hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
229,595 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.

2008 Volkswagen Jetta accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2008 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #9

Mar 022015

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 86,300 miles


The door locking mechanism stops working and this is a known issue in a lot of VW forums online. They call it the actuator and when it stops working the child locks do not work and the vehicle then has a major safety issue which relates to "child safety seats that contain defective safety belts, buckles, or components that create a risk of injury, not only in a vehicle crash but also in non-operational safety of a motor vehicle." A door that can be opened by a child when in movement or parked is a big safety issue. The door can be easily pushed open from the inside when the locks don't work. Also, the alarm on the vehicle will not arm because the doors will not lock so if someone went door checking in a parking lot, my car would be broken into - if not stolen altogether due to this. In December I paid $450+ to have the rear door lock replaced and now, 3 months later, the front two door locks have stopped working. Another hazard for safety happens when you cannot lock your door from the inside. If someone wanted to carjack me at a stop light - I am unable to lock my doors! I called VW care and they have declined to even help me with this cost and I am slo filing a claim with the better business bureau. It is a known issue in the forums online, something must be done about this.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #8

Oct 152011

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
In 2011, the right rear door stopped locking. When I would try to lock the door both with the internal lock switch and the fob, the door would not lock. It also would not chirp to let me know that all the doors were locked and the alarm was set. Locking the door with the fob does set the alarm, however you can open the rear door and the alarm goes off. In September of 2014 the left rear door stopped locking as well...it has the exact same issues as the right rear door not locking...however, it is so far somewhat intermittent and sometimes will not open at all!

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #7

Apr 302014


  • 94,500 miles
I got locked inside the car on a hot day with my kid! I sat in the back to play with him and keep him company. The door closed and it would not unlock no matter how many times I would pull on the lever. I was pinched between the child seat, the driver's seat (I keep it pulled back quite a bit) and the door. I could barely move. My wife had to unlock the door from the outside. The door lock/latch mechanism has (since this incident) failed on both rear doors. Both!!! we can no longer lock the car without spending 10-15 minutes opening, closing, working the remote etc, until it finally produces the desired beep with the car being actually locked. The door would close, the alarm would be activated but the rear door (passenger side) would remain unlocked. I pull on the handle, the door opens and the alarm goes off. We are almost at the point where we might have to take the child out of the car via the front doors. I am not even talking about the car probably getting stolen over this. This is a serious child hazard! there are dozens of threads on VW forums about these mechanisms failing either on: 1. electrical harness being damaged. Or 2. door lock/latch not activating or deactivating. Or both how long is VW going to ignore this massive problem. The dealership wants $450 in parts and labor for 1 door. That's almost a $1000 for a problem that is very common. Very.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #6

Jan 022014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 844,000 miles


The back passenger side door lock quit working and the door won't lock at all. Anybody can open the door and hurt your child or still the car. I called the dealer here in austin, tx today, and they told me that is a very common problems with the Jetta model and it has happened to hundreds of costumers. The electric locks quit working. This is a safety issue and clearly a manufacturers defect that should be a recall.

- Manor, TX, USA

problem #5

Oct 082013


  • 735,000 miles
Doors do not lock, or unlock, random opening of sunroof and door lock mechanism.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

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problem #4

Aug 142012

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Drivers side door lock actuator failed to lock or unlock the door, alarm horn fails to sound when alarm is activated. Rear driver's door lock actuator failed to lock or unlock the door. The rear drivers door doesn't have an external key hole to unlock door and the only way to open the door is from the inside. In the event of an accident with a child in a child safety seat, this could result in a delay of removing the child from a potentially dangerous situation. The Volkswagen manufacturer/dealership charges between $450 to $550 per actuator. After an extensive search of the internet and numerous forums, this actuator repair is more common than Volkswagen would like anyone to believe. This part is kept in stock at dealerships and they are vague when questioned about the frequency of repair. This appears to be more a problem with newer models. I've owned a used 2003 VW Jetta for over 5 years now and haven't needed an actuator yet.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #3

Jul 182012

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 68,000 miles


I have a 2008 Jetta and I started experiencing problems with 1 door. My car was still under warranty and the lock was replaced at the dealership. Then only months later I started having similar problems randomly (the lock would work some times but not others). Everytime I stopped at the dealership to have it fixed the lock worked- therefore they could not diagnose which door had a problem. The lock failed everytime and when I returned to the dealership, the car was no longer under warranty. The dealership said the locks can go bad and quoted me a cost of $400 to repair. After having one door "fixed" only to have another lock fail after months later seems excessive. At this point I have not replaced the second lock. It is frustrating to see a car with four doors have problem with two of the doors! at a cost of $400 to replace I felt there must be a larger issue that needs attention. We keep our car in the garage, the door that is now in need of repair is rarely used. This is a serious issue as the locks serve as the first line of defense in personal protection and anti-theft. After searching on line and seeing others with similar issues, I felt it was important to report this. I trust you will promptly follow up and assist me in resolving this issue.

- Hartford, WI, USA

problem #2

Jun 012011


  • 60,000 miles
2008 wolfsburg edition Jetta: Started experiencing issues with one door lock and the dealer told me that the locks can go bad and need to be replaced, costing $450 for the replacement. After having this fixed, only two months later, another lock started having an issue. I have not yet replaced this lock, but now a third lock is starting to experience problems on the same vehicle. At this rate, I expect the fourth and final lock to start having issues. At $450 for each lock replacement, this seems excessive. On a single car that is kept in a garage, with only two adults (no children) using the front doors, it doesn't make sense how three doors can experience lock issues, unless there was some larger issue with the locks. This is a serious issue as the locks serve as the first line of defense in anti-theft. After searching online and seeing others with similar issues, I decided to report this.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #1

Nov 162009

Jetta 6-cyl

  • 25,559 miles
This vehicle was purchased approximately September 2008, and to date has experienced five (5) failures of the electronic door locking/unlocking mechanisms of three of the four doors of the vehicle and in some case multiple failures. I am currently experiencing failure number six (6). The failure of the locking/unlocking mechanisms is a safety issue as these failure have at time prevented being able to exit the vehicle and in the case of an emergency it is a serious threat to my safety. Additionally, I'm unable to lock the vehicle whenever I go anywhere thus putting anything in the vehicle at risk of loss from theft. The dealer's solution is to replace the locking mechanisms as they fail and as the vehicle is no longer under warranty it's cost roughly $370 per incident. Below is a summary of the failures experienced thus far. I have copies of the service records available. 2008 Jetta door lock failures: Date ro # item responsible partycost 11/16/09 116190drivers side front door lock replaced warranty 03/02/10 118212left rear door lock replaced warranty 08/03/10 121525right rear door lock diagnosed warranty 08/06/10 121609right rear door lock replaced warranty 06/01/11 129079left rear door lock diagnosis customer paid $69 06/01/11 129247left rear door lock replaced customer paid $303.09 10/18/11 132986drivers side front door lock replaced customer paid $367.25 03/15/12 right rear door lock beginning to fail. Door lock failureoccurances drivers side front 2 left rear 2 right rear 2

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

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