really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,804 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #12

Feb 022016


  • 91,000 miles


Over the past few days it has been raining heavily & although it has happened to me once before this time is what worse. My car is leaking from somewhere & its coming on the inside. My carpets are constantly wet, my airbags alongside windshield leak, and the handle where you open the hood of the car is literally a stream of water entering the car during heavy rainfall. The airbag light has come on and the check engine. I was more concerned with the check engine light so I went and got it checked. The code came up as U0155 - which refers to (lost communication with instrument panel cluster (ipc) control module) meaning my entire dashboard needs to be replaced because of this leaking ! I have taken my car on multiple occasions to VW dealership for servicing (never for this problem) and they never once told me anything about cleaning the sunroof drains every two years as maintenance, it is visible to the naked eye that my sunroof is messed up because when I purchased it the lining on the car around the sunroof is drooping and I cannot open the sunroof because of this. I never thought of it as a big deal because I don't use a sunroof but how was I supposed to know there was a leak without anyone telling me that was even possible. I looked up this problem online, that's how I know what's wrong with my car. I refuse to get it "diagnosed" and spend over 200$ on just a diagnosis when I already know what the problem is and they'll end up charging way more to actually fix the problem. This is my first car and I don't know much of anything about cars except keeping up with oil and filter changes, fuel injectors, and changing my tires when the tread is getting low. I have done all of that at each checkpoint since I purchased at 63,000 miles. There is so much condensation inside I can barely see out my windows, I have sit for at least a half hour car on to be able to see & drive.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #11

Sep 192014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
I was driving my children to school in the morning. They were doing construction on the roads around my house and all the sewer caps were exposed. They are re-paving all the streets. I barely clipped one and my driver side "side" airbags (headliner air bags and the driver seat side airbags) deployed for no reason. There was no collision, no impact. I barely clipped the sewer cap and I'm not even positive the airbag deployment occurred at the same time. Vwoa is currently investigating but after reading about air bag deployments for some time now, I can't imaging that running over a sewer cover at 15 mph and barely clipping it would be enough to deploy the side air bags. Luckily I was able to stop the car and get it to side of the road without injuring myself or anyone else. It was a very scary situation. Still waiting to hear the outcome from VW.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #10

Feb 142014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
Air bag light went on.

- Greenfield, WI, USA

problem #9

Oct 222012


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, another vehicle crashed into the driver's side door. The impact caused the vehicle to spin around and crash into a light pole. The contact mentioned that the driver's side air bag failed to deploy. A police report was filed and the driver sustained lacerations to his arms, legs and face. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was destroyed. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 90,000.

- Mercerville, NJ, USA

problem #8

Oct 112011

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
We were stopped in the traffic and all of a sudden this truck [2001 Chevy] rear ended us at the speed of 45 miles per hour and our car got pushed into the car in front of us. In our car, passenger side air bag cover came out but airbag did not deploy. We bought this car because we had great trust in VW [german cars] in making strong and reliable cars which can save lives which could not be proved in the accident we gotten into. Had the impact been little higher we could have died in the accident. I'm sad to say that our trust in VW has been shattered after the accident.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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problem #7

May 052010

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The passenger side air bag has too much voltage going to the bag and as such deactivated all the airbags in the vehicle.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #6

Oct 252005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 12,200 miles


While driving on a rain slicked ramp entering I95 I lost control of my car. It went into a tailspin and went across 4 lanes of traffic hitting a guardrail, bouncing off spinning around and hitting it again, bouncing off and hitting it again (for a total of 3 times) came to rest facing oncoming traffic. The front, back and passenger side of the car was totally destroyed. The car was practically rebuilt. My passenger and I were taken to the hospital via ambulance, there was almost 20K worth of damage to the vehicle and not to mention the 10K damage done to the guardrail. None of the airbags in my car ever deployed!!!!....and my passenger is now suing me because of injuries he sustained. We have pictures, the only thing that saved our lives were that we had our seatbelts on.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #5

Dec 222006


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Two air bags deployed (driver's side, curtain and seat) on my 2004 VW Jetta w/35,000km while driving at 15km/H, no body damage, no flat tire. VW will not cover the repairs, said to call insurance, not a "sensor" issue, crash data recorded of course since the air bags deployed - and what is disturbing is that this could easily happen again in a pot hole, flat tire, speed bump and VW does not seem be bothered by that fact... but I should pay for this over and over and/or make claims with my insurance... told them that if their air bags were so sensitive, they should post warnings in the vehicle. Very disgusted with VW and the car is still at the dealership and I am sure they are anxious to have it removed from their lot because they keep calling to see if I contacted my insurance...

- Hull, Qc, Canada, 00, USA

problem #4

Aug 292006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I was traveling 0 mph and was hit head on at 60 mph. I was driving a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta and the airbags did not deploy.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #3

Jun 292006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,000 miles
No impact, no pot holes, no speed bumps - driving on a paved road the passenger side (roof & seat) airbags deployed. No passengers were in the vehicle, driver only w/seat belt - no driver side or front air bags deployed. VW dealer found no damage; VW regional claims black box says "significant impact" thus no defect, report it to insurance co.. insurance co finds no damage to the vehicle, denies claim. VW says airbags deployed due to passenger not wearing seat belt (no passenger in the vehicle); also said not manufactured to withstand pot holes or speed bumps. Insurance co says airbags deploy only w/seat belt fastened. Either way, this is a defect - air bags deployed w/no accident, no passenger; if there was an impact, driver side air bags did not deploy. This vehicle is still under manufacturer warranty. Nobody will pay for the damage the airbags created. I have found many complaints - air bags deploy in VW Jetta's while driving on a roadway, no impact, no pot holes, no speed bumps... VW has a problem - this should be a re-call - make them fix it! thanks

- Wrentham, MA, USA

problem #2

Nov 072005


  • miles
The consumer suspect a defect of the vehicle because the front airbag did not deploy despite the highest impact (1 out of 14 scale) damage on the front. The consumer contacted the manufacturer and requested for an inspection; the manufacturer explained why the airbags did not deploy but it was no more than a description in the owner's manual. The manufacturer is not willing to send a technician to inspect the vehicle. The consumer requests for a third-party experts inspection. 1) accident narrative (based on city of wheeling, wv, police report): The vehicle (Volkswagen Jetta 2004) was on the first lane of I-70 w. the vehicle suddenly lost a control and went onto the second lane and went back onto the first lane. The vehicle hit the guard rail with the front leaving 25 feet of the guard rail damaged; the vehicle bounced off and struck a truck trailer with the right rear end. 2) despite the severe damage on the front (the consumer has photos; the front is almost gone), none of the front airbags deployed except for the passenger side curtain. The manufacturer is not willing to send a technician to inspect the vehicle. The consumer requests for a third-party experts inspection. The consumer is willing to provide the photos of the damaged vehicle to NHTSA for an analysis.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #1

Jan 132005

Jetta Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,450 miles
While approaching an intersection the car ahead of me stopped suddenly and I could not stop fast enough. The collision did $10,000-14,000 worth of damage to my car and no airbags deployed. Serious injury was only avoided due to my wearing my seat belt. Subsequent neck pain for several days followed, scratches on my neck were received. The car is in the beginning stages of evaluation/repair but agreement is that airbags should have deployed. Have pictures of car and interior cabin and will keep any and all part necessary.

- Stone Ridge, VA, USA

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