really awful
Crashes / Fires:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
15 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,306 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 2)

problem #26

May 032014


  • 100,000 miles


I was stopped at a stop sign. While preparing to drive off. I was struck in the back of the car. I lost consciousness momentarily. An ambulance was called. I was put on a stretcher and transported to the hospital for 8 hours. The airbag of the vehicle did not deploy. Some time after the accident I noticed the airbag light was on. Volkswagen inspected the car and determined that the airbag was faulty in the vehicle

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #25

Oct 192015


  • 190,000 miles
The passenger side air bag on my 2001 VW Jetta deployed while I was parking my car at work. As I came to a full stop where I was going to park my car I heard a loud bang from inside the cab of my Jetta. The loud bang distorted my thinking process as I was trying to figure out where the loud noise came from. As the smoke filled my car I still could not figure out what just happen until I looked around inside the cab of my car and with the smoke inside the cab I was able to see a white bag sticking out of the passenger seat in my car, this is when I knew that the air bag on the passenger seat had deployed. There were no other cars near me, there were no heavy winds blowing early that morning, and I did not hit any potholes nor did I hit any side curves while parking my car and the air bag still went off.

- Peyton, CO, USA

problem #24

Dec 252014


  • 156,000 miles
I was driving to my parents house on christmas morning with four other passengers when I hit a pot hole going less than 25 mph when my passenger side curtain and passenger thorax airbag deployed without warning shutting off my engine and filling my car with smoke. There was no visible exterior damage to the body, suspension, or tire of my vehicle and not noticeable difference in handling after the incident. Two of my passengers sustained bruises and scrapes to their arms, shoulders, neck, and ribs, as well as temporary hearing impairment one of those passengers being a child. Currently there is a hole in my passenger seat where the airbag ripped through the upholstery and damage to my headliner. The airbags' deployment was unwarranted and has robbed me of my piece of mind while driving. I flinch every time I am unable to avoid a road imperfection for fear that this might happen again to the driver's side of my car. This problem needs to be addressed before it happens again to someone going faster than I was--that situation could end tragically.

- Mt Royal, NJ, USA

problem #23

Jun 182011


  • 170,345 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph over a bump in the road, the front passenger side air bags deployed. The failure was not diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The failure mileage was 170,345.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #22

Oct 172008


  • 134,402 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving 10-15 mph, the driver's side curtain air bag deployed without any type of impact being involved. The contact was injured. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic, who then called the dealer. While the mechanic was on the phone, another side curtain air bag deployed. The vehicle was in park at the time. Another air bag deployed at the dealer while the vehicle was parked again. The dealer stated that the vehicle could not be repaired until they notified the manufacturer; however, they agreed to replace the motherboard. The current mileage was 134,412 and failure mileage was 134,402.

- Corona, CA, USA

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problem #21

Jul 272008


  • 156,000 miles
I was driving my 2001 Jetta home after dropping my friend off at the airport, when out of no where deer jumped out onto the highway. I was driving at 80 miles an hour and did not have any time to react. I hit the deer, destroying the front of my car. The car wasn't in any condition to be driven, for the radiator had been destroyed. I was upset at the fact that my airbags weren't deployed. I'm glad that I was wearing a seatbelt, for I could have been seriously injured. I want to know if anything can be done, or should I contact a lawyer?

- Cincinnati , OH, USA

problem #20

Mar 032008

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 140,000 miles


On a clear day, dry pavement, went to brake in city traffic and brakes failed causing me to rear end the car in front ( causing $2600 damages) and totalling my car. No injuries. Air bag did not deploy, possibly due to the low speed I was travelling.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #19

Jul 052004


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Passenger airbag deployed with out any reasons at all. I was driving down a straight road, at 20 mph when I heard a loud bang, and all of a sudden my car filled up with black smoke and the passenger curtain, seat and dashboard airbag all deployed. I quickly pulled over to see what happened. And was astonished to learn that not only was I not shot at ( because that's what it sounded like) but I didn't do anything to provoke this. I called VW they told me that it sounded like faulty wiring, and to bring it in asap, they would give me a loaner car, and it would take 3-5 days to fix. I did so, and 3 hrs after dropping off the car, I received a call from the manager saying, please come pick up your car, we will not fix it, your car has been in a car accident, you need to contact your insurance. Nw mind you I have had this car for 2 weeks, and there is not a dent on it! I was furious and confused. I argued with the guy stating that I had not hit anything, he said that the black box contained a hit code of some kind. That it registered that I was in a car accident. Well duh! its defective! to make a long story short, I sued VW, and lost! they insisted that its "normal" for it to go off, said even if you happen to hit a small rock on the road and it hits just right, it will cause it to deploy! how safe is that!? its been 2 years since that day and VW has refused to fix this issue, stating its my problem not theirs.

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #18

Sep 212005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,300 miles
82,5310.00 just replaced the catalytic converter. We have always had some type of an electrical problem from the beginning. Cd player and stereo. Cd lcd panel would say no cd in which you would have a cd in the jacket if you kept pushing the button sometimes it would work. At times you can only read half the call letters for stations. Rolling down back of the windows you would hear a very loud pressure thumping noise. So loud you could not roll down the window in the back. When you would take the car in. Mechanic's always said, it was basically our imagination.

- Round Hill, VA, USA

problem #17

May 292005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,400 miles
Since 05/29/05 I am seing air bag indicator on the panel (dash board), I contacted the dealer and scheduled appointment for a check. I also scheduled appointment for hazard switch recall. While checking NHTSA and other sites I came to know there are few other people who had similar situation and filled a complaint with NHTSA. So I would like to include my case with NHTSA so that if I will be informed if any recalls be done on this issue. I request NHTSA to act soon to have these recalled before any unwanted incidendents occur and before there are any major issues with this. Please keep me and others informed the progress of the case.

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #16

Oct 182002

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,250 miles


Please refer to case/ODI: 8022481; respectfully request case be reevaluated. VW claims small ding on underside of VW Jetta is to blame for side and seat airbag deployments. They are wrong and are trying to use this excuse to get out of numerous faulty airbag deployments. No VW experts could answer my specific technical questions. The owner's manual specifically states reasons for airbag deployments, and the small ding on the underside of my vehicle is a not a reason; instead it serves as an unsupported excuse. [Jetta ride extremely low to ground; there will always be dings, marks, etc., for the VW corporation to use as an excuse.]

- Morgan City, LA, USA

problem #15

Dec 132004


  • 60,000 miles
While driving 35 mph, the side/front air bags inadvertently deployed. The dealership was notified. The cause was not determined.

- Chester, MD, USA

problem #14

Jan 042005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,465 miles
The air bag light is on and the dealer will replace the entire air bag at a cost to the consumer.

- North Port, FL, USA

problem #13

Feb 072005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
While parking the vehicle, the air bags deployed inadvertently. Owner says that the air bag light would came on and stayed on since Monday 02/07/2005. Owner contacted the dealer and was told that the vehicle could not be seen for this defect until 02/23/2005.

- New Rochelle, NY, USA

problem #12

May 162004


  • 36,000 miles
When my volkswagon Jetta was broadsided at a signal light junction, none of the airbags front or side were activated. Also the rear side door flew off from the car and a result of which both my children were ejected and injured. The car is completely totalled.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #11

May 282004

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
While turning left from a stop sign at about 5 mph, the right rear tire skimmed a pothole. The passenger side curtain and side impact airbags deployed. I was thankful I was not driving at a faster speed because the entire car filled with powdery smoke and I could not see out my windshield for several seconds. In addition the noise startled me so much, I am pretty sure it would have been hard to control the car afterwards had this happened on the highway. I was also thankful my infant son was not in the car. My right ear was bothering me for about a day and a half afterwards, I'm sure had my son been in the car, his sensitive ears may have been permanently damaged, never mind that it would have traumatized him. Volkswagen claims the codes they downloaded from the car indicated a side impact occurred and that a "mark" on the undercarriage verifies that the airbags deployed correctly. I'm pretty sure that with 90K on the car there are several "marks" on the undercarriage. Customer service and the dealership were unmoved by the incident and claimed no responsibility. Claim was filed with metlife, who covered the $3500 repair bill to replace the airbags and front passenger seat cover. No repairs were required to the car frame, undercarriage, axle, rear tire etc, yet still they claim an accident occurred!

- Whitinsville, MA, USA

problem #10

Nov 072003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
The consumer's daughter was driving 55 mph and without any warning the curtain/ side air bag deployed. The same day vehicle was parked driver's air bag deployed.

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #9

Jul 252003


  • miles
While driving at 40 mph the consumer's vehicle hit another vehicle and no air bags deployed. The front end was smashed in and the vehicle is totaled.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #8

May 282002


  • miles
My car which was purchased brand new in July 2001 has been to the repair shop 13 times. I purchased a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta. The ongoing problem is that the car is losing power while accelerating. Volkswagen doesn't want to acknowledge the defect of their own product. I was told two things which doesn't make sense to me. First, I was told my engine is not apart of the recall for those other VW cars that are losing power. Second, a VW representative told me it was my extra car mats that is probably causing the problem. I think Volkswagen is just ignoring this serious problem. If my car slows down on me whenever it wants and I die as a result of their defect product that they don't want to recognize, it is truly going to be a serious problem. The car had problems with the engine, airbags, malfunctioned sensor, clock spring, harness, and now it is losing power. Although this car has had numerous problems, this is the most serious problem that I would like O be rectified. Volkswagen service department changed the computer and told me this will definitely solve the problem. Obviously it did not solve the problem. Since the computer was changed in Sept. 2002 the car lost power 3 times since then.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #7

Feb 142003

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer wanted to know what the follow up was for this vehicle regarding the deffective airbags.

- Unknown, DC, USA

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