really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,000 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.

2003 Volkswagen GTI lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Volkswagen GTI Owner Comments

problem #1

May 042008

GTI 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles


Noticed a smell as I was driving. Glance out window & noticed my back light was on fire. Pulled over, and tried to extinguish it with a shirt. Almost had it out, but couldn't quite extinguish it. Within 10 minutes the car was totally engulfed in flames. I had to stand there and watch my car burn. It took two fire trucks to extinguish it and I ended up with burnt hands( from melting rubber sticking to my skin), trying to smother it. How could something like this happen from a back light" I have had the car less than 1 year. It was in perfect condition, with only about 45,000 miles on it. I am out a car, with no recourse! I found that there was a recall back in April 2007, prior to my owning this vehicle. Although, their recall makes no mention of the car bursting in flames! this is a serious problem that needs to be looked into! I am lucky that I saw the fire when I did, or I could have been hurt even worse than I was. I am a carpenter and need my car to get to my jobs. I am out a car, lost a day of work, and now am working with bandaged hands, and the worst thing is...I called Volkswagen and got sympathy, and an offer to pay my medical bill, but I am still out a car! are they kidding? this is a serious electrical problem! what if I had my grandchild in the back seat of that car" once the headliner caught flames, it was all over. Flames were 20 feet in the air!

- Newfield, NJ, USA

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