hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,791 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.

2011 Volkswagen GTI engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Volkswagen GTI Owner Comments

problem #11

Jul 052016


  • 80,700 miles


The vehicle stalled suddenly while driving in a parking lot. The check engine light did not appear, nor did any fault codes. The discovered cause was an oil screen in the camshaft adjuster bridge that came apart inside the timing chain housing, causing the engine to come out of timing. This caused significant damage to the cylinder head, leading to a replacement at a cost of $7400. This is an issue that Volkswagen is aware of an has issued a redesigned replacement part for. Unfortunately, they have not informed the owners of the affected vehicles of the problem and the potential danger associated with it if the part fails. If I had been driving on the freeway at 65-70 mph in traffic, it would have been a dangerous situation.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #10

Mar 252016


  • 54,000 miles
While accelerating off the ramp the car stalled and started to shake. It created a very dangerous situation since I almost got rear ended. Besides, being immobilized on the side of the very busy highway is dangerous as well. It turned out that one of the coils have failed and caused car to shake and loose the power. Couple of people that I know experienced the same issues with their vws. In my case they went at 54K miles.

- Forest Hills, NY, USA

problem #9

Mar 072016


  • 111,900 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Gti. While parked, it took multiple attempts to start the vehicle and the check engine warning light illuminated. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the timing chain tensioner failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 111,900.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 072016


  • 112,000 miles


Walking out to my vehicle in sub-freezing weather to return home, I attempted to start the vehicle and when the engine caught it made a loud rattle and died quickly. This same situation occurred on subsequent ignition cycles all with the same result. VW has released a service bulletin pertaining to this common issue which is to check the timing chain tensioner. When this tensioner fails it can render the engine useless. I have removed the timing chain cover and the tensioner has failed and does not hold tension to the chain. VW should take responsibility to fix this issue in customer vehicles as it is a known defective part that they are unwilling to repair or aid in repairing.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #7

Jan 082016


  • 54,000 miles
I've had quite a few parts on this car replaced. 2 defective water pumps, 2 defective clutches, 1 flywheel, 1 turbo oil line, door seals and various electronic switches. My car is currently sitting in the dealership due a blown upper timing belt cover gasket, a lower timing belt cover gasket and a suspected faulty oil pan gasket as well. All 3 seals seem to have suddenly failed at the same time and yet VW does not want to replace these under the factory power train warranty. The other reason my car is at the dealership is for "stretched" sub-frame bolts. According to VW it is perfectly normal for the bolts which hold the sub-frame to the car for these bolts to stretch with time and cause the subframe to shift around. There are technical service bulletins on the cc, passat and various Audi models to have these bolts replaced when a customer complains and yet Gti, golf and jetta do not have tsb and the dealer wants to charge 400$ to replace these bolts... again item not under warranty.

- Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #6

May 222015


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Gti. While the vehicle was at the dealer for routine maintenance, the technician discovered that the water pump failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 76,000.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 242014

GTI 4-cyl

  • 26,102 miles


Vehicle suddenly began sputtering, and struggling to make power after being started and driven down a street at low speeds. ECM and ECU both threw codes pertaining to a cylinder misfire. Replaced sparkplugs. Misfire remained. Identified as ignition coil pack, which is an extremely common issue on this model. Previous generations of the same car report recall notices. This generation unfortunately missed the recall so far, and has several threads on noted forums pertaining to others who have had problems as well with the faulty coil packs. Vwoa alluded to being aware of the issue when contacted, but did not offer full compensation. Vehicle is out of bumper to bumper warranty. Not covered as "engine component" under powertrain warranty.

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #4

Nov 062014


  • 43,000 miles
Came outside to a failed water pump. This is a common problem with various Volkswagen. Many shop techs are very familiar with this issue. It is unsafe for the driver and other cars. There is a chance the pump could fail while driving or a person may not notice the coolant on the ground. That can lead to the car overheating and causing expensive damage. You could also be left stranded on the side of the road. Any instance when a person or car are left on the side of the road is a road and health risk. Also when these pumps fail they often leak coolant. The coolant is not safe for the environment. When the pumps do get replaced the issue often comes back repeatedly. This is partly due to the poor design of the system. A revision of the waterpump should be made. Also an extension on the warranty of said part should be made for owners. This is a significant problem that needs to be taken care of. For personal and environmental risks.

- Shaw Afb, SC, USA

problem #3

Oct 042014

GTI 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Engine will stall and die within 5-20 seconds after starting. Happens on a warm engine after it sits for 45-60 minutes. Happened multiple times, each after engine has reached operating temperature. This is potentially a deadly problem if the car dies on a street, as it won't steer or have propulsion! had it seen at VW dealer: They suspect it is the "in-tank fuel pump" but this part is not covered under drivetrain warranty? I called VW customer service but they said they can't help on this $834 repair. I'm perplexed how a fuel pump goes bad on a 2011 with only 45K miles, and that a vital component that will make the car stall & die is not covered under drivetrain warranty. This is a potentially deadly problem if it dies suddenly and cars following cannot swerve around. Very disappointed. This will be my last VW, ever. If you own a VW with 2.0 tsi you should look into this.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #2

Aug 042014

GTI 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
When the engine is restarted after it has been stopped, but before it has fully cooled down, the engine often stalls directly after an engine start.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 252014

GTI 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
My 2011 VW Gti with only 38000 miles lost first ignition coil. There are multiple recall from VW for this part, but not for this model year. As result, vehicle loosing power during driving.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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