really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,213 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.

2001 Volkswagen GTI seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2001 Volkswagen GTI Owner Comments

problem #10

May 042011


  • 126,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 volkwagen Gti. The contact was traveling 35 mph when he abruptly turned the wheel to avoid a crash. The contact drover over a pothole and the air bags deployed independently. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired for the air bag failure. The contact believed the failure to be a manufacture ring defect. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileage was 126,000.

- Portsmouth, NH, USA

problem #9

Jul 272009


  • miles
I have a 2001 VW Gti and my side curtain airbags wrongfully deployed. I received minor damage to my rear rim from a street curb that caused my airbags to wrongfully deploy. I was not in a collision, nor in serious danger, although when my airbags deployed I was frightened and veered to my left lane. Luckily no one was in that lane, but I could have received major injuries.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #8

Jul 272007

GTI 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 100,600 miles
I was traveling down a highway at 60 mph. Suddenly without impact both the drivers side curtain airbag and drivers seat side airbag deployed, for no reason. What made it even more scary is that it turned off my car while coasting at highway speeds, also disoriented me. Was able to barely turn the car to an off ramp with out a wreck resulting. Nothing has been replaced at this time.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #7

Feb 272006

GTI 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


: the contact stated while driving 65mph the frontal airbags deployed for no apparent reason. There were no known road hazards and gasoline had not been put into the vehicle for two days. The vehicle was driven to the dealership and is currently awaiting inspection.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #6

Jan 082006

GTI 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 64,000 miles
Car was fine at night when parked. Airbag fault light came on in the morning, and will not turn off. Already as happened before and had airbag replaced. As happened again less than two years later. Will keep parts replaced this time.

- Spokane, WA, USA

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problem #5

Feb 122006

GTI 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,033 miles
Air bag default light and buzzer has come on many times. Jan 2001, April 2001, Aug 2005, Jan 2006 and now again Feb 2006. VW of America has repaired and paid for first three problems. In Jan they said that they could only cover 75% of cost of repair. Each time I have been without my car for as long as a week. I now have a call into the dealer for this fifth problem and am waiting and obviously am frustrated. The fault code has been 00588 032-resistance being too high in the air bag ignighter...I am thankful I have not been involved in an accident so I am unable to know whether the air bag would be of any help. But this does keep me wondering...I expect VW of a to pay for all such repairs and provide me with a loner car. They are not standing behind their product.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 242003

GTI 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 58,000 miles


I was rear ended in Nov 2003. My car was pushed into the vehicle in front of me with enough force to signal the airbags to deploy. The airbag did not deploy. I did not find this out until after the accident when the airbag light came on and it was at the dealer for repair. The dealer told me that the signal had gotten scrambled and lost. The problem was fixed. In Apr 2005, during my 60K service I was told that my airbag resistance was set too high and the airbag may not deploy. The dealer said this repair would cost $1000 in parts plus the labor which is intensive. I do not feel that I should have to pay to repair faulty safety equipment, especially when this is not the first problem with the airbag.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #3

Jan 242005

GTI 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 32,500 miles
Took the car to dealer after airbag light came on. I was told the on board computer says fault code 00591 for driver's belt switch resistance being too high, which is due to broken wiring in belt switch harness in driver's seat belt buckle. I was told this could lead to airbag not functioning properly in the case of a collision. I believe failure of the wiring in the belt switch harness is probably due to a design flaw/manufacturing fault since it is a relatively new car.

- Seattle, UT, USA

problem #2

Jun 032002

(reported on)


  • miles
Due to the "airbag" symbols displayed on the A- and B-pillars of my car, I and my dealer assumed that curtain airbags were installed. The monroney sticker listed only front and side airbags. Volkswagen customer service informed me that curtain airbags were a running change during the model year and that my vehicle did not have curtain airbags based on its date of manufacture, despite the "airbag" symbols indicating that curtain airbags were installed (curtain airbag installation began in March, 2001, while my vehicle was assembled in February, 2001). The VW customer service operator was unconcerned and suggested that I contact my local dealer if I was dissatisfied. My local dealer subsequently "confirmed" the installation of curtain airbags through the vehicle computer diagnostic system. While I have chosen to rely on my local dealer's information rather than information provided by Volkswagen's corporate customer service and the monroney sticker, I am troubled by Volkswagen's ineptitude and lack of concern in providing information on a critical safety system. Most troubling, Volkswagen customer service was unconcerned that the vehicle interior trim badging indicated installation of curtain airbags where their records showed that none were installed. Of lesser concern to me is that the monroney sticker omitted an important safety feature. At least I think it did. If I'm ever unfortunate enough to resolve the debate between my local dealer and Volkswagen experimentally and find that no curtain airbags are in fact installed in my car, I or my heirs will be contacting you again.

- Parkersburg, WV, USA

problem #1

Dec 152000


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Air bag sensor light stayed on. Vehicle been into dealer on two occasions, and problem still reoccurring. The fog light burn out while the vehicle was new. Also, the interior lights were defective. Check engine light comes on repeatdly and fuse panel replaced. Fuel pump relay replaced.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

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