat gauge light comes off and on, alarm randomly sounds.....but noise in front end concerns me greatly...would not even diagnose car without $98 bucks an hour labor charge to find problems.... this car only has 34,952 miles on it and it is falling apart...no way can all these problems be fixed and me make payments....but thousands are having these very same problems...why has our government not insisted on a recall.....

- Des Arc, AR, USA

problem #1

Aug 102008


  • 95,000 miles
Dmf failed blew shrapnel through bell housing! normal driving, Volkswagen new Beetle, 2005.5 diesel 1.9L tdi automatic trans dsg. Dual mass flywheel (dmf) exploded on the road under 10mph. Small metal parts of springs and aluminum punched hole in side of case. Clear 'grease' and shavings everywhere. Could have caused engine or wheels to lockup if it had jammed a larger piece in the drivetrain. Towed to dealer with 95K miles, sounds like a slight grinding noise on acceleration. This is heavy part with a large hole blown in the edge where parts came flying out. Only offered a $750 rebate on purchase of a new VW... this is a manufacturing defect, imho, that vwoa did not cover. Replacement part number for dmf, oem part no longer available. VW replaced with part number 03G-105-266-be $785. Work done at dealer, almost $2K! many dmf failure stories blame the clutch, but mine is an automatic! this is a bad part, that vwoa is trying to hide knowledge of, blaming customers. Other auto makers have admitted bad part and replaced at 100K miles! I have the old part and further checks can be done to show it failed on the inside. My teenage daughter is scared to drive if it were to happen to her! no way to know, there is no scheduled maint, nothing to change or check. Flywheel should be covered by vwoa, it is not a wear item! can you help" many others may not be reporting if vwoa is replacing under warranty, as my web research seems to show. They had to replace an airbag, but my dmf exploding on the road is not their problem? why no recall and no tsb's? bew gys with direct shift gearbox. Damping layer failed in dmf. This will become a larger issue as more miles are logged on this part. Will it cause someone to loose life" thanks.

- Edwardsville, IL, USA

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