hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,075 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2009 Volkswagen GTI Owner Comments

problem #13

Jan 022017


  • 67,000 miles


Vehicle has failed ABS module, as diagnosed by mechanic. ABS light is on and brake light flashes, as to be expected. While in motion, on either city street or freeway, vehicle randomly downshifts to first gear and is unable to switch back. Only way to get car working again is to turn car off and on, a dangerous proposition when you're on the freeway. In addition, power steering goes out and engine fault workshop! comes on after a few minutes in motion. Speedometer also randomly stops working while tachometer goes out of control. What begins as a simple brake problem is now an undriveable car. Have had to push car to side of the road several times because of this. Completely unsafe conditions to drive in.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #12

Sep 152016


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Gti. While driving 5 mph and turning the steering wheel, the power steering failed. Various warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the ABS module failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 105,000.

- Williamstown, NJ, USA

problem #11

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 #10

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 #9

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 #8

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 #7

Mar 232016


  • 84,000 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.

- Paramus, NJ, USA

problem #6

Dec 012014


  • 51,500 miles
Premature failure of electromechanical steering rack. Steering rack showing signs of wear and requires replacement within 5 yrs of purchase date and near 50,000 miles.

- Huntington Beach , CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 112015

GTI 4-cyl

  • 55,616 miles
Driving at speed, the ABS control module randomly fails, causing ABS brakes to skid under hard braking. Lose of steering and control is the result. In addition the partial steering is affected. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen, I can not understand why Volkswagen of american does not replace faulty units as this can cause fatalities and injuries. Many people are replacing these units through non-certified technicians, or diy. This should be installed by a VW certified tech. NHTSA should mandate a recall or someone could get seriously injured or die. There are so many cases of this floating around the internet forums and other social media. Does someone have to die for people to finally listen"???"

- Walnut, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 042014


  • 101,000 miles
I was traveling East in the right lane on interstate 44 at approximately 0645 in the am. It was normal heavy morning work traffic going into Oklahoma city, traveling the posted speed of 70 mph. I was following a full size pickup truck and moderate traffic was passing me on my left. Without notice, traffic suddenly slowed to approximately 40 mph, causing me to hit my brakes hard. The ABS system engaged and my car was thrown sideways off the road at approximately 70 mph. I pulled the car back left, causing vehicles in the left lane to swerve to miss hitting me. The ABS and brake light illuminated on my car, indicating a failure however, a dummy could figure out the brakes were not working. There is no doubt in my mind, had my car been thrown left when I hit the brakes I would have been smeared by on coming traffic, likely a fatality. I immediately took my car to Volkswagen and was told I needed a pump/ABS module; a 2500 repair. Understand when I shut the car off and turned it back on, the ABS/brake fault lights clear. I had no indication my ABS system was malfunctioning until I needed brakes. And bam!. after reading forums, its apparent this is an on going problem with 2009 Gtis and it should be an immediate safety concern of Volkswagen. Someone is going to get killed. I've asked for my old parts so I will have them when there are court proceedings against Volkswagen for the injury or death of someone as a result of a failed ABS system. This really does need investigating. Thank you

- Tuttle, OK, USA

problem #3

Oct 192014

GTI 4-cyl

  • 62,500 miles


Instrument panel displays check engine light, steering light, ABS light, traction control light, brake light, tire pressure light. ABS no longer works in a hard brake situation, wheels lock and car will skid. Engine also refuses to rev past around 3900 RPM unless manually upshift to a higher gear. Steering assist no longer works.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #2

Aug 082014


  • 49,199 miles
On 8/8/2014, I turned on my car to go work. Once I turned on the ignition/engine, all warning lights (power steering, engine, electronics, ABS, esp and braking) came on or flashing. After several attempts (3 times) to restart the car, the warning lights came on and off periodically. With a last restarting attempt that morning, all warnings lights went away and I drove off to work. In the middle of the way, all warning lights came back on again. This time, power steering, ABS, speedometer, gas gauge, etc. All malfunctioned periodically during my drive. During the drive, I had no idea how fast I was driving or how much gas I really had and with no power steering and ABS etc. I did arrive at work safely but not without some serious and perhaps dangerous maneuvers with a nonworking power steering, ABS, and other electronic components. I took the car to a VW dealership in braintree MA the next morning. After a weekend of diagnosis and a random repair to the ignition switch, the dealership told me it was the ABS control module fault and it needed a replacement. Since that VW dealership was not able to give me a precise diagnosis without repairing random parts of my car and had me paid for it, I took the car to another VW dealership in danvers MA. After hours of diagnosis, I got the same result that the ABS control module is at fault. I had the dealership replaced the ABS control module and paid thousands for the repair. Now the car is running fine. But knowing that the ABS control module fault is very common among my model of the car at all mileage from research and talking with local mechanics, I want to make aware of this problem and the dangers behind a random failure in the ABS control module that can cause failure of both electronic and mechanic components in the car which can lead to serious accidents, injuries, or even deaths without slightest warning on the road.

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #1

Nov 132012

GTI 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
While pulling into a gas station after leaving a stop light, the steering wheel mounted buttons and lights (horn, steering wheel, etc) flickered off when turning. At that point, the buttons failed to work unless the wheel was turned almost to full lock clockwise. It took about a day of driving until the airbag light finally came on telling me there was a fault. Further investigation led to a faulty airbag clockspring. Numerous instances of people reporting similar failures on VW forums with similar model years. A research in part numbers show it's the same part number and version through various VW models including 2006-2013 jetta, golf, Gti, passat, tiguan, etc. Many stories of people with those cars having similar issues. This part should be redesigned and replaced in the affected vehicles since the driver's side airbag can fail to deploy in a crash even if the airbag fault light isn't always on.

- Commerce City, CO, USA

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