fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,895 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.

2008 Volkswagen GTI transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Volkswagen GTI Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Jul 232009


  • 20,000 miles


My dsg worked when I first got the car. I now have 20K miles on the car and my dsg is clunky, unsmooth, and sometimes the reverse gear does not even work, it just goes into neutral and stays there until I go back into park and switch back to reverse. I think that the dsg is a great transmission, don't get me wrong, but I feel that too many of them are failing too quickly. If vwoa were to fix these bugs then it would be an amazing transmission. I am having so many problems with my transmission that im thinking that I should have just got the manual. Vwoa needs to fix these bugs before something bad happens, to me, or other fellow VW owners.

- Short Hills , NJ, USA

problem #12

Jul 012009


  • 12,000 miles
Problem with dsg transmission surging and car lurching at lower speeds. Makes parking particularly dangerous and difficult. Car downshifts very harshly causing exaggerated engine braking. Vehicle will hesitate from a stop and sometimes is indecisive about which gear should be engaged. We are told the "mechatronics" unit will need replaced, it's been over 4 weeks and no update on parts or service. We are told the parts are coming from germany.

- Conshohocken, PA, USA

problem #11

May 012009


  • 20,000 miles
Surging during parking maneuvers harsh shifting from the stop light.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 152009


  • 20,000 miles


When I first bought my 2008 Volkswagen Gti it was a great car, but shortly after things started to change. For no apparent reason the car started driving very rough and has almost got me into accidents at times. One instance of this was when I was turning onto a highway (right on red) and after accelerating and the car shifting to 2nd gear from 1st the car just paused and took 3-4 seconds to shift and left me there not accelerating and almost getting rear ended. Luckily there driver avoided hitting me and I was safe. I have been reading up on this problem and it seems to be with the mechatronics unit of the dsg(direct shift gearbox) in my car and many others are having similar problems. Some people have been lucky enough for it to be fixed and others are stuck with it still not working after multiple fixes. It would be great if someone could look into this problem and find a resolution.

- Hawthorn Woods, IL, USA

problem #9

Jul 202009


  • 18,000 miles
The dsg transmission on my 2008 VW Gti began acting unpredictably about 3 weeks ago. When lifting off the brake after coming to a stop, the car feels like it is about to stall, the engine RPM's drop very low (250rpm), and then quickly jump to 750-1000rpm, forcing the car to buck and surge forward. In reverse, the car bucks backward. This creates unpredictable driving conditions. I am concerned it could create an accident at a stop light or other intersection by either uncontrollably surging into the car in front of me or by being hit by the car behind me as the car bucks forward. I have taken the car to the dealer for service and they identified a faulty mechatronics unit which would require 3-4 weeks to be repaired. The dealer stated the car cannot be driven until that part is replaced and will remain in their possession until that time.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #8

Jul 192009


  • 20,000 miles
I started to notice a few months ago that my dsg transmission on my 2008 Volkswagen Gti was starting to act weird. It would have a hard jerking when it would downshift into a gear when coming to a stop. Its would also hesitate going into gear when I would give it throttle. A few times when the hesitation would occur it almost caused me to get into an accident.

- Princeton, TX, USA

problem #7

Jul 032009


  • 19,045 miles


I own a 2008 VW Gti with the dsg transmission. For the last few days it has been surging when driving at low "parking lot" speeds less than 10 mph. The car also shifts very hard from 3rd to 2nd and then to 1st gear, especially when the car is warmed up and the ambient temperature is high, around 90 degrees.

- Navarre, FL, USA

problem #6

Apr 052009


  • 20,190 miles
I have experienced an issue with my 2008 VW Gti dsg transmission which caused safety hazards due to the jerking and unresponsiveness of the car when merging into traffic. VW did replace the transmission parts which were defective but I am concerned that the same failures will repeat after my warranty period ends. Please take action to extend the warranty on dsg transmission for 08 VW Gti's. thank you.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #5

May 112009


  • 15,000 miles
I noticed my "automatic" dsg (direct shift gate) transmission to be acting up. From a stop up to 15 mph in 1st gear and reverse the transmission felt very lurchy and had lots of surging associated with acceleration. It could be simulated in a "normal" car by tapping the accelerator when starting to drive instead of smoothly pressing it. It was especially noticeable when the car's operating temperature was hot. Ie: the hotter it was the worse the symptoms are. It occurs every time I drive the car long enough to heat the car up. It's dangerous in bumper to bumper traffic because sometimes the car doesn't go, then I give it more gas and it goes too much. I am afraid I will rear-end another car someday. Reverse gear is even worse. I have to be very careful when parking that I do not smash into another car. These problems are also for some reason amplified when on any incline. The second issue with the transmission is that mainly when the operating temperature is cold the car experiences trouble when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. Normally under heavy acceleration, the car can't seem to "find" 2nd gear. It will shift out of 1st gear and "hang" in a neutral position where no power is available to move the car forward. Approximately.5 - 1 seconds later, it shifts into second gear. I would hate to be trying to avoid a collision and have no power available if needed to move out of the way. Volkswagen has told me these issues are "normal" and that it is working as designed. I find this hard to believe since these symptoms were not evident whatsoever when I purchased the car new 11 months and 13 days ago. As Volkswagen refuses to acknowledge a problem, I hope the NHTSA can grasp their attention.

- Central Point, OR, USA

problem #4

Apr 012009


  • 20,000 miles
Car shifts very roughly 100 percent of the time. When I accelerate from a dead stop the car hesitates and then jerks into gear. Sometimes it slams into gear very harshly with even the lightest pressure on the pedal. This has taken me by surprise on several occasions almost causing me to rearend the person in front of me. It also downshifts very strangely...sometimes searching for gears.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #3

Jun 102009


  • 15,000 miles


I own a 2008 VW Gti equipped with the dsg transmission. Recently, I have noticed problems with this transmission and its delivery of power from the engine to the wheels of my car. When the car is warmed up, the transmission does not smoothly and predictably deliver power to the car's wheels. When in reverse, the problem is very noticeable. It surges and stops constantly while backing up, making it difficult to control the speed at which you are backing up. When accelerating from a complete stop, the car bucks and surges forward. This is not as dangerous as when in reverse, but it is still very uncomfortable. There are several internet forums that are sharing information and experiences about this transmission and its various problems. To date, VW does not acknowledge that there is a widespread problem with this transmission. I'm adding my complaint to the others in the hopes that someone will put pressure on VW to acknowledge that these transmissions need to be seriously looked at nationwide and perhaps a recall started in order to fix the issues with these transmissions. Thank you for your time and understanding.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #2

May 102008


  • 17,900 miles
Approximately 20,000 miles. Have major issue with dsg automatic trans occasionally going into neutral while trying to accelerate and low speed jerkiness (like the trans doesn't know whether it should be in neutral or 1st/reverse) after at least 15 min of driving. The low speed jerking issue is easily repeatable but the car needs to be driven at least 15 minutes to notice it. The trans going into neutral issue is hard to reproduce as it can happen randomly with up to 3-4 weeks in between occurrences, but has happened at least 8 times. When it happens the car rolls to a stop, usually lifting off of the gas pedal, giving it a few seconds before giving it gas again seems to be enough for it to go into gear. I've been to 2 different dealers. Almost got hit by a garbage truck on the way to the first dealer, when the trans went into neutral while merging onto a busy street. Luckily it went into gear just in time. 1st dealer replaced a fuel pressure sensor which fixed a check engine light, but has not fixed any of the issues with the transmission. 2nd dealer admits it's the transmission, but so far VW of America has not approved any parts replacement.

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #1

Jun 012009


  • miles
Lurching and jerkiness from dead stop in both forward and reverse with a 2008 VW Gti. This is a continual problem particularly when the engine is warm and in warmer weather. No accidents have been caused by the lurching, yet, but the inability to pull away when a light turns green, and the inability to control the acceleration when reversing is likely to cause an accident soon. The general consensus online is that there is a known problem with some 2008 mechatronic units (associated with this car's dsg transmission), and that replacement solves the problem. But VW has, so far, refused to replace my mechatronic unit, issue a recall, or in any way rectify the situation.

- Bethel Park, PA, USA

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