really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,036 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.

2009 Volkswagen GTI brakes problems

brakes problem

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2009 Volkswagen GTI Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #42

Oct 172016


  • 74,900 miles


2009 75,000 miles. ABS controll module failure for the past couple of weeks my car would intermittently throw up the ABS and traction lights but this would go away shortly afterwards. I get in my car about 30 minutes and start driving for maybe 1/16th of a mile and everything just freaks out. Speedometer is dropping to zero (while in motion doing about 15 mph) and fluctuates all over between 0 and 20 mph. Brake light is on. Traction light is on. ABS light is on. Steering light is on. Epc light is on. Check engine light is on. And the mfd is saying "engine fault workshop". as time has gone on it now tends to happen atleast 15+ times a day.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #41

Nov 302016


  • 118,000 miles
ABS brakes and stability control failure, every time the ABS or stability control is activated the systems immediately fail and dash lights all turn on with three loud chimes. Other times the failure happens during normal driving. Power cycling the vehicle resets everything but the failure will soon occur again. This is a well known problem with 2009 models and in my opinion is dangerous -- ABS & stability control system are critical to safety during emergency braking. Some time ago I had to use the brakes to avoid an accident, my wheels all locked up and my vehicle began to skid sideways -- not what one would expect on a vehicle that comes with ABS brakes. I just now learned I can file a complaint. This issue has been ongoing for over approximately 18 months. I regularly turn the ignition off/on while driving to power cycle and reset the ABS module when it error fails - though I don't expect it to work when needed.

- Cranford, NJ, USA

problem #40

Nov 012015


  • 60,000 miles
Failed ABS module which makes speedometer, ABS, traction control not work intermittently.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #39

Aug 122016


  • 103,000 miles


Was traveling on the interstate around a curve during rush hour traffic and had to apply the brakes pretty hard on that curve. The ABS activated very shortly and then was followed by the ABS light and traction and brake light coming on with an audible chime and the tires then locked up, which then caused the car to start to spin sideways. Luckily was able to correct it before disaster. This has happened on many occasions, basically whenever the ABS is engaged, the system is disabled right in the middle of needing it, very dangerous. I do not have the $1,000+ to fix this problem.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #38

Nov 042016


  • 106,000 miles
First occurrence ABS and traction control lights on dash momentarily while on freeway. Second occurrence, city driving, ABS, traction control, steering dash lights, dash display "engine faulty workshop" along with beeping sound, speedo wildly fluctuating while driving straight at constant speed around 40 mph, then a couple of seconds later the lights go out and everything appears normal. Reading forums of similar issues indicated an expensive replacement of the ABS module. Car has approx 106K miles.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #37

Sep 092016


  • 115,160 miles
While driving the vehicle steering system became tight, ABS and brake light came on as well as check engine, steering system malfunction, epc and stability control lights lit up on dash. Also, fuel gauge would drop to empty and speedometer went to zero miles per hour while the car was in motion. This happened on a city street going straight or turning.

- Ocklawaha, FL, USA

problem #36

Mar 212016


  • 52,000 miles


I was driving on the freeway when I had to make a sudden stop. My brakes locked up and my ABS, brake, and ESC lights came on. I tried to regain control but ended up spinning out on the freeway and hitting the guard rail. Had to fix taillight and bumper is scratched. This problem is extremely dangerous because when I was braking I was braking under the impression that my ABS system was working correctly and I did not pump the brakes. I was only notified that my ABS, ESC, and brake were having issues after I was in the panic brake and it was too late to react and start pumping the brakes. The ABS, ESC, and brake lights turn off after the car is restarted but the problem is still there. I have tried braking hard on wet pavement afterwards to test the issue and the ABS, ESC, and brake lights turn on again when the ABS is supposed to engage. I restart the car and there is no warning that the ABS system is having trouble. I began searching for the issue recently and found on a couple forums that many people have been having the same issue. I believe the issue is with the ABS control module. This is extremely dangerous and Volkswagen needs to recall asap.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #35

Sep 122016


  • 90,050 miles
ABS module failure after 90K miles. Result in loss of power steering, antilock braking system functionality, and traction control at the same time. Also, prevents speedometer and other gauges from reading accurately. Major safety concern and seems to be an wide issue specific to 2009 VW Gti/rabbits. Manufacturer should be responsible for replacement/compensation to owners.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #34

Feb 092016


  • 60,000 miles
ABS module failure. When I drive during snow and winter and my car starts to slide my dash lights up like a christmas tree and beeps loudly. I got kids and don't want to get into an accident with them in the car because of it. ABS doesn't work like it used to. 2K for a fix is definitely not something that I can stomach. VW needs to step it up before someone gets hurt or killed.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #33

Aug 192016


  • 88,000 miles
ABS module failure at 88K miles. Multiple fault codes presents with constant beeping and an error message reading " engine fault! workshop! in the heads up display (epc, emergency brake, electronic steering assist off, traction control off fault codes). This is a safety feature failure that can result in loss of power steering, antilock braking system functionality, and traction control at the same time. The failure of this module represents a serious danger to occupants in the vehicle as the safety features are disabled due to the failure of this crucial part. This can happen at any speed while driving/turning.

- Leander, TX, USA

problem #32

Aug 142016


  • 82,270 miles


At roughly 11pm at night while driving home from the gym the car started beeping and the epc light came on. Shortly after the ABS, check engine light, traction control, brake light(flashing), steering wheel icon, and a message saying engine fault workshop all lit up. I imagine all these lights prompting the car to go into limp mode. My gas gauge stopped working along with the spedometer and the car would only rec about 2K rpms trying to protect itself from further damage(limp mode). Problem would continue on from then. The car won't turn properly as it feels like it's really loose and isn't grabbing the road.

- Marana, AZ, USA

problem #31

Jul 012016


  • miles
VW 2009 Gti 80K miles. Solid ABS, solid power steering light, solid check engine light, solid traction control, and flashing "brake" lights illuminate on the dashboard occasionally upon turning on the vehicle, accompanied by 3 audible beeps. Then, the ABS, traction control, brake, epc, steering, and check engine lights began to come on while driving. ABS and traction control stay illuminated, while the epc, steering, check engine, and brake lights come on intermittently, accompanied by 3 audible beeps. The message "engine fault - workshop!" also shows up on the message display center in the dash. Steering feels a bit stiff. Speedometer, odometer and fuel gauge affected. Dealer has indicated an internal fault in the ABS control module requiring complete replacement. VW corporate offices unwilling to provide extended warranty on these common failures. Expensive fix and very dangerous to drive.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #30

Jul 262016


  • 122,000 miles
While driving at speed, "engine workshop" error code followed by ABS, ESC, "brake" traction control, steering warning yelow, steering warning red, and multiple dings and alarms. Speedometer goes to zero, car is slugginsh... when stopped, the brakes seem soft unless "pumped up" I am concerned that the vehicle controls are not relaible.

- Granite Bay, CA, USA

problem #29

Jun 202016


  • 108,000 miles
2009 VW Gti. ABS, traction control, brake, epc, cel and steering wheel light come on. 3 beeps sound. Speedometer doesn't work. After searching, this appears to be a common issue with the ABS control module. Power steering seems to turn off and on unexpectedly and is quite dangerous while driving. ABS won't work and traction control turns off and on unexpectedly.

- Cedar Park, TX, USA

problem #28

Apr 272016


  • 73,500 miles
Beginning around 55K miles (car was approximately 6 years old) I occasionally would experience a chime followed by ABS light flashing when taking tight turns. It turned off when cycling the engine off/on. Also, sometimes there would be three chimes upon starting the car followed by ABS and ESC warning lights flashing. This could not be removed by cycling the engine off/on. It would stay on while driving and only go away randomly the next time I restarted it later; sometimes it would stay on for many consecutive stops/starts. The symptom of the three chimes upon startup got more frequent recently (70K miles). It would appear almost every day. I researched this on web chat forums and the symptoms appeared to be consistent with other 2009 VW Gti drivers experiencing ABS control module failure. I also consulted my local VW mechanic and he concurred my symptoms were 'early onset' failure and anecdotally he said the 2009 VW Gti control modules have a reputation of early failure. It is worth noting the condition renders the ESC and ABS non-functional. I took the car to the dealer at 73500 miles and he diagnosed ABS control module failure and said it was dangerous to drive. I asked for a goodwill warranty extension and got it; the unit was replaced which appears to have fixed the issue. Luckily, I did not ever encounter a situation that tested the driveability of the car with those systems disabled.

- Sunnyside, NY, USA

problem #27

Mar 282016


  • 96,485 miles
My ABS pump & module were determined to need replacement. Searching online, it seems a large number of people with the 2009 model are having this issue. I was quoted at $2200 to fix it. I was driving on a city street to a restaurant after my wedding and the ABS, traction control and brake lights all came on. Days later the car started to rev weird and the speedometer would not work.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #26

Mar 072016


  • 67,000 miles
For several weeks, solid ABS, solid traction control, and flashing "brake" lights would illuminate on the dashboard occasionally upon turning on the vehicle, accompanied by 3 audible beeps. Then, the ABS, traction control, brake, epc, steering, and check engine lights began to come on while driving. ABS and traction control stay illuminated, while the epc, steering, check engine, and brake lights come on intermittently, accompanied by 3 audible beeps. The message "engine fault - workshop!" also shows up on the message display center in the dash. In addition, while the car is in motion, the speedometer will repeatedly alternate between the actual speed reading and a reading of 0 mph. When the speedometer drops to 0 mph, the engine rpms increase. Finally, the car sputters and bucks when attempting to accelerate rapidly, and steering feels a bit stiff. The dealer has indicated an internal fault in the ABS control module.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #25

Jan 152016


  • 51,000 miles
The ABS pump and module died on my '09 VW Gti at just over 50000 miles. When ABS or traction control is called upon, the systems fail, causing the car to lose control. In my case, it happens every time I hit a snowy or icy patch while driving. Also, the ABS, esp, and braking indicator all light up on the dashboard with the braking light flashing and dinging. All maintenance was current on my car. I was not driving excessively when these incidents occurred. VW wants over $2100 to fix the issue. Volkswagen of America denies there are any problems with the '09 Gti ABS system, despite numerous reports across the internet, and has refused my request for financial assistance to correct a problem they say makes the car unsafe to operate.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #24

Mar 012015


  • 65,000 miles
During any emergency braking situation, my car will lock all four tires and the traction control, ABS, and emergency brake (flashing) lights will turn on. The lights remain on until the car is turned off and on. This is very dangerous fault that appears to be very common on the 2009 Gti. This issue is very easy to reproduce by braking hard from any speed greater than 35 mph. I have been told it is the ABS control module, which is in line with all of the other complaints about the ABS system. Vwoa should recall the ABS control module on the 2009 Gti.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #23

Nov 022015


  • 90,000 miles
2009 Volkswagen Gti ABS control module failure. This appears to be a common problem. Driving down the highway and complete system failure occurred. Numerous dash board annunciator lights and loss of speedometer.

- Fishers, IN, USA

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