Notes: Digging through the long list of NHTSA complaints about a sudden loss of engine power and the high pressure fuel pump failing, it's never good to come across the "my car (with a cold engine) set itself on fire in the middle of the night" complaint.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,660 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.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #58

May 122015


  • 89,000 miles


Wife came home and said radio not working. From the research I have been looking at. It's done. Have to get a new or aftermarket unit. Can't believe I am the only on with this problem.

- West Union, OH, USA

problem #57

May 012015


  • 114,000 miles
I was having trouble with various light bulbs going out. It turned out to be a fuse that had melted the fuse plate. I am lucky that it had not started a fire. My dealer replaced the fuse plate at a cost of 372 which VW is refusing to reimburse me for. I know other VW models have had the exact same problem and have been recalled. This is a serious safety issue and should be recalled as soon as possible. Loosing your headlights at night or a vehicle fire are serious safety issues.

- Northborough, MA, USA

problem #56

Apr 122015


  • 90,027 miles
Horn stopped working functioning.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #55

Apr 062015


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving approximately 75 mph, the door locks on the vehicle began to lock and unlock independently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #54

Nov 302014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
Driving down the highway at about 55mph, started switching lanes and stepped on the gas to accelerate. The car sputtered and the engine vibrated. The car felt like I was going to stall driving in the high-speed lane. The yellow check engine light came on and epc light started flashing. Swerving back into the lower speed lane I couldn't even keep the car at 55mph. I had to pull over on the highway to see if I could make sense of it. After turning off the car and then back on, the lights went off and the car was fine. I took it too the mechanic and they said they couldn't find anything wrong after $85 diagnostic. The car ran fine for 2 days until the same exact thing happened while driving on the highway again. This occurred on and off intermittently about every 1-2 days for about 2 weeks. Three trips to the mechanic within those 2 weeks and with each visit there was a computer connected to the car and a full systems diagnostic reported that there was nothing wrong with the car. It became dangerous for me to drive the car and even more so to drive it on the highway. After the second week the lights finally came on and stayed on and the problem was diagnosed as the engine misfiring in 2 of the cylinders. The mechanic changed with the ignition coil on 12/15.2014. The engine ran completely fine without any issues until last week, 3/19/2015. At 3 months and only 28,000 miles on the car the same problem started to reoccur while getting onto the highway and attempting to accelerate from 40-45mph. It started just as it did before intermittently and about 2 weeks later the engine and epc lights were on permanently again. After the mechanic confirmed that it was the same issue with the same component we changed the same part again. I am expecting to be changing it again in 3 more months, if I still have the car.

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #53

Jan 052015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
I was on route 95 in Florida driving at night and a car had cut in front of me I honk my horn and then both of my headlights blew. I had to put flashers on and get off next exit to find a auto parts store where they change both headlight bulbs. I then checked for recalls on my car found out that the horn was faulty and that it could cause electronic malfunction and shut engine off. Headlights are working now but my horn does not work. Contacted VW about recall and they said that since I had high mileage. That I had no warranty on the vehicle and that I would be responsible for the repairs.

- Lauderhill, FL, USA

problem #52

Feb 012015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 49,500 miles


On February 1, 2014 I turned on my car and headed to church at about 1 in the afternoon, everything appeared fine. After church I did the same; however, shortly after I had left the church parking lot the glow plug and battery symbols started flashing and suddenly my engine stopped. Out of nowhere my car stalled in the middle of the road, thank goodness I had managed to steer to the side and that the cars on the road managed to go around me because it could have turned out into a tragedy. I had never had any issues with my engine/battery nor did any of the dashboard warning lights light up prior to this incident. I tried turning my car back on several times but it was unresponsive. The battery and alternator sounded fine but for some reason the car just wouldn't start back up. Could it have been the fuel pump" my car runs on diesel and I have always fueled it with the appropriate fuel without any issues so what now" I had to push my car out of the middle of the road and call a tow service to tow my car home. Over the next week I drove a rental to work and called the Volkswagen dealership and left multiple messages for parts and service and for the person in charge of extended warranty. It's been a week and they have not answered. My car has been out of a warranty now for a while, however I have maintained it and given it the proper care so it does not make sense that a 2011 vehicle would simply stall in the middle of the road without a warning. I am sure that this is a manufacturer's defect and I would like for it to be resolved promptly, I am sure I am not the only one that has had this issue in the past as I have seen multiple complaints online about this and there has even been a few recalls for previous diesel models regarding issues similar to mine.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #51

Nov 222014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
On November 22,2014, I turned on my car like any other day and headed to go run some errands, everything appeared fine. I headed to my first errand and after finished I turned my car on again but my stereo would not turn on. I turned the car off and then back on thinking that that was going to fix it but nothing, the stereo simply appeared dead. I had never had stereo problems prior to this so I was quite surprised that without a warning my stereo would just die. That same day I called the Volkswagen dealership and they said I could simply stop by and they'd have my stereo looked at but when I showed up they said it would be $140 simply to get it diagnosed and then I'd still have to pay for the repairs! needless to say I walked out. I couldn't believe that they wouldn't even give my stereo a complimentary diagnostic! the same day I took my car to a specialist and had the fuses checked and the fuses were fine but it appears I needed a completely new stereo! my car is relatively new to have stereo problems, this is unheard of! I have always given my car the proper maintenance and I am quite unhappy with this issue. Having looked at multiple other complaints about this particular issue online I hope VW can address this problem very soon.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #50

Nov 032014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that there was an intermittent electrical short causing the headlights and the wipers to turn off unexpectedly. Also, the horn and the temperature controls failed to work. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 11V196000 (electrical system). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was not available.

- Gainsville, FL, USA

problem #49

Jan 232015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
The radio malfunctioned and the hands free phone operation was also disabled. This is a safety issue without the handsfree phone option.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #48

Jan 062015


  • 92,800 miles


I had driven the car earlier that day (about 40 miles) with no problems. I got home at about 7:30pm and parked the car outside our house. At about 2am, I heard a beeping car horn. I looked outside and saw flames coming out of the front drivers side of our beautiful 2011 Jetta sportwagen. I dialed 911, the car continued to burn until the fire dept arrived and put it out. The car is a total loss. I'm only happy it wasn't parked inside a garage where the fire would have destroyed our house as well. No work had been done on the car recently and no aftermarket options were installed. I have only one question - what could cause a completely cold car (not driven in over 6 hours) to suddenly burst into flame?? thank you.

- New Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #47

Nov 032014

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 55,102 miles
November 2014 incidents: Two incidents of failing to start. First incident: Car failed to start once and started on second try. Second incident: Car several times failed to start & engine made clanking noise. Had car towed to VW Agency. Car started after unloaded from tow truck and Agency found nothing wrong. December 2014 incident: Car started, but after slowly driving to parking lot exit and before at full stop, at engine quit and would not restart. I put the car in neutral and backed down a slight grade to get car out of traffic; after coming to a stop the car started up.

- Bainbridge Island, WA, USA

problem #46

Dec 112014


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving approximately 50 mph, the headlights and brake lights failed to illuminate. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The contact diagnosed that a fuse melted and damaged the fuse box. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V569000 (electrical system, exterior lighting). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Mullens, WV, USA

problem #45

Nov 232014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 102,400 miles
Transmission kicked into neutral while cruising on highway. Had to pull over and come to a complete stop and restart the car before it would allow me to shift back into drive. The fault recurred a few miles later and has recurred several times since then. The car is now too unsafe to drive.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #44

Mar 032014


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that the horn was inoperable. The contact was made aware of NHTSA campaign number: 11V196000 (electrical system). However, the VIN was not included.the vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the wiring for the horn needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 56,000.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #43

Nov 062014


  • 36,000 miles
The horn only works sporadically, not sure when it will or will not function.

- Somerville, NJ, USA

problem #42

Sep 112014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 81,393 miles
Turned my vehicle on and heard the radio pop and has been useless ever since. The radio in this vehicle controls everything. I have talked to vwoa and several other VW repair shops and they have told me this is not their problem and I must pay for diagnostics and repair myself. I am very displeased with the quality of parts and service in this vehicle. Also the way everyone seems to know what the problem is but lies about it really gets on my nerves. Its not right that a multi billion dollar company can continue to do this to people legally. I hope that there are good people at your organization that can make this right. I have found so many different websites, blogs, forums. And disappointed people that have this same problem. I have included just a few of the ones I have found with hundreds of thousands of complaints of the same issue. Thank you for taking the time to listen."5801721-rcd-510-just-stopped-working"45226-help-radio-and-cig-outlets-stopped-working-2011-tdi

- Beaver Falls, PA, USA

problem #41

Oct 112014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
My external light malfunction indicator went on. I stopped and saw that the left running light and the right low beam light were out. I turned the car back on 2 hours later the indicator was off and all the lights were working. Today I got the warning again and it cycled through to show multiple external lights needing replacement. It appears this is the melted fuse box issue. I see there has been a recall on some vws. Is the 2011 Jetta tdi recalled for this?

- Yreka, CA, USA

problem #40

Feb 092011


  • 500 miles
Issues began with faulty starter. Then progressed to a battery of electrical issues from windows moving in reverse of desired order to horn and keys dying. Each time dealer brushed off issue. When horn and keys died (also with faulty start button) dealer tried to force me to drive unsafe vehicle until they got around to fixing the problem. Most other times the issue was ignored or I was treated as though I was making up the problem. (these problems include radio staying on when car is completely off, and after manually switching it off, it then will turn back on while the car is still off (even though the car will not start and I have to use the long hold lock function to roll windows up). The car also will reopen trunk upon close, flash passenger seat belt warnings when the seat is empty, not display gear when moving, not display mileage/fuel level while simultaneously listing mileage range from selected screen, etc. Problems are worse in extreme weather. I have attempted to have the problems fixed multiple times to no avail. Recently, I have taken the car in several times to have service light diagnosed. Dealer reset light each time without bothering to check the source. Problem progressed to engine not starting, sluggish and jerky acceleration, lurching stops, and, most recently, shutting off while driving. This is absolutely a manufacturer issue, and I am planning to pursue all options available to rectify. Not only has Volkswagen produced an unsafe vehicle, but they are also aware of these problems and make a great effort to avoid dealing with them.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #39

Sep 092014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
I was driving along when the radio made a popping noise. Now it no longer works and I've lost all abilities to use my handsfree dial or answer features on my phone. Radio now has a black screen and will not power on. The loss of handsfree phone through my radio is a major safety concern and having it was a contributing factor when I made the purchase.

- Haines Falls, NY, USA

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