really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,084 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Volkswagen Beetle Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #72

Apr 012011


  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact stated while driving 20 mph the transmission started slipping and the vehicle would not shift into any gear. The vehicle could not be driven. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who stated the transmission needed to be replaced for $4000. There were no recalls or related warranties. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 55,000. The current mileage was 60,000.

- Gardner City, KS, USA

problem #71

Jan 232006

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 1,246 miles
2005 VW Beetle convertible. "jumps" forward suddenly and almost hits car in front or back if in reverse. Have told VW this since I purchased with 1200 miles on it. VW never acknowledges a problem. It is obviously a transmission problem.

- Coal Grove, OH, USA

problem #70

May 262011


  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Beetle. The contact stated that the vehicle was shifting abnormally hard. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and the dealer advised that the transmission would need to be replaced. The contact had the transmission replaced yet the failure persisted. The contact believed that the transmission was not the cause of the problem but the vehicle computer. The failure mileage was 49,000.

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #69

Mar 012011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


I bought my 2005 volkwagen Beetle in 2005. I experienced hard down shifting from 3rd to 1st within the 1st year of owning the car. I took it in to [xxx] in snellville Georgia where I bought the car. They said they couldn't find anything wrong. I just thought it was normal. Year after year, the shifting got worse. It would happen randomly while driving. Now after 100,000 miles, the shifting is so bad, I can barely drive the car. It now shifts hard from every gear. Every time my car has to slow down or speed up from a stop light, it jerks so hard it throws me forward. It's ridiculous and scary. Sometimes, while accelerating through an intersection, it will just stop, and I have to let off the gas and just pause and wait a second and then speed up again. It's dangerous to drive at this point, but I do not have the money to put in a new transmission. I recently got a letter from Volkswagen of America stating that they're fixing certain Beetle's transmissions, and my 2005 was one of them! I was so excited, but as I read on, the letter explained that the Beetle had to be under 100,000 miles or under 7years old. Well of course my bug was 400 miles over 100,000 miles!!!! I called Volkswagen of America faxed them documentation that my car had been in the shop for transmission problems at 50,000 miles, and I waited 6 weeks to hear anything back. Finally, they sent me a letter denying me of a new transmission because I was 400 miles over 100,000 miles! this is absolutely ridiculous! they cannot get away with this. We need to file a lawsuit against Volkswagen of America!!!! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Gainesville, GA, USA

problem #68

Jan 262011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Volkswagen new Beetle convertible [xxx] purchased in the fall of 2004; multiple requests for service to dealer gossett Volkswagen / memphis, tn regarding hard shifting tiptronic automatic transmission started reporting this Jan 2005 at 198 miles but I have recently discovered that the service advisor was not recording my complaint, describing visits as "30 day inspection"; only documentation of programming of shift points at 59860 miles according to their records dated 7/17/08; nothing helped; multiple requests for assistance from dealer ignored dealer claiming could not duplicate issue. Problem caused hesitation in traffic; involuntary jerking and sometimes sudden forward motion of car. On more than one occasion had to pull car over to side of road to shut it down. Problem resolved when car below normal operating temperature then manifests at normal operating temperature. Dealer stated "unable to duplicate" until after warranty expired then declared transmission failure without opening so-called sealed unit to diagnose. Volkswagen of America issued recall on transmission valve body late last year; refused to repair my vehicle this January after 6 years of visits to dealer for numerous issues including this one. I allege that the dealer and voa knowingly sold this model year with a manufacturer's defect as many owners of previous and same model years have frequently posted accounts of the same problem on various consumer websites including your own; appealing for your intervention in this dangerous situation. The car is now parked in my driveway. I have also filed a complaint at the state of Tennessee Consumer Affairs Agency alleging that gossett Volkswagen and voa have engaged in a fraudulent pattern of avoiding responsibility for a very dangerous issue because of the expense of necessary repairs. This car is parked and is no longer being driven because it will stall, lurch, and accelerate and decelerate erratically because of the problem.

- Arlington, TN, USA

problem #67

Feb 152011

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Volkswagen Beetle, 2005 model with 105,000 miles. Transmission failing causing hard shifting and slipping gears resulting in car lurching, sudden down shifts and pausing unexpectedly in traffic. Caused rearend impact when vehicle failed to accelerate. As told by the VW dealer this is a very common problem with the new Beetle 6spd tiptronic transmission, one that VW will not admit nor correct. I have been researching this issue for some time finding that there is no question as to whether a new Beetle owner will have transmission problems rather when the problem will begin. While I have not been able to determine how many if any accidents have been caused by this issue I do know there is a great concern amongst these vehicle owners that accidents will occur. VW should be forced to recall all these vehicles and correct this problem.

- Hilham, TN, USA

problem #66

Oct 012010


  • 39,900 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen new Beetle convertible. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph the rpms would increase, but the vehicle would not accelerate any faster causing it to hesitate. She also noticed that when trying to parallel park it would hesitate before going into gear and it was harder to shift. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who informed the contact that she needed to replace the transmission body. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 39,900 and the current mileage was 44,000.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #65

Mar 072010


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Volkswagen convertible Beetle. The contact stated that her transmission shifts forward and downward shift on its own. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they were not able to duplicated the failure. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered to give $1,500 towards the repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 48,000 and the current mileage was 66,000.

- Havre De Grace, MD, USA

problem #64

Oct 012009


  • 73,000 miles
I currently own a 2005 VW Beetle with 96,000 miles. Before me, the car was owned by my parents since it was bought in 2005. 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. I have taken the car to aamco, plus 3 additional transmission specialists in that time. To date, I have spent $1,100 to have the transmission serviced and the shifter replaced. The problem has only gotten worse and the car now violently jerks from second gear into third gear and hesitates on the highway when shifting between fifth and sixth gear. In stop and go traffic, I've nearly been rear-ended twice in 2010 alone. This is a daily occurrence. To date, Volkswagen has essentially refused to stand behind its product. Though the Volkswagen group of America has extended me a 7-years or 100,000-miles warranty, douglas Volkswagen, the dealership from which the car was bought in New Jersey refuses to replace the valve-body (the part covered under warranty) and has recommended I put a new $8,000 transmission in the car. They claim the transmissions made after 2008 do not have the problems 2003 through 2007 models had. Regardless, they have not tried to replace the car's valve-body, which is a part of the transmission. They seem to find it appropriate that I replace the defective transmission out of pocket at a cost higher than the car is presently worth. For that reason I have registered a complaint with Volkswagen group of America. Many new Beetle owners complain that they have also encountered similar resistance from Volkswagen and have been pushed to pay for new transmissions only to realize the problem persists after thousands of dollars have already been spent. The company has made feeble efforts to correct the problem. I hope NHTSA will assist consumers presently being politicked by VW.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #63

Dec 142010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 46,766 miles
Transmission hard shifting recall. Took car into dealer in driving condition. Car diagnosed and VW replaced valve body causing trans failure. VW refusing to replace trans. Dealer forcing me to purchase new trans. Would not attempt another valve body.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #62

Dec 142010


  • 46,000 miles


Hard shifting transmission. Wv replaced valve body. Caused trans failure.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #61

Aug 012010


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen new Beetle. While driving approximately 30 mph the vehicle violently lunged forward as it abruptly downshifted. The failure recurred intermittently. The contact also stated that the vehicle would intermittently hesitate while accelerating at a stop. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the tiptronic switch was repaired. The failure continued to recur so the vehicle was taken back to the authorized dealer where he was told the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 52,000 and the current mileage was 55,000.

- Columbus, MS, USA

problem #60

Oct 012010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Bought 2005 VW Beetle in December 2008. October 2010, car shifting hard and jerking while shifting into gears. Loose power while driving due to gears getting stuck. Mechanic says I need a new transmission with only 40,000 miles on vehicle. Vehicle is unsafe to drive.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #59

Oct 202010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 64,450 miles
I have a 2005 Beetle convertible, never in an accident - up to date on all maintenance with only 64,450 miles on it. A week or so the transmission started slipping so I took it to my mechanic. He was hoping it was a solenoid, and an easy fix but it turns out that the transmission needs a rebuild. He called his transmission specialist who said - 'I won't even touch a Beetle, it's like putting on another wedding ring. You get tied to these cars' I have had several small issues with the car, and one big issue which my dealership took care of during my warranty period so I had been satisfied with VW's response at least in the past, but a lightly driven automatic transmission should not be failing 4500 miles outside the cars warranty..and the fact that transmission specialists recognize this as a frequent and recurring problem with the model makes me think there is cause for recall. Searching for Beetle transmission prompts message boards with hundreds of entries on the topic and in many cases, people are in the 'just over 60,000 mile' category I fall under. Some examples: townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.F124D77 (33 pages of owners with the same issue) www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/vw_beetle.html (2004-2005 Beetle owners who describe the same exact issue as I'm having).

- Hillsborough, NJ, USA

problem #58

Oct 202010


  • 59,000 miles
Transmission in 2005 VW Beetle with 60,000 miles on it is suddenly failing to shift. Research indicates this is a well known issue yet VW refuses to stand behind their product. I explained that the safety aspect of this was not acceptable. Their response was to over to replace the transmission at a cost of more than the current value of the car.

- Maocn, GA, USA

problem #57

Nov 012010


  • 82,000 miles
2005 Volkswagen Beetle transmission slipping - less than 85,000 miles. At approximately 60K miles I noticed a jerking when I would slow. The jerking would occur while the car was slowing between 3rd and 2nd gear. That seemed to iron itself out, but then a new problem surfaced - the car will slip into neutral between 2nd and 3rd gear sporadically. At 80K miles, I took my car to my mechanic - he told me it could be due to low transmission fluid. He checked my levels and said all seemed to be in order. Now (a month later) it occurs more recently (daily and more than once a day), my car will transition smoothly between gears until transmission warms up. After approximately 10 - 15 minutes worth of driving, accelerating between 2 and 3rd gear, the car revs like it has slipped into neutral and will jerk violently into 3rd gear. When I can tell the transmission is slipping, I remove my foot from the gas, allow the rpms to return to normal and then try accelerating again, normally this will allow the car to smoothly transition to 3rd gear. Today, however, the car remained in neutral and although I took my foot from the gas, the engine seemed to continue to rev as if my foot was still pressing on the gas. I pressed the break to stop the rpms from climbing higher and then the car jerked into 3rd - this was by far the scariest because I had a car right behind me. Impromptu breaking and lurching could have caused a serious accident had I been in tighter traffic. I was only going 25 miles per hour. I contacted Volkswagen and formally submitted a complaint. I've also gone on several vehicle forums and found I am not the only person with this year, make and model of VW Beetle that is experiencing this issue. I took my car to my mechanic today to find out a diagnosis. Hoping someone else has heard of this and found a more viable solution other than soaking $6K into a 5-year old car.

- Cibolo, TX, USA

problem #56

Oct 282010


  • 75,000 miles
At approximately 75K miles, 2005 VW Beetle began violent lurching upon slowing down, resulting in unsafe driving condition. Read numerous complaints about transmission issues with this model/year - local dealer denied knowledge of this problem. Vehicle taken to independent repair shop and is undergoing a transmission rebuild quoted at approximately $3,500.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #55

Sep 232010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,438 miles
Auto transmission on 2005 VW Beetle slips and leaves me with no power on the interstate and has happened several times in town.

- Cartersville, GA, USA

problem #54

Oct 122010

Beetle 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
I am the original owner of a 2005 VW Beetle. At approximately 89,000 miles I noticed a lurching between gears. This would occur only after about 15 minutes of driving. I am not a mechanic but suspected that there was an issue with the transmission. When my car was taken to the dealer for a fee of $95 I was told that a new transmission was needed. Since the 2005 Beetle convertible was built with a non-serviceable transmission the VW mechanic confirmed that there was nothing that I could have done to prevent the transmission from ┐going up┐ early. The mechanic also said that the transmission should have lasted several more years before having any issues. I purchased the car new in April 2005, and I do not have the $6,000 it will cost to replace the transmission. Since there are so many complaints out there for the same issue on the same make, model and year shouldn't this be something that VW is required to fix? one other incident I want to mention is that within the first 2 years of owning my 2005 VW Beetle convertible the air bag light came on. Since the car was still under warranty I took it to the dealer and had them look at it. I was told that the switch had to be reset and there was nothing wrong with my car. However, they never documented this complaint at all so when I went back with the same problem just a few days after my warranty expired. I was told they had no record of the complaint and they would charge me over $100 just to look at it. Now that I am researching the transmission I see that there was a recall on this very thing and I was never informed, nor was the light ever fixed. After all the dealer told me it was just a tripped switch and there was nothing wrong, just a few months before the light came on again so I didn't worry about it ┐ until now.

- Street, MD, USA

problem #53

Jun 012010


  • miles
Around 80,000 my 2005 VW Beetle began shifting really hard. It jerks between gears, and has recently been getting stuck in first and third gear. Sometimes when I drive the car it is fine, but other times, it has left me stranded on the side of the freeway. 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.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

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