hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,231 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.

2001 Volkswagen Golf lights problems

lights problem

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2001 Volkswagen Golf Owner Comments

problem #7

Oct 202006

Golf 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I was driving on the freeway when I bumped the shifter while reaching for my soda. The shifter went into neutral and would not come out until I forced it back into drive. I pulled over into a gas station. I put the car in park and tried to shift back into drive, but the shifter wouldn't budge. I finally got it to go into park after a tow truck driver suggested that I turn the ignition to different positions while pumping the break and pulling on the shifter. It finally released and I drove immediately to the nearest Volkswagen dealership. The malfunction was in the brake light switch so I had to get it replaced. I was charged $40 for the part itself and $230 for the work. I feel that since there is a recall on the 1998-2002 VW beetle and the 1999-2001 VW jetta that there should be one on the 2001 VW Golf as well.

- Lake Ridge, VA, USA

problem #6

Jul 032006

Golf 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,232 miles
I own a 2001 VW Golf. Since I purchased this car, the brake light switch has failed once per year. Thus, I have had to replace this faulty brake light switch four times in four years. The faulty switch has caused my epc light to come on while I am driving, and to stall the vehicle and prevent it from shifting gears. VW issued a recall for faulty brake switches in the 1999-2002 jetta and 1998-2002 beetles, so I don't know why a comparable fix has not been made available to 2000-2002 Golf owners. This problem is rampant. A search of any VW chat board will reveal numerous owners who have experienced this problem. VW should recall the brake light switches on the older Golfs as it has done with other models, or it may pose a safety hazard to the many Golf owners out there (who are not likely to purchase any type of VW again). There are no signs to indicate that the brake light switch will fail before it fails. Each time it fails, the car must be brought to a dealer or service shop for switch replacement. I have records of my brake light switch replacements over the past four years I have owned my Golf, and can send you copies if you need them. Thank you.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 242005

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 140,000 miles
The caller said brake light switch was faulty. He had no brake lights. Dealer and manufacturer have not been contacted yet. The caller said there was a recall on the same brake light switch on the jetta, but not on the Golf.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #4

Sep 222005

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 79,000 miles


The consumer stated that the 2001 Volkswagen was having electrical problems with the brake switch. The brakes were not coming on when the brake pedal was pushed. There was a light on the dashboard that red glowing plug warning. This indicated that there was a problem. The consumer contacted Volkswagen, and there was no recall on the consumer's vehicle. Therefore, they could not help the consumer with the problem. This started on 9-22-2005. The consumer had no brake light or cruise control. The local dealer was contacted, and they stated there were no recalls on the vehicle.

- Fostoria, OH, USA

problem #3

Aug 222005

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I have a 2001 Volkswagen Golf tdi. The brake light switch has failed causing no brake lights to be lit while braking. This is a potentially dangerous situation where the car could easily be rear-ended. The odd thing is that VW has recalled their other models because of this defect, but not the Golf. My Golf even uses the identical part to the one that was recalled. If other models are recalled because of this part defect, why wasn't the Golf recalled?

- Bunker Hill, IL, USA

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problem #2

May 132005

Golf 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,588 miles
VW Golf 2001 unable to shift from park or neutral with ignition "on". potentially dangerous. Fortunately this time car was not in a dangerous location. This is the second failure of the brake light switch (and automatic shift lock switch) in this car with only 30588 miles. Replaced at dealer. I have the failed switch and (as an engineer) can see many flaws in the design, leading to arcs and contact sticking or non-operation. Research on the internet shows that many other owners have had this problem, some over 6 times. Applicable over a range of VW models and years. Canada had a recall for some VW models. VW should replace the switches with a better design under a lifetime warranty as a dangerous defect. My wife or one of the many others could have been trying to get off a train track when the thing locked.

- Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 092004

Golf 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,800 miles
While driving the brake light switch failed. As a result, vehicle was left with no indication of stopping, and the cruise control was deactivated. Consumer was concerned that he would be rear ended due to the failure. The vehicle epc light illuminated. The dealer determined from the trouble codes that the brake light switch failed along with the fuel pump relay, oxygen sensor, ect and purge valve.

- Weehawken, NJ, USA

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