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 1 of 2)

problem #33

Dec 192011

GTI 4-cyl

  • 31,120 miles


While driving the transmission dog bone mount bolt broke. This damaged: The transmission housing - the transmission housing support - the catalytic converter assembly - steering - the wiring harness - the radiator - the radiator fan - additional items. The loss of control that resulted could have led to bodily injury. VW is declining warranty coverage for this defect.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #32

Sep 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,332 miles
2008 VW Gti dsg--automatic transmission problem: The car "jumps" randomly when releasing foot off the brake at a red light, or when engaging from park to drive and releasing brake. Many "close calls" to crashing and/or property damage due to known issue, especially when parallel parked on street: I.e. car jumping forward or backward potentially damaging parked cars around or, even worse, "jumping" into the traffic lanes. Dealership deflects the issue, claiming it to be "normal" operation of the transmission. Warranty on the transmission has been extended to 10yr/100,000mile, though not in response to this issue, according to dealership.

- Skokie, IL, USA

problem #31

Aug 042010


  • 11,000 miles
Harsh shifting during acceleration in 2008 Volkswagen Gti with dsg transmission.

- Noblesville, IN, USA

problem #30

May 032010


  • 25 miles


My car is a 2008 VW Gti with the dsg transmission. The transmission is very noisy, extremely difficult to drive at low speeds, and is jerky and bucks when downshifting. At low speeds, the clutch engages with a jerk and the car lurches forward to accelerate. When down shifting, it is difficult to brake because as the gears are disengaging and reengaging in a jerky manner, the amount of brake force required to stop changes too. I received a recall letter about this from Volkswagen of America, but the dealership denies any letter was sent to me and that there is nothing wrong with my vehicle.

- Seffner, FL, USA

problem #29

Apr 272010


  • 11,800 miles
Hard jerking based in auto transmission occurring when in drive at a stop with no pressure applied to either the brake or the gas. This occurs consistently and daily under normal, in-town driving conditions.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #28

Dec 052009


  • 10,000 miles
The car lurches when moving from a stop. This is a big issue in traffic due to the lag that exists in application of throttle to actual movement. What also happens is a momentary neutral when you apply full throttle when moving. This is not like a normal kickdown, the car does nothing at first then rockets forward, to the extent that it is very difficult to drive in stop and go traffic. I have had numerous close call in this car as a result of the transmission shift patterns. These are all present after driving the car 20+ miles to work in traffic.

- Franklin, NJ, USA

problem #27

Sep 162009


  • 32,000 miles


My car (2008 VW Gti w/dsg) runs very choppy at low speeds and in reverse. Often times at a stop light, the car would shift very hard into first gear when I let go of the brake.

- Eugene, OR, USA

problem #26

Oct 182009


  • 12,000 miles
Normal acceleration from a stop or rolling, the dsg transmission will hesitate and produce a very rough shift to the next gear. This is intermittent but almost daily. Car is now in the VW dealers repair shop.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #25

Aug 302009


  • 32,138 miles
2008 VW Gti dsg transmission, driving approx 30-40km/H, transmission lights started flashing, vehicle was stuck in first gear.

- Markham, Ontario, Canada, 00, USA

problem #24

Aug 302009


  • 10,081 miles
I own a 2008 VW mkv Gti with dsg transmission, and I have encountered the following problems. 1. after a 700 mile drive, I noticed that the prdns display was flashing, and that my transmission was locked in 2nd gear, no other gears could be used including reverse after shutting down my car, and letting it sit for 20 minutes, I restarted the car and it was behaving normal again, and the flashing of the prdns display was gone. 2. for a couple of days now I have experienced a potentially dangerous behavior of my dsg transmission, when coming to a stop it jerks and surges forward in 1st gear, the same happens when taking of from a stop it jerks and surges, which makes it for the driver impossible to control/modulate the speed with which the car will move forward, I have to keep a substantial distance from the traffic in front of me to not hit them by accident due to the surging behavior of my transmission this surging and jerky behavior is only in 1st gear and reverse, and happens when the transmission shifts back into 1st or when you take off from 1st or reverse. Currently dealers are aware of the issues, but have not been able to fix the issues due to parts not being available at the time I called.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #23

Jun 012009


  • 9,000 miles


1. problem - rough up and downshifts in D, manual/tiptronic mode, and S modes (all modes available in the car). 2. when manually downshifting/upshifting the car or when allowing the car to do so on its own, you often get a slight to severe jerk. Problem occurs on 90% of all shifts. 3. been to the dealership several times, have dropped the car off 3 times. First two times they had done software reset and then a software update. Neither fixed the issue although they told me the car was 'running fine' or the 'jerks are normal'. this third time, the mechatronic unit (what I feel is the culprit and have been pushing) is supposedly being replaced. Uncertain if this will resolve the issue 100%. still do not have the car.

- Miramar, FL, USA

problem #22

Jan 062007


  • miles
Jerking when going in reverse or when taking of from a stand still.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #21

Jun 132009


  • miles
When beginning to accelerate from a complete stop the car lunges and/or is very jerky (extremely sudden starts and stops). If the car is on a hill the car rolls back very quickly and takes a while to start moving forward, if the vehicle behind is too close its possible to accidentally hit them. During congested traffic its unpredictable when the vehicle will suddenly lunge, in the event of getting cut off by another car its very possible to accidentally drive into them.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #20

Aug 082009


  • 16,000 miles
I've noticed starting this summer my car has been really jerky, even surging forward when stopped occasionally. A few days ago it actually lost power while I was at speed on the freeway. This is extremely dangerous, especially in the winter time with icy conditions where I live. After researching the problem I've noticed I'm not the only one with this problem. Something has to be done before it costs someone their life.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #19

Jul 162009


  • 11,300 miles
I will start with the most serious incident first. At the time of incident I was driving up a hill making a left turn into a side street. I stopped to wait for traffic to clear, when traffic cleared I let off the brake and pressed the gas pedal. The car slowly started to roll forward as I approached the middle of the oncoming lane the transmission shifted into neutral and the RPM's climbed. We started to roll back slightly. I pressed the gas harder and the car rolled back for a second, then slammed into the forward gear and I made it across the intersection, without being hit by an oncoming vehicle. My girlfriend was in the passenger seat and very upset about this. Earlier that evening we exited a driveway in reverse, then put the car into drive. The car rolled back and stalled. I got the car started and we resumed our trip. I took it to the dealer, and they said there were no fault codes and said everything is fine. Yesterday (Aug 10th 2009) I was exiting a parking lot, making a left turn and again halfway through the turn the car went into neutral, nearly causing an accident, the car then slammed back into gear and resumed forward motion. In addition to these incidents the vehicle slams into forward gear from almost every stop. And when the transmission downshifts while stopping there is a strong jerky motion. Also in reverse the vehicle bucks as if is going in and out of the reverse gear. All incidents occurred while the vehicle was in normal "D" driving mode, for the forward incidents, or "R" gear for the reverse incidents. These jerky motions are daily occurrences.

- Garnerville , NY, USA

problem #18

Jun 292009


  • miles
-when I lift my foot of the brake and apply gas after coming to a stop, the car will hesitate and then violently lurch forward as it shifts into gear, this is extremely bothersome when in bumper to bumper traffic situations, when I have many times lifted my foot of the brake, applied no pressure to the accelerator, and the car proceeded to violently lurch forward 6 feet or so, nearly into the back of the car in front of me. It seems as thought the transmission can not slowly move into 1st gear. -there is often a delay in power when "getting on it", this is especially troublesome when making a merge onto a busy highway when I need to quickly accelerate. I will literally put the pedal to the floor and the car will either rev and not move, or simply stutter for 2-4 seconds. I am surprised I haven't been rear ended because of this already. -both in drive and reverse the car makes a bucking motion when a consistent light amount of pressure is put on the accelerator. Although my foot does not move, the engine goes into a cycle of power surges.

- North Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #17

Jul 152009


  • 8,600 miles
Purchased a new 2008 VW Gti with the dsg transmission. After 3 months of ownership, I noticed the following problem: When vehicle starts to slowly accelerate from a complete stop, vehicle surges back and forth (jerks) constantly until you pick up speed then condition goes away. This is more prevalent when engine/trans is hot. Also condition is worst when vehicle starts to move when going uphill or inclines, it will surge hard as if trying to decide on 1st or 2nd gear. I want to report this, because on several instances, specially when slowly applying the gas to creep uphill along with traffic, my vehicle has surged forward hard enough that I almost hit the car in front of me if I had not and reacted quickly to the jerking surge. Condition also presents when driving on a level road, but its more controllable than in an incline. It only happens when creeping of going slowly below 1200rpm. I have read that this condition affects the dsg transmission and its mechatronics unit is prone to failure causing the symptoms I have described.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #16

Feb 012009


  • 10,000 miles
Dsg transmission jumping out of gear at highway speeds causing my vehicle to slow dramatically. When starting from a stop there is a delay between throttle input and actual movement. The car will rev, and then "lurch" heavily and suddenly forward. I have almost been in numerous accidents due to these two problems. Slow speed "parking" maneuvers are also dangerous due to a "surging" in acceleration, and occasional lag in gear selection. These issues only appear when the transmission is warm. I have reported the issues to Volkswagen on numerous occasions only to be told it is normal, and sent away. It has been ongoing for over 6 months.

- Winnipeg, 00, USA

problem #15

Nov 152008


  • 4,000 miles
With about 4,000 miles on my car I was parked on a hill going upwards, I turned the car on only to find that it would go into D, but not engage in drive and I would just drift backwards. Then I noticed "prnds" was flashing where the gears usually are located on the mfd. I shut the car of and turned it back on, everything worked out fine. This has occurred one other time, same exact scenario, at 15,000 miles. Also, when starting out or slowing down, no matter what gear I'm in, my car will shutter very roughly. I took a few people for a ride, their reaction was "what are you doing": and "is that normal"" now I have had my car at the dealership twice about this, and all they tell me is that it's "normal for the dsg" and I don't need to worry.

- Hookstown, PA, USA

problem #14

Jan 242009


  • 6,000 miles
The car has jerking during low speed driving and has hard shifts sometimes. When backing up the car bucks or when taking off slowly or in traffic the car is extremely jerky.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

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