really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,417 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.

2004 Volkswagen Jetta accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #12

Sep 292016


  • miles


My clothe seats caught on fire today while driving it for only 25 minutes the seat warmer was only set on number 2. I was so retried and panicked but managed to pull over to the side of the road and hit it with my hand until it went out. It did burn my hand. My vehicle was in motion then I stopped. It was in a city street filled with cars and construction workers.

- Dyersville, IA, USA

problem #11

Dec 152014


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving approximately 50 mph, there was smoke coming from the heated seats on the front passenger side. The contact stated that there was a hole burned into the front passenger seat. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Alamogordo, NM, USA

problem #10

Feb 132014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The car ran into a big puddle of water and the engine stall. When trying to restart the car the car it started with severe hesitation in engine. Tried stepping on gas to keep engine going the exhaust got real loud and the smoke started filling up the cabin. Stepped out of car to find that the car caught on fire. The flames can be seen on under side of the car, in the middle section right under the armrest area between the two seats. Thankfully I was able to escape unharmed. I think thats a manufacturing or design defect that allowed the heat from exhaust to penetrate inside the cabin where it reached the floor carper that caught fire.

- Monmouth Junction, NJ, USA

problem #9

Feb 072014


  • 199,000 miles


Setting: -4F, 5:45am driving to work, seat heater on. I was driving to work and had noticed a particularly hat spot on my lower right back when the seat heater was set to 5, on the 1-5 dial. I turned down my seat heater during the drive to 1, when I got to work in the parking lot and leaned forward I got the intense smell of burning. I turned around to find a 5-6 inch long section on the lower right than side of the drivers seat had burned and charred. It had been getting particularly how recently in that location, but this is the first I noticed the burning of the seat cushion. Definite fire hazard.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #8

Sep 212011

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Last year I was driving home from school one night it was cold out so I turned on my heated seat. My seat started to get very hot in an isolated area so I turned it remembering the recall I received in the mail. The recall stated that the heating element in the seat could be faulty and the seat could catch fire. I called my dealership and they expressed to me that the recall was expired! what how could some thing that could cause injury have an expiration date? well after that I no longer used the seat but one day my son who wanted the car to be warm for his mother started it and turned on both heated seats by the time I went out to the car it was filled with smoke and a hole burned through my seat. Another issue I have is I got a recall on my sun roof saying it causes the drivers side back and front floor to flood. When it did I took it in to my dealer they "fixed it", well last week it poured terrible the next day I went out to my vehicle to find 4 inches of water on the floor of my drivers side back seat. Today 09/18/2012 I took it in to my dealer to be repaired and they wanted to charge me $100 for diagnostic fee. This is outrageous I have a child and to have water sit in between the metal of the car floor and the carpet I am disgusted!!! it smells so bad I had to sprinkle baking soda on the floor to keep the smell at bay. The water is still squishing between the carpet and the metal and it is supposed to storm again today!!! I am completely fed up with Volkswagen!

- Riverside, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jan 032012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 131,000 miles
In April of 2005 VW initiated customer satisfaction campaign to address issues caused by overheating seat heaters. The vehicle was examined on June 24th 2006 by cook Volkswagen in fallston Maryland, and parts for repair were ordered (invoice [xxx]). on July 8th 2006 the car was returned to have the service performed. The invoice (268548) states: Recalls completed, VV1 checked seat heater żż no repairs required. On January 3rd 2011, while driving at approximately 45 mph, with the comfort seat heater turned on at level 2, the driver experienced strong pain, followed by strong odor of burning plastic. After stopping the vehicle, a hole burned through the seat was discovered. VW suggested the owner pays $170 to northtown VW on amherst New York to disassemble the seat and take detailed pictures of the failure before performing any work to repair the seat heater. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Middleport, NY, USA

problem #6

Jan 062012


  • 84,000 miles


While driving home on Friday January 6 at around 230pm, my VW Jetta wagon's driver's side seat heater, set on "4, " overheated and ignited the seat material, which burned through and began to burn my pants. Smoke began to fill the cabin; luckily I was only a few blocks away from home. When the smoke began, I smelled a plastic burning smell, and veered sharply off the road, thinking the car might burn. I shut off the seat heater control, then drove to my home, one block away. I shut off the car, got a fire extinguisher from inside, then returned to the car. The smoke had just about stopped; a dime-sized burned hole was in my seat, as well as a slight browned area on my pants. I have made an appointment with the dealer to have it looked at, and have filed a case with VW of America case # [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Shoreline, WA, USA

problem #5

Feb 052011


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta gls (na). The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the driver side heated seat caught fire. The contact turned the seat warmer off. The vehicle was taken to a repair shop but there were no codes produced for the failure. The contact called the manufacturer who advised her to take the vehicle to the dealer for inspection and took a complaint. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #4

Jan 252011

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
The driver's side heated seat in our 2004 VW Jetta tdi became extremely hot near the driver's right thigh and there was a electrical burning smell in the car. My wife, who was driving at the time, had a minor surface burn as a result. Fortunately, she was wearing jeans, which prevented it from being worse.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #3

Jan 012011

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Noticed drivers heated seat was very hot on left thigh. Yesterday I smelled smoke, and put my hand under my leg. Burned hand. Turned off heated seat and pulled over. Noticed a burn on fabric.

- Jefferson City, MO, USA

problem #2

Nov 272010

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Heated seat burned. Electrical burning smell and extreme hot spot on upper right thigh.

- Brunswick, ME, USA

problem #1

Dec 162008


  • 61,000 miles
I smelled a burning or foul-smelling chemical odor after driving for 01 minute and noticed that my seat was so hot that it burned my hand when I touched it. I then smelled smoke and I immediately switched off the driver side seat heater. After stopping, I noticed that the seat appeared burned in a roughly circular patch that looked similar to a cigarette burn. The foul odor has persisted even with the seat heater off after the incident. The incident happened on 16 Dec 2008. This is the first time the incident has occurred.

- Houston, TX, USA

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