really awful
Crashes / Fires:
11 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
15 / 1
Average Mileage:
33,503 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 Jetta seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2001 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #58

Jun 042008


  • miles


I was driving the vehicle about 5mph and went over a water drain in the road the passenger side seat air bag deployed along with the visor airbag on the same side. My niece was in the passenger seat when this incident happened and received white powder in her eyes and scrapes on the side of here face. There was no reason for the vehicle to deploy the airbags at all causing about $2,000-$3,000 in damages to the vehicle for no reason.

- Mountain Home, ID, USA

problem #57

Feb 172010


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta tdi diesel. While driving 25 mph the driver side curtain and chair air bag deployed without warning and without any damage being done on to the vehicle. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 150,000.

- Herefere, AZ, USA

problem #56

Oct 142008


  • 134,409 miles
I own a 2001 Jetta, I am the original owner. On Tuesday October 14, 2008 I was driving in California for about 20 minutes when my airbag light started blinking on and off. About every 10-15 seconds it would turn on, then 15 seconds later it would turn off. About 15 minutes later I was on the 91 freeway in rush hour traffic and going about 5-10 mph in the slow lane when all of a sudden I heard a big explosion. It sounded like someone threw a large cement block at my window and I felt a surge up pain rush up my left side of my body towards my fingertips. I immediately started choking due to the powder that was coming from my car when I realized it was my airbag. I pulled over to the side of the freeway and assessed the damage. The side airbag came out from the seat of my car and thrust me to the right of my car. I could not hear in my left ear and the left side of my body (from my shoulder down to my hip, down to my fingers) was throbbing. My left pinky and ring finger became numb and even though I rolled the window down, I could barely breathe and could not stop coughing. After sitting for about 10 minutes, I got back on the road and stayed in the slow lane not proceeding 40 mph.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #55

Sep 262008


  • 88,323 miles


Today, my daughter was driving our 2001 Volkswagen Jetta gls 1.8T down the road. The right side wheels went a few inches off the edge of the road. She remained straight and guided the car back onto the road. Once back on the road fully, the side airbag (driver's side) deployed. She was able to guide the car off the road to the shoulder. There was no impact with anything. There is no damage. The tires aren't even dirty. She received a welt on her left arm, (probably soon to be a bruise.) she has a ringing in her left ear and a reduction in hearing (probably temporary.) a very scary situation. It just happened today and I'm not certain what steps to take from here. I know it is a very costly repair to replace an airbag and I will be very nervous about my daughter driving this car on the highway if a minor bump in the road might set her airbag off and cause her to crash at 65 miles per hour.

- Rural Hall, NC, USA

problem #54

Jun 302007

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 88,000 miles
Inadvertent passenger side airbag deployment: While driving along on the express way (I-495 w, long island, NY), my passenger-side airbag deployed for no reason. I did not come into contact with any other vehicle nor did I notice any debris hitting my vehicle at the time of the impact. Both the passenger side air curtain and passenger seat airbag deployed. Additionally, the engine cut off. Upon pulling over, I was able to start the vehicle without issue, and drive home.

- West New York, NJ, USA

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problem #53

Dec 192006

Jetta 6-cyl

  • miles
I was driving on the freeway going about 70 mph when my driver side curtain airbag deployed for no reason. I pulled off the side of the road and called 911, the officer who came out told me that no damage was done to the tires or body of the car. There was no reason for this to have happened. I took it into the dealer they have sent pictures to VW and so far nothing has been done to fix this, which was 3 weeks ago!

- Caldwell, ID, USA

problem #52

Nov 012006

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 121,900 miles


As I was driving the passenger side airbags deployed for no apparent reason. I stopped to check for damage, did not see anything, and could not find anything in the road. Now I have a car with the headliner and front passenger seat blown apart. I took the car to the dealer for a diagnostic. They found a dent and told me that was the cause and I should report it to my insurance company to be covered under my collision. The insurance adjuster found the dent identified by the dealer showed signs of age and was not the cause. Making a judgment the presence of dirt, road grime and some surface rust suggested it was older damage. It was most likely caused by incorrectly adjusting the lift when work was done under the car. Finding no other damage that would cause deployment they closed the claim and my car was not repaired. VW refuses to take responsibility.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #51

Oct 202001

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 188,055 miles
Automobile accident involving tractor trailer. Car was hit directly on the drivers side, rear and front end of vehicle. Accident speed was 65 mph. Two front airbags deployed but the drivers side curtain airbag did not. The air bag may have malfunctioned. The car was totaled. Driver sustained injuries to the left hemisphere of head. Reported to VW but have had no response.

- Stephens City, VA, USA

problem #50

Aug 252006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 96,000 miles
: the contact stated while traveling 25 mph, the dashboard lights began to flicker on and off. Then, without an accident, the side curtain and seat airbags deployed on the driver's side. The vehicle was pulled over and towed to the dealership who was unable to determine the problem.

- Moscow, ID, USA

problem #49

Mar 172006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 96,000 miles
Ran over debris on interstate and seat side airbag deployed. Vehicle was repaired with new airbag and was replaced with new module and sensors. No injuries just ear ringing. Happened 2nd time going around a corner at approx. 35 miles an hour, seat side airbag deployed again resulting in loss of control of vehicle and severe burns to left arm. No repairs have taken place to vehicle yet.

- Hartselle, AL, USA

problem #48

Mar 042006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • miles


I was making a right hand turn around 5 mph. The passenger side curtain airbags and seat bag deployed unexpectedly. The passenger seat belt also no longer functions. There is no damage anywhere on the vehicle. Vwoa is looking into the problem.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #47

Sep 262005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 74,000 miles
While driving 60 mph suddenly there was a flash followed by a loud bang. The smell was of smoke as if there was fireworks. The consumer pulled over immediately. The passenger's side air bags deployed. The consumer was startled and concerned. He called 911. There was no crash, damage, or injury other than the shock and loud noise ringing in the ears. 911 instructed the consumer to drive home if able or call for a tow truck. The consumer got out and inspected the vehicle and decided to drive home. There have been no previous problems with the airbags. The consumer was on a newly paved highway. The consumer felt this could not be due to a road hazard at that time. The consumer contacted Volkswagen dealer, who said it was not their problem. The consumer contacted manufacturer, who said they did not have a problem or any issues like that with the airbags. No corrections or repairs have been made.

- Independence, OH, USA

problem #46

Jun 242005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Contact states the drivers' side curtain air bags deployed without a collision. The seat belt jammed and could not be latched after this incident occurred. There is a police report (#05-5207) states there was no evidence that the vehicle had an impact. The air bag light was not illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a service dealer and told to contact VW of America. She did fax the police report to the manufacturer and they agreed to repair the vehicle without cost. The service dealer could not find what caused the air bag to deploy. The consumer is still driving a rental car because the car has not been repaired. A wheel and tie rod was replaced.

- Weston, CT, USA

problem #45

Feb 072005

(reported on)


  • miles
2001 Volkswagen Jetta was impacted on the side yet the side air bags failed to deploy.** answer required***.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #44

Apr 052005

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
On 4/5/05 @ 5:15pm.... my wife (driver), 11 month old daughter(rear facing car seat in back center), & I (front passenger) were at a complete stop at a traffic light. When we proceeded through the intersection (with cars in front/back of us) we hit a small pot hole after completing the left turn onto route 117. Once we hit this small pot hole, the passenger side airbags deployed (curtain & passenger seat bags) we immediately called the warwick police dept. Office theodore insisted that this had to be a malfunctioning air bag. Please note that there wasn't any other damage to the car... no flat tire... nothing except for the malfunctioning airbags in the car having been deployed and caused interior damage to my car. I went to the VW dealer and they refused to repair the damage and suggested going through my insurance (Liberty mutual), who also refused to pay for the repairs. Interior damage: Ceiling panel, curtain airbag, passenger leather seat ripped and its airbag deployed. Car is currently at the dealer and I am not sure what to do at this point but I need the car to be repaired since we need it for transportation... so I may need to go ahead and have it repaired at my cost for now. (between $2,000 - $3,000 worth of damage).

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #43

Apr 112005

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving vehicle hit a pot hole and the right side door air bag inadvertently went off. No injuries reported. Driver took the vehicle to the dealer for inspection, but mechanic could not duplicate the problem.

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #42

Apr 042005

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
The passenger side air bag deployed after running over a small pot hole at 15 mph. Consumer has an appointment with the dealer to inspect the vehicle.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #41

Jan 212005


  • 85,000 miles
While driving 55 mph driver's front/rear side air bags inadvertently deployed. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Abilene, TX, USA

problem #40

Feb 102004


  • miles
Complaint received via E-mail. My son-in-law last year was driving down the expressway and they just went off. Thank goodness no one was hurt. Had he had his kids in the car, lord only knows what would have happened. They live in toledo, Ohio. They have since gotten it fixed out of their own pocket, and no cooperation by Volkswagen of any kind. My son also has a Jetta and it caused me concern for him and his wife also. They live in portland, Oregon.

- Woodbury, TN, USA

problem #39

Dec 052004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,559 miles
I just purchased in October a Jetta gls 2001 car from the VW dealership in college park Maryland. Last month while I was making a right hand turn, I hit the curb with my tire but no visible damage to my car was done nor another car involved. To my alarm, my airbag on my right front seat side deployed. I took this to the dealership and they said airbags don't go off there was an accident ect. They would not hear my complaint nor help me. Now I witnessed on the fox news that these Jetta make/models have false airbag deployment and 109 cases have been reported. I want to be added to the list and also I want to file this complaint. This is not only a safety issue but an outrage. The dealership needs to fix my car. In fact, I have a 3 yr warranty on my car but the VW dealership told me to go through my insurance or pay $1900 for them to fix it.

- Rockville, MD, USA

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