really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,515 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #11

Jan 152011


  • 88,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated the vehicle would no longer shift into reverse. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact also stated no warning lights were illuminated on the dashboard. The failure was 88,000 and the current mileage was 90,000.

- Lahadra, CA, USA

problem #10

Apr 192011


  • 66,000 miles
My 2004 VW Jetta 1.8 turbo which I purchased new is having transmission problems. My cat has only 66,000 miles in it and has been well maintained. In the past two years I have replaced the fuel pump, battery, catalytic converter, numerous vacuum leaks ect...but a transmission"??" Volkswagen needs to issue a recall as this is way to common!! please help!

- Chicago Heights , IL, USA

problem #9

Aug 172004


  • 10 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that the transmission failed and the vehicle became hesitant when the accelerator pedal was applied. The failure had been an ongoing issue since the vehicle was purchased, but the dealer stated that was how the transmission worked and nothing was wrong. The vehicle also made a knocking noise and would become sluggish when accelerating. The dealer recently stated that the failure was related to the valve body. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 10. The current mileage was 57396.

- Centereach, NY, USA

problem #8

Sep 242007


  • 30,000 miles


I have had this car into the automotive shop at the local VW dealership several times since date of purchase in late 2007 for the same incident. The vehicle will do a hard jolting action while shifting (automatic transmission) between gears, as if there is a broken motor mount or a transmission problem. I have gotten no satisfaction from the dealership. They have repeatedly told me that the car shifts properly according to VW standards. Now that my warranty has expired, I am afraid that it will continue and lead to more costly repairs down the line. Having this matter resolved would be greatly appreciated.

- Gettysburg, PA, USA

problem #7

May 112005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,501 miles
First occurrence 05/11/2005, when stopping auto-transmission was down shifting harsh. Dealer found open circuit for ignition and installed a ground wire. Problem not fixed. Second time, 06/03/05, transmission was down shifting harsh again, dealer found internal malfunction with transmission and replaced transmission. Third time, 06/08/05, when warmed up transmission would down shift harsh and jerk into gear, VW field rep. Will look at car. Also had the alignment fixed from when trans. Was replaced. Fourth time, 06/16/05, when accelerating car had jerked very hard into gear. Dealer found no problem, waiting for field rep. 06/25/05, field rep. Drove car and stated that car was within manufacture specs. Dealer also repaired dent in hood from previous visit. Service manager from dealer stated that he drove another VW Jetta to see if car did same thing as mine and problem was not there with other car. He also stated that the 2003 passats had the same problem but worse and it ended up being a software issue. Car still has an issue. Currently have a lawyer for the lemon law.

- Lake Ridge, VA, USA

problem #6

Apr 012005

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
When starting engine then going from park and shifting the automatic transmission into reverse or drive, there is a long delay to engage the gear. This is especially dangerous if the vehicle is on any incline, as it will roll as if in neutral before engaging the desired gear, almost like using a manual transmission, however you have no control since you took your foot off the brake and onto the accelerator to proceed and then it starts rolling. This is not safe, nor acceptable! when we first brought it in to the dealer (fladeboe, irvine, ca) they verbally said it's made that way - it's normal. Then today after inspecting the vehicle, the dealer states that the " vehicle operates to manufacturers specifications". are the quoted "specifications" consistent with U.S. safety standards or flawed? our vehicle is under the new car warranty and we have an extended warranty. I own a VW 2001 passat and it does not have this transmission problem - this appears to be a Jetta transmission defect and it needs to be repaired or replaced at manufacturer's sole cost. We fear that we will hit other vehicles, property or people - unfortunately we feel it's just a matter of time with this unsafe condition.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 232003

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles


(1) manufacturer defect of automatic transmission. (2) there is a long delay when the vehicle is placed into drive or reverse gear (after car has been parked for awhile) vehicle rolls as if in neutral. I have: Hit many wheel stops, nearly hit other parked cars and almost pinned a pedistrian between a parked car and mine. (3) dealer and manufacturer states the transmission is operating per specifications however none of their other products has this failure. Manufuacturer refuses to repair or replace the transmission, vehicle is under new car warranty.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 012004

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Car jerks during a cold start. Jerks hard when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 242004


  • 100 miles
When shifting gears transmission slipped gears. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 102003

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles
Transmission locked up while driving in excess of 40 mph. Transmission was found to be locked in reverse and had to be replaced by VW of America $6500 under warranty. Injury resulted from incident

- Glen Ellyn, IL, USA

problem #1

May 142004


  • 25,000 miles
When starting the vehicle in cold weather vehicle would jerk forward/backwards. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Tamarac, FL, USA

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