definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,022 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 Golf fuel system problems

fuel system problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Volkswagen Golf:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Volkswagen Golf Owner Comments

problem #18

Jul 202014

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 38,000 miles


While driving at approx 75 mph in the fast lane of an interstate freeway my 2011 VW Golf tdi shut off. Without warning, the glow plug lamp began flashing and check engine note came on the dash. At the same time the car lost all power and began running very rough. While negotiating traffic in an attempt to pull over (quite dangerous without power and tractor trailers now passing my slowing car) the car shut off taking the power brakes and power steering with it. I was able to safely get off the highway due to the wide shoulder in that area but this would have been another story had this happened in an area with no shoulder or safe pull off. My car has been properly maintained at service intervals and fueled from name brand, high volume filling stations. Vws own tests of my car indicated no fault of my own and nothing amiss in the fuel but rather catastrophic failure of a high pressure pump which displaced metal into the fuel system. This sort of failure is common enough (noted in a simple internet search) and flat out dangerous when it occurs at speed since the car gave no indications that it was going to shut off at speed (and fail to restart without being towed to the dealer). Worse yet, VW is aware of this issue with the tdi diesels but has stopped short of issuing a recall to install new parts that will not fail so soon and without warning. The car was fixed under warranty (car has only 38,000 miles) however they replaced the parts with the same failure prone parts. Web anecdotes from others with similar failures have noted that it happens in hotter areas (90-100 degree temps). This was my experience as well as I was in the middle of a long drive in 100 degree temps.

- Valley Center, CA, USA

problem #17

Jun 072014

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 91,000 miles
Stalled while traveling full speed on the freeway in the desert, glow plug light and check engine light came on, was almost hit by several trucks while attempting to coast to the nearest off ramp 1/4 mi away, at the end of the off ramp vehicle stalled, again almost hit by several more vehicles. We were able to push the car off middle of the offramp to the side of the road. Dealer states high pressure fuel pump failure, known issue with my make/model/year of vehicle. Stalling on freeway is a very dangerous issue. Many owners have had multiple failures of this part as it wasn't designed properly for us diesel specs (was designed for europe.) VW needs to address this issue. This was not an issue of misfueling, I have only used diesel from brand name stations, your current investigation blaming this on misfueling is incorrect, it is clearly a part defect. The latest redesigned part for the 2013 model year has had failures as well (third redesign of part.)

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #16

Mar 292014

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 26,350 miles
Last week, the engine light came on again in my Golf tdi the way it had a year ago when the fuel pump failed. I took it in again and was told the possibility it was a fuel pump issue again after they replaced the entire thing brand new last summer was close to zero. However, I received a call that afternoon saying once again the fuel pump was having problems due to "dirty diesel." Last summer after the car was repaired I was told only to go to shell and chevron. I have only gone to the same chevron station this entire time and the problem occurred again. I was told by the dealer mechanic that dirty diesel is a rampant problem in the pacific nw and that it was not a good idea that I only went to one gas station and that I should try others. I was also told, I "barely" drove the thing as it only had 5000 miles added on it since last summer. He said diesel can grow bacteria and that he would put additives in my current tank and then my next tank I should add another bottle of additives. How this solves the problem long term I have no idea. So apparently I was sold a vehicle with a fuel pump that a) can not handle the diesel quality in the entire pacific nw region I live in and B) must drive at a certain pace/rate to keep the fuel pump clean. I am going to try and sell the vehicle as soon as I can find a replacement as this seems like an inherent flaw in the car that will never go away since they continue to replace it with the same faulty fuel pump.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #15

Jul 192013

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 75,000 miles


My vehicle is a tdi diesel version of the VW 2011 Golf. During my commute home I was traveling at highway speed in the left lane of southbound highway 101 in ca when a warning light illuminated (glow plug) and I lost significant speed and power. I made my way to the right shoulder and was able to travel in "limp mode" for another mile or so before the car died. I called the nearest VW dealer and had my car towed to that dealer. Initial feedback from the dealer is that it is a high pressure fuel pump (hpfp) failure. Root cause and repair have not been completed as of today, Monday July 22, 2013.

- San Juan Bautista, CA, USA

problem #14

Feb 132013

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 19,000 miles
Engine light coming and going, lurching intermittently upon acceleration. Took it into the dealer 3 times since March 2013 after it started happening in Feb 2013. Today received a call from the service dept at the dealer claiming there is sediment throughout the fuel system due to dirty diesel which the filters can not catch. He stated the entire fuel system will need to be replaced. Told me to call my insurance agent to get him involved despite the fact that the car is under a 7 year warranty and this apparently has happened to many other tdi hpfps and is not due to the issue of the quality of diesel fuel.

- Bothell, WA, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #13

Oct 012012

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 13,648 miles
I was on a road trip for vacation when my car died. I was driving about 35 mph one evening when I heard a light metallic ping and, a few seconds later, the engine shut off and many lights in the dash cluster came on. The car coasted to a stop. I had it towed to the nearest mechanic the next day and, after they weren't able to find the root cause, I had it towed to the nearest VW dealership. The next day they informed me that the suspected problem was fuel contamination (gas in a diesel tank), which caused the fuel pump to fail and metal particles were found in the fuel pump/lines. This charge of fuel contamination came as quite a bit of a surprise, since the last fuel I?D purchased was at a fuel station near my home town (and a receipt confirms that this was a diesel pump, in case there is any doubt). I had traveled over 600 miles on a single tank. The list of parts replaced was nearly 20 parts long and included a diesel injection pump, 4 diesel injection lines, fuel rail, etc. Fortunately, VW covered the repairs under warranty (though others with this problem haven't been so lucky). After the repairs were completed and I traveled back to retrieve my car, I began searching online and found that there were quite a few other VW tdi owners from 2009 onward, that experienced the same type of issue. All appeared to be related to failure of the high pressure fuel pump (hpfp), all were very expensive repairs, only some were covered under VW warranty and many were blamed on fuel contamination.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #12

Jan 222013

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 55,000 miles


I was driving on I15 southbound, the engine malfunction symbol appeared on my dash board and all of a sudden the car lost power and stalled. After paying over $800 in towing fees to the nearest VW dealer in Ontario California. The dealer is asking if gasoline was put in the tank. They are saying that metal shards were found and gasoline is the only cause of that malfunction. I am the only driver of the car and I have never put gasoline. I always fill up at the same gas station due to the fact that not all gas station have diesel.

- Carson, CA, USA

problem #11

Jan 022013

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 14,000 miles
We filled up the tank with diesel at gas station on the road and the car started stalling 3 days later. It would only start after an hour of "rest". after 3 of these incidents, we took it to the dealer to find out that the car had gasoline mixed with diesel, or "contaminated fuel". they flushed the car and changed the filters at a cost of $1275, but warn that it may require a full overhaul! (cost estimated at $8K). So I asked, how I am suppose to know what's good diesel or not" is there a test? some way of knowing" the dealer had no suggestions nor guidance on this regard. Now we find on the web forums, that this is not an isolated case and that there are many cases (in fact the dealer mentioned a few were in the shop for the same issue) escalating this issue from the random misuse of gas or contaminated gas. Net, there's an issue when you have a car you can't rely on because of the diesel supplies. I am very disappointed and concerned that this new car will stall again and leave us stranded.

- Rye, NY, USA

problem #10

Nov 232012

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 46,000 miles
As I was entering the on ramp to get on the highway, under normal acceleration, there was a hissing sound and the car stalled in the middle of the highway lane where multiple cars were getting on and off the highway. I was forced to pull to the side of the exit ramp where I waited 45 min for a tow truck to get us while cars flew past my fiancee and I, putting our lives in danger. I had the car towed to the dealer where I purchased the car. Today, 11/26/2012, I was told that the hpfp(high pressure fuel pump) had failed and would be replaced under the warranty. I am waiting for further information as to whether there are any more malfunctions or not. This seems to be a common problem that vwoa has failed to acknowledge and is putting peoples lives in danger.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #9

Oct 252012

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 30,500 miles
Vehicle engine stopped while vehicle was stopped. Would not restart. Towed to dealer. Dealer service reported rust in fuel canister. Claims cause of failure was bad fueled. $7200 in parts and labor. Based on several blogs, I suspect hpfp failure was part malfunction but VW does not admit to this.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #8

Oct 022012

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 33,499 miles


High pressure fuel injection pump failed.

- New Park, PA, USA

problem #7

Jul 232012

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 14,100 miles
My high pressure fuel pump (hpfp) failed while driving on the highway. I was able safely get off the highway, but barely and was left stranded in an intersection. I had to push the car out of the intersection. I read online that many Volkswagen tdi owners experience the same thing. Please force VW to address this issue. I did not pump gasoline into my tank. That is ludicrous.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #6

Mar 062012

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 13,845 miles
2011 VW Golf tdi 6-speed manual. My car was at the VW dealership to have an intercooler kit installed (tsb 2025464). On dealer's test drive, car abruptly stalled and would not restart. All power lost, car had to be towed off of roadway. Finally diagnosed as a malfunctioning high pressure fuel pump. 03L-130-851-ax was the replacement part number. Repair description stated that the common rail fuel pressure was too low, so the car's ECM would not allow injection - even in a limp-home mode. This left the one-year-old car with under 14,000 miles dead on the roadway.

- Haddon Township, NJ, USA

problem #5

Jan 232011

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 17,260 miles
Warning bell chimed; glow plug lights flashed and car lost power but kept driving. Took into dealer next day. Told on phone there was moisture on glow plugs but statement said low fuel pressure code P0087. Statement said fuel looked ok and car drove fine - sent home with no repair. Two days later same thing occurred except car went into limp mode and had to be towed to shop. In shop for 6 days - replaced aux fuel pump. Nine days later exact same occurrence - limp mode and towed to shop again. Car currently in dealer shop for the last 10 days. Last word from dealer is dropping fuel tank to check for debris.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #4

Jan 062012

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 23,280 miles
Golf stalled while driving only filled with correct fuel diesel only shell, arco, chevron have gas receipts to show the high pressure pump failed. Part numbers are for reference only, please consult etka by VIN for most current information. Please replace the following: 03L 130 755A (high pressure pump), 03L 130 321 (line), 03L 130 301 (line), 03L 130 301R (line), 03L 130 301B (line), 03L 130 301C (line), 03L 130 089 (rail), 5N0 130 307J (line), 1K0 127 400F (filter complete), 03L 130 235S (return line), 03L 130 277A (injectors qty 4), 1K0 201 060 gp (tank), 5N0 906 129B (aux pump), 1K0 919 050 J (in tank pump), 059-13 0-216-C (plate qty 4), wht-000-884 (seal qty 4), 03L 201 360G (fuel line), 1K0 130 307bj (fuel hose), 1K0 130 307bg (fuel line), 1K0 130 295ab (fuel line), 1K0 200 059bh (fuel line), 1K0 201 293D (supply line), 1K0 201 294C (return line). Any line that is not replaced in this procedure must be thoroughly cleaned. If you cannot adequately clean the line/fitting, please replace it also. Please follow elsa web's procedure for priming the fuel system. Be sure not to swap the connections in the fuel system. It is very easy to swap a fuel feed line for a fuel return line. The connections at the fuel tank, bulkhead, fuel filter, and high pressure pump can be switched. If you hear a humming noise from the aux fuel pump, it is likely that a fuel line was installed incorrectly. If the gf test pla N does not show up, go into vsd, engine electronics, basic settings, 35 and run this test 3 times. A vwoa representative will be contacting the dealer within 48 hours to determine if a fuel sample is necessary. Until then, do not drain the fuel in the vehicle until confirmation is received. If you do not receive a call within the 48 hours please continue with repairs and a fuel sample will not be necessary.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 232011

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,400 miles
2011 Golf tdi automatic (dsg) transmission. Cold start, stalled while pulling onto main road, no accident only because oncoming traffic stopped.

- Lunenburg, MA, USA

problem #2

Aug 062011

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 7,700 miles
Vehicle is a 6-speed manual transmission Golf tdi. Began sputtering and hesitating at 70mph in top gear on the highway. Continued for about a minute, then evened out but the hesitation and jerking happened a few more times in the next 30 minutes. Dealer could not replicate the condition, applied an available software update for driveability issues. Same thing happened the next time the car was taken on the highway. Did not stall, but seemed very close. Tach and speedometer remained constant @ ~2000rpm and 70mph. Suspect the high pressure fuel pump.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #1

Jun 212011

Golf 4-cyl Diesel

  • 2,811 miles
Model year 2011 make Volkswagen model Golf tdi diesel component high pressure fuel pump vehicle identification number (VIN) [xxx] * component failure of high pressure fuel pump June 21, 2011, my VW Golf tdi quite running while driving in city traffic in san francisco, ca. This occurred in moderate traffic conditions of morning rush hour. Definitely a safety issue. Car could not be restarted and had to be towed to royal motors, san francisco. Subsequently told by service manager that the high pressure fuel pump had failed and would have to be replaced along with fuel injectors. 2 days later was told fuel tank would also have to be replaced due to metal filings having contaminated the fuel system. I subsequently learned that the fuel pump had catastrophically failed resulting in metal filings contaminating the fuel system. Also told may take up to 3+ weeks for repair depending on availability of parts. This incident occurred while driving in rush hour traffic at approximately 30 miles per hour in san francisco, ca. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- San Francisco, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?