really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,718 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2005 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments

problem #19

Sep 202016


  • miles


My 2005 Volkswagen Beetle has the warning lights on for the airbag. The repairman diagnosed it as codes P1738 and P1739 which indicate the frontal crash sensors for the driver and passenger sides. 76,900 cars under recall 08V178000 have the same issues for this. My VIN was not included. The VW dealer is not willing to fix, I feel I am being penalized by having to pay $500 to repair a known problem. I will never own another VW again if this is what I can expect.

- Nixa, MO, USA

problem #18

Aug 242016


  • 80,000 miles
Called Volkswagen about the 08V178000 recall as the airbag light is on on my vehicle and they said the computer says it is the front right crash sensor which is exactly what was recalled yet they refuse to inspect and honor the recall. They say the computer tells them there are no active recalls on my vehicle.

- Bainbridge Island, WA, USA

problem #17

Sep 232015


  • 112,977 miles
Pods unit defective. Diagnosed Sept. 23 2015. Still not available. Have been driving w/O air bags since. ( dealer disabled air bags) tech says over $1000 to fix. Dealer says not covered under any recall. Why am I liable for a safety issue?

- Maumee, OH, USA

problem #16

Nov 022015


  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Beetle. When the vehicle was started, the air bag warning light illuminated continuously. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000. Updated 02/18/16

- Popscam, NY, USA

problem #15

Nov 132015


  • 17,495 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen new Beetle (na). While parked, the air bag warning light illuminated. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the front passenger seat sensor failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 08V178000 (air bags). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 17,495.

- Calabash, NC, USA

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problem #14

Nov 102015


  • 69,000 miles
3 out of 4 of my power windows have had problems. 1 is stuck up. Another has been replaced, while another rolls down, when I'm pushing the power up!!! my airbag light has been on since I bought this car used.

- Rineyville, KY, USA

problem #13

Jun 152015


  • miles


I took my 2005 convertible Beetle to the service provider because my R headlight was out. They refused to work on it because it was a fire hazard. All the wires to the headlight were exposed. The protective part over the wires were brittle and appeared to have just rotted off. Each wire will need to be repaired before any one will work on it due to the hazard. I looked at the left headlight and someone had repaired the wires already on that side. Lots of electrical tape and wire nuts. I still have no R headlight. The airbag light has been on as well since I purchased the vehicle used last year. I own another Beetle. It is a 2000 and the airbag light has been on for several years as well. I have read about wiring problems with the airbags and feel that it is also a safety issue I felt that needed to be reported. Please feel free to contact me for further details.

- Walnut Cove, NC, USA

problem #12

Aug 012012


  • miles
The airbag light remains on the dashboard, mechanics have said they cannot fix it, makes me concerned there is an issue with the passenger airbag. Both the passenger window and the driver's side window regulators are both broken. The driver's side window will not go down when you press the window button, and the passenger door/ window rattles when driving and when you shut the door

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #11

May 102012

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 59,235 miles
The driver seat belt buckle shorts out do to faulty wire routing causing the seatbelt tensioner harness to get cut or shorted by the driver seat.

- Forest Hills, NY, USA

problem #10

Mar 262008


  • 27,643 miles
The airbag system of this vehicle constantly keeps failing and causes the airbag light to come on. The vehicle was brought to a Volkswagen dealership numerous times over the years to fix this issue but the dealer has not been able to fix the issue and the the airbag light keeps coming on with different things being the issue. First the airbag light came on and the seat occupied recognition module was defective and an update was preformed. After that the airbag light came on and the side front crash sensor was faulty and replaced. After that the airbag light came on and the seat belt buckle was found to be faulty and replaced. Now the airbag light is on and an independent service center advises me the front crash sensor is faulty again and needs replacement. I contacted Volkswagen North America claiming the system has numerous faults but they do not want to accept any responsibility. They advise me to bring it to the dealer and get it replaced for the full cost of the part and repair. The model year 2005 Volkswagen new Beetle has a faulty airbag system and Volkswagen should recall these vehicles to fix the issues and offset the expensive repair costs consumers have to pay.

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #9

Jun 172011

Beetle 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


Air bag system failure - light illuminated, replaced control module in dashboard, did not correct the error. VW dealer and company refuse to discount repairs even after being provided 100's of documents proving the same issue on other similar cars. This failure is similar to NHTSA campaign number 08V178000, but my VIN is not included.

- Locust Grove, VA, USA

problem #8

Mar 222010


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen new Beetle. The contact stated that the air bag sensor warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the driver side seat belt assembly was replaced at a cost of $338. The manufacturer was contacted who stated there were no recalls or warranty for the repair and they would not cover the repair costs. The failure mileage was 15,000 and the current mileage was 31,500.

- Smithville, MO, USA

problem #7

Dec 112010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
My 2005 Volkswagen new Beetle has the same bad window regulators as the rest of the recalled ones. The airbag light is also on without any wrecks to my auto VIN # [xxx]. I've reported it twice to stevens Volkswagen of wichita, ks and once to Volkswagen of America reference number: 810010103. I have not received any answer from Volkswagen of America. The only reply I got from stevens Volkswagen of wichita, ks is that they will charge me $130 just to decide if I'm covered under the window regulator recalls and or the airbag light malfunctions.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #6

Nov 042009


  • 53,000 miles
Airbag light on for second time, vehicle is out of warranty, has cost me so far $110 for a dealer to check and $117 for parts not to count my labor for replacement which would have been an extra $400 or so. I believe vehicle falls under a recall for the same problem and during the replacement of the bad parts I found the bad parts mentioned in the recall no. 08V178000 on my vehicle which I still have. Was told that my vehicle, was not part of the recall by VW America but according to the document no. Rcmn-08V178-2838.pdf found on this web site under defects & recalls, is in fact one of the vehicles that should have received a recall notice for this problem. I would like to be able to have my repairs finished, which should only require the airbag computer to be reset and my previous cost and possible labor charge refunded to me by VW of America.

- Reedville, VA, USA

problem #5

Sep 202008


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact stated that the front driver's side air bag failed and the warning indicator was illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer stated that the entire driver's side air bag was inoperable and the sensor failed. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 08V178000 (air bags:frontal:sensor/control module), although the failures were identical. The failure and current mileages were less than 53,000.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Oct 152006

Beetle 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,200 miles
Air bag light came on and stayed on, 4 trips to two different VW dealers. They are unable to fix the problem, leaving me without functioning air bags.

- Billings, MT, USA

problem #2

Jan 262006

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles
: the contact stated while parking with the brake pedal depressed, the vehicle surged forward and collided with a light pole. A police report was taken. The vehicle was towed to the dealership and has been inspected. Updated 3/28/2006 - the air bags did not deploy during this accident.

- Smithfield, NC, USA

problem #1

Nov 012004

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
Air bag system has been defective since delivery of the car. The air bag warning light came on with in days of purchase, the car has been returned to the dealer for repair on at least 5 occasions, has been in the shop for the past 2.5 weeks and they are saying it may be as much as 3 more months before the problem can be resolved because of a software problem with the air bag system. If this is true then all the 2005 VW Beetles would be affected by the same safety issue

- Decatur, GA, USA

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