really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,122 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #14

Oct 042016

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 10 miles


At a stop, when accelerating, the car may jerk or hesitate. Hard shifting from 2 to 1 can cause the person behind to rear end or the car next to you to hit you when you suddenly stop moving.

- Hanover Township, PA, USA

problem #13

Jun 032016


  • 62,000 miles
Vehicle has started to display some of the characteristic slipping and lurching dsg issues that VW knows about. I took it to the dealership and when the tech took it out for a test drive, he actually experienced the issue himself. Unfortunately, the computers aren't throwing any codes so their only advice was to keep driving it until it gets worse and I can bring it back and they can more easily duplicate the problem. So basically I'm driving a time bomb. VW knows there's issues with this transmission, the VW dealership tech experienced the actual issue himself, but they won't do anything until it gets worse.

- Pflugerville, TX, USA

problem #12

Apr 192016


  • 98,000 miles
The car stall in middle of the road while driving, then the transmission has the issue as car does not move to drive or reverse. The issue can cause the severe accident. This needs to look into this. I believe similar instances have reported: abcnews.go.com/gma/story?id=8378724

- Bloomingdale, IL, USA

problem #11

Mar 172015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


My PCV valve got clogged which caused the rear main seal to blow out causing a lot of damage. This is not supposed to happen at this mileage. Volkswagen has acknowledged they are receiving a lot of these vehicles between 80K and 100K, unacceptable. They are not covering any repairs. There has been 3 revisions by Volkswagen to the PCV valve thats in my vehicle but they won't acknowledge mine is faulty..why did they remake it 3 times? also model years before me had PCV valve recalls for this exact reason. Thank you

- Bridgehampton, NY, USA

problem #10

Mar 052015

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 5,700 miles
While entering a parking lot, parking space, after stopping completely, the car would not move when accelerator was lightly depressed, there was a 1 to 3 second delay, and then the car lunged forward crashing into the opposing parked vehicle, damaging the fronts of both vehicles. This hesitation was noted once before at about 3800 miles while entering a highway from a stop. Again, the hesitation was followed by a sudden lunge. Selling VW dealer said it sounded like a dsg trans problem, bring back fpr evaluation after its repaired. This unexpected surge problem is the direct cause of the accident. There should be a safety recall. Note: While this VW Jetta is 7 yrs old, it is not driven often as can be seen by less than 500-800 miles per year.

- Fortson, GA, USA

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problem #9

Jul 042014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Vehicle jerks harshly when down shifting from 3rd to 2nd & 2nd to 1st gears. Usually right around 20mph to 15mph.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 062014


  • 96,007 miles


While merging onto the freeway, as I reached 60mph the car lunged and the engine began revving over 6000rpm. It felt like the car was stuck in 3rd gear. The gear/drive mode display led began flashing constantly. The car would not shift up to a higher gear so I moved into slower lanes and kept the car at about 5000rpm/55mph until it was safe to stop. The car geared down as I decelerated but appeared to skip a gear and lunged at each shift. I tried switching between drive and sport mode but there was no change. When I finally was able to bring the car to a stop I discovered the reverse gear did not engage. It simply went into neutral. I shut the car down, waited a minute and started it again. It no longer had any visible problems or error messages. I later learned this is a known issue with the dsg transmission and is referred to as the 'dsg flash of death'.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #7

Apr 052013

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
The problem is the intake manifold and the intake valves stuck from excessive carbon buildup. It was replaced in Feb 2011 and now needs replacing again. Problem is, now I'm out of the warranty period and the dealer is saying I would have to pay for this myself. They also added that there was only a 1 year warranty for the first time this was replaced in Feb 2011. There have been many complaints on the intake manifold and no recall from Volkswagen. If the decarbonization had been done when the intake manifold had been replaced the first time, this would have never happened again.

- Spotswood, NJ, USA

problem #6

Feb 102012


  • 53,000 miles
On 10 February 2012, at approximately 7:45 am, I was driving on interstate 395 North, Washington, DC. In the high occupancy vehicle (hov) lane when I heard noise from the engine and I saw white smoke coming from underneath the hood of the engine. I checked the indicator lights and no lights were on that indicated there was a problems. At the stop sign near the entrance near the navy annex off colombia pike, I noticed a smell similar to burning oil. First, the vehicle was checked by jack taylor Toyota in alexandria, va. Toyota stated they were not aware of a Volkswagen dealership in the area and indicated they had the ability to identify any problems with the vehicle by conducting a diagnostic test. According to the diagnostic test, the rear main seal, which is located at the rear of the engine between the engine and the flywheel of flex plate/torque converter was leaking transmission fluid. I learned later via an internet search there was a Volkswagen dealership approximately 10 miles from the Toyota dealership. I consulted with a technician at Volkswagen who indicated the problem described by Toyota was confusing and was possibly an error was asked to bring the vehicle in for a certified Volkswagen technician to inspect further. Presently, the car is at the Volkswagen dealership in alexandria, va for further diagnostic testing and repairs. They confirmed the rear main seal was leaking transmission fluid and ordered the part which was projected to arrive on or about 13 February 2012. The car was serviced for 50K tune up at Volkswagen in springfield, va and this problems was not identified. This is the first incident in-which I have encountered transmission problems with this car.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #5

Oct 302011

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 55,410 miles
Vehicle loses motive force, shifts into neutral while in motion. Shift indicator lights on dash flash and green "apply brake" icon lights up.

- Titusville, FL, USA

problem #4

Sep 182011

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 38,245 miles


Dsg transmission seems to slip when cold, or from dead stop or under kick down acceleration.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #3

Sep 172009


  • 7,800 miles
2008 Volkswagen Jetta wolfsburg 2.0T fsi dsg (direct shift gearbox) while pulling out into traffic on numerous occasions from a full standstill there was a very significant delay in the response of the dsg transmission to driver throttle input. There will be a 1-2-3 go, (delay) the car will then jerk forward out into traffic then only creep very slowly forward at this point which commits the car and it's passengers to the maneuver of turning into active traffic pattern. This delay/jerk/then creeping forward has caused a few close calls with having an accident from oncoming traffic. The possibility of traffic colliding into this vehicle is very high as the car does not respond to driver throttle input leaving you dead in the water until the car finally decides to move itself forward. This is a very dangerous situation which could very easily result in significant injury or death. When one purchases and drives a car one would expect the car to properly respond to driver inputs and not be left in oncoming traffic with a car that wont respond to the driver.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #2

Jan 262009


  • 1,000 miles
Since I purchased the car it has been exhibiting erratic behavior. For example when I press on the gas there is a delay of a second or two before the transmission engages and provide power to the wheels. Everytime I stop and then start again there is a sudden jerk. It is a safety hazard when merging onto highways.

- Nanuet, NY, USA

problem #1

Jun 052009


  • 17,543 miles
I bought the car in may of 2008. It is now August 23, 2008 and it is going into the shop this week for the third time. The mechatronic unit has been replaced once as well as the clutch plates. It is a 2008 Jetta wolfsburg edition 2.0T with the dsg transmission. The problem is a jerky, surging feeling when the transmission is warmed up. You take your foot off the brake and it starts to jerk as if you're tapping the gas and letting off. It happens 2 or 3 times a day when I drive a lot. Not sure what else it could be. The car was built in May 2008 as far as I know, meaning its not part of the recall as of today August 21, 2009. I can't believe a car that has 18,000 miles on it is having these many problems.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

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