really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,283 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.

2002 Volkswagen Jetta transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #10

Jul 272010


  • 80,000 miles


The clutch pedal on my 2002 Volkswagen Jetta froze in the depressed position rendering the car unable to start/shift properly. This event occurred while driving on Suburban roads and thankfully ended without injury. Myself and the previous owner of the car are experienced drivers of standard transmissions and even at 80000 miles the clutch should still have had many more miles to go. The total cost of repair will be between 1500 and 2000 dollars. I have researched this problem and I have found that I am not the only person who has experienced this problem on 00-04 VW Jetta models. It is a very serious and costly problem that needs to be investigated.

- Troy , NY, USA

problem #9

Jul 182009


  • 72,200 miles
I purchased a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T with a 5-speed manual transmission from a private seller on 07/18/2009 at 12:00pm. 12 hours later, at 12:00am on 07/19/2009 I am on my way home when I realized my Jetta was not delivering power to the wheels. The engine was producing power, but something was wrong with the transmission. I smelled something burning (transmission fluid, most likely) and parked it immediately. When I got home, I searched online for what it could be and it turns out I am not the only one this has happened to. There are countess others who have posted this same problem on various message boards and forums all over the internet. I am assuming that the repair shop is going to tell me that the transmission is shot and that I will need to replace it. How can my previous car, a junker Hyundai accent with 101,000 miles at time of purchase last 36,000 more miles with a 5-speed manual, and a Jetta can't even last one day? I am infuriated because I just bought this car and have to make payments on it as well as repair the thing. This should be covered by VW as a recall.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #8

Dec 252008


  • miles
4th clutch repair. Dealer blames bad driving habits when clearly a defective design. Many others with same problem.

- Austin , TX, USA

problem #7

Mar 012006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles


Purchased used 2002 VW Jetta 1.8 turbo (5 speed) with 34,000 miles still under warranty. Taken to dealership for blown fuses (cigarette lighter), trunk latch, center console, and transmission repairs. Fuse problem was ongoing. Within a few months, a local mechanic installed a small boost gauge on the dash, which was wired into a 10 amp fuse. Within five days, the car was being backed out of the driveway when smoke began pouring from all the dash vents. The wire harness, fuse block, and controller components located behind the dash were destroyed by fire. VW of America prepared to send investigators to nm, but when they discovered gauge wiring may have contributed, they did not investigate. Have read of other electrical fires behind instrument panel, dash, since this time. Our son was driving the car at the time of the fire, but was able to get out.

- Alamogordo, NM, USA

problem #6

Oct 122005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 20,241 miles
I have a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8L turbo. My first clutch started slipping at 17K miles, finally replaced at 20K. I fought with VW and they actually paid for it because I had brought it in on 3 different occasions and no one could find or admit to a problem. Now again at 39K it has started slipping and is now at 41K. I am due to change it any time. I am once again calling VW trying to arrange them to take care of the cost. I am hoping they will pay for it as the have quoted me $2200 to fix. I have been searching on the internet & found hundreds of people with the same problem. And replacing the clutch isn't a permanent fix and most people have had to pay for it. They have been blaming the drivers for poor driving skills. Meanwhile they are putting many people in danger because any kind of accident could occur when your clutch decides to pop/ fail. Especially on the freeway. Incredibly dangerous. Anyways, most people say that oil in the flywheel is leaking out saturating the clutch disk causing it to slip & even break up. Therefore very early breakdown and sometimes immediate/ unexpected clutch failure.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 112004

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 49,469 miles
My car started to clunk and jerk when I was turning corners. It started just clunking once and got worse and worse within the same day. It would jerk going down the highway. I was on my way to the dealership when it just quit. I couldn't accelerate or put it into gear. I got it off the road and had to push it into a parking lot until I could have it towed. It was towed to the dealership who later said my clutch and flywheel needed to be replaced. My car has less than 50,000 miles. They quoted me $1640. That's ridiculous for that to go out so early. They told me it wouldn't be covered under the warranty because it was normal wear and tear. I have driven manuals for years and have never had a problem. They said I was either "riding the clutch" or "driving hard". I started looking around and all the mechanics I talked to were very surprised it was out already and that is wasn't covered under warranty. I looked up this problem and found a ton of others who have had the same problem and told the same thing. Our clutches should not be going out this early.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #4

Feb 022004

Jetta Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 89,918 miles


While driving the engine began to make a loud noise. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer who found that the motor mounts were broken and caused the engine to fall to the ground. The dealer replaced the engine, engine block, timing belt and the lower shield. Also at 59,000 the manual transmission had to be replaced because the consumer could not shift into reverse.

- Keiser, AR, USA

problem #3

Dec 082002

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 21,000 miles
Clutch. It was becoming increasingly dificult to shift into 1st and reverse so I took my car to a dealership who said they could not find a problem. A few days later it was nearly impossible to shift into 1st and I took it back to the dealership, they then told me they thought it was a problem with 1st gear. After taking the tranmission apart and fixing 1st gear they test drove it they said the problem was again not fixed and that my transmission was now in essence eating itself up. I then had my entire transmission replaced because each tooth in the gears and rods were bent or damaged in some way. In the end, they said my transmission must have been defective. To my knowledge there have been no changes in the transmissions and my replacment is the same as all the other Jettas.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 162002


  • miles
Consumer noticed failure in the trip tonic manual and automatic transmission. Dealer has been notified.

- Fallbrook, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 022002


  • miles
Consumer states when parked on an incline and the key in the ignition, and the vehicle idling, the vehicle will slip out of park and start to roll back. Contacted dealer.

- Dallas, TX, USA

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