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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Aug 222014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


My three year old, bought brand new from the dealership Jetta, and after parking overnight I got in my car to drive to work and my handsfree bluetooth, satellite, radio unit would not turn on. This is a major concern and driving hazard considering I am on call 24 hours a day and receive calls in my vehicle which is the reason why I bought this vehicle with the integrated bluetooth. After checking all the fuses I did some online research and found that this is a recurring problem with this vehicle and there was a class action lawsuit already started due to the inordinate amount of claims being filed. I then brought the vehicle to the dealership where they told me that there was a short in the unit and it would have to be replaced. I then contacted Volkswagen of America where they acknowledged they there was a know short in those units but due to the miles on my vehicle nothing could be done. The unit is 3 years old and with the known electrical defects, potential fire hazards the vehicle needs to be investigated.

- Hudson, NY, USA

problem #37

Nov 012011

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 7,500 miles
Key stuck in ignition multiple times having great difficulty turning on and off car. Problems appears to occur on a more frequent basis, car dealership indicated not a problem while under warranty told jiggle the key will solve the problem. Progressively worse as my wife can't drive the car for fear of being stuck, she experienced this problem July 6, 2014 as she had to walk home. Turning the steering wheel, moving the transmission in and out of gear and moving the key around will eventually allow the key to move into a on/off position.

- Parkersburg, WV, USA

problem #36

Jul 152014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
I bought a 2011 Jetta in February 2011. Today, I am told by the dealer that 'some wires' located under the spark plugs are short-circuiting and need to be replaced at a cost of $830 + tax. Now, why are there 'some wires' under the spark plugs that are not sufficiently insulated" and, why are 'some wires' under the spark plugs anyway" I was going down I-24 at 55 mph and the car 'cut off'! the only thing that saved my life is that it was rush hour and the traffic was bumper to bumper. I was afraid to drive the car to the dealership and had to have it towed. I could have been killed!!! such a design of 'some wires' under the spark plugs is not good craftsmanship or professional design. The vehicle is not even paid for and I have to replace 'some wires' under the spark plugs already. I think this should be a recall item because of the possibility of the vehicle cutting off when driving at full speed, in traffic on a major highway. Everyone with a 2011 Jetta needs to be made aware of the possibility of this same 'instant shut down of engine' happening to them. There was no warning such as the engine light coming on or the car stalling when trying to start the engine. In fact, some one may be disillusioned when car restarts and drives like there is nothing to it!!! it took the dealer 2-days to fine the problem so everyone needs to be made aware of this gross danger!!

- Lavergine, TN, USA

problem #35

Jul 042014


  • miles


The 2011 VW Jetta tdi main source of communication is through the radio (delphi premium 8). I was driving and the radio completely went out after a pop. I have done some research and as a 2011 automobile, this shouldn't be happening 3 years after a new car is purchased. This is a large safety hazard while driving and not having the vehicles main communication accessible. Please look more into this. This is a common occurrence with this radio model.

- Springboro, OH, USA

problem #34

Jun 302014


  • 35,000 miles
This complaint is for the 2011 VW Jetta sportwagon tdi. There is a manufacture defect that caused the fuse box under the hood to melt. This caused most of the lights on the exterior to fail, which included the headlights, taillights, brake-lights, ect. There were recalls on similar models, but not this specific car. There needs to be a recall on this car to prevent potential injuries.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #33

Jun 062014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 47,637 miles
While attempting to accelerate car sputtered, and hesitated while losing power. Regained power briefly then sputtered, lost power and engine cut off completely. Started engine after letting sit for a few minutes drove home ok. Happened again a week later and took it to dealership. Dealer diagnosed it as faulty ignition coil and arcing.

- Berea, OH, USA

problem #32

Apr 232014

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 19,000 miles


My car has had 3 stalls within 3 months. I took it to the dealer they replaced the throttle assembly. Since then I was pulling out of a parking spot and put the car in drive and the car stalled. I took it to the dealer and they said they couldn't find anything wrong with the vehicle.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #31

Mar 272014


  • 45,000 miles
2011 Jetta has a recall (11V196000) for electrical/fuse wiring. We have encountered the problem that the recall is 4.we have no alarm horn "chirp" or horn. We called the dealer and they said that the recall did not include the tdi model yet we are having the problem the recall is 4.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #30

Feb 082013

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
This car has had multiple ignition coil problems causing a misfire and a rough rumbling engine. The ability to accelerate is greatly reduce leaving you vulnerable to car accidents in certain situations like pulling out at an intersection. This is the second incident within a year of ignition coils failing. Now at 42,000 miles it is not covered under warranty. The first incident was extremely troubling not being able to maintain a constant speed with a line of traffic behind me and no where to pull over. This is a severe safety issue and should be addressed by VW.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #29

Mar 062014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 43,500 miles
All of a sudden, I would turn on my car and most of the exterior lights would not work, including headlights, high beams, brake lights, blinkers, and daytime running lights. It was dangerous to suddenly drive without lights when it was nighttime or changing lanes without working blinkers to alert other drivers. I took the car in to get it checked out and apparently this is a common issue in recent VW cars, that the fuse box is melting the fuses. I read more about it online and some people described problems with other key processes failing like power steering. I can't believe VW hasn't made a recall on this because it happens to so many of their cars and requires an expensive part replacement. Also this problem seems to happen to others in the 10000 miles beyond the warranty of a car in 36000 miles. That is being unfair and dishonest to customers.

- Los Angeles , CA, USA

problem #28

Jun 192013

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


On this date (6-19-2013) my engine light came on, after that my epc light followed. Then I lost speed on my car, I then pulled over at the gas station. I then noticed my horn was not working. I sat at the gas station after I turned the car off for about 15 minutes. Tried to start the car up again, then it started back up and I drove home, but the engine light was still on. I didn't think much of it at that point, a week later I had the oil changed. Approximately two months later (which was in August) I had the same problem. So I called Volkswagen of America and explained to the cs rep my issue. They advised me to take my car to the dealership; which I did. The gentle that assisted me brought out a lab top computer and reset what ever it was he reset on the car and the engine light went off and the car drove fine. Then he told me that I needed a full turn up and that it would cost me $700, because my warranty would not cover the turn up on the car. In any case, my VW Jetta drive fine for about four days, I horn still didn't work. About two weeks into September of 2013, I was on my way to work and the car would not start for an whole hour. In the mist of my dilemma, late for work; I had vv of America on the phone telling the rep, corey what was happening with the car. He advised me to take the car to the dealership as well. Which I made an appointment to the dealership, they also told me that the car needed a turn up as well. But they were charging me a ridiculous amount of money for the turn up. I got a full turn up on the car and now my car shakes uncontrollably, the epc light stays on. It's only driving 40 mph as we speak. I had a professional to check the engine and from what their diagnosis, two dead cylinders (po codes P0351 and P0353) and a bad computer. I am getting no financial assistance from Volkswagen of America, per corey cs rep from vv of America.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #27

Jan 212014

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 90,000 miles
My windshield washer fluid sensor came on, and it does not turn off. I did some reading online, and this seems to be a systemic issue. Most of the complaints were from people who used rainx washer fluid. Apparently it caused corrosion too quickly. Now, I don't want to use my washer fluid as often, so that I can make sure that I don't run out when I need it. My visibility during driving is affected by this.

- Orange, MA, USA

problem #26

Aug 062013

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
I was driving and I tried to honk my horn because a tractor trailer was merging in my lane. My horn would not sound and I had encountered this problem before and then later that evening it started to drizzle and my windshield wipers were not working.

- Loganville , GA, USA

problem #25

Jul 282013


  • 30,000 miles
Occasionally, the rear door on passenger side wont open even though I unlock the door with remote key. I have found in the VW consumer forum that this is not only my car's issue, but many VW Jetta owners are having the same issue. I always should get inside from other door and open the applicable from inside. This is happening too often so it is being common for me to open the door for my kid who usually sits in the back. If there is any accident and whether policeman or fireman should open the door from outside, this problem can cause severe delay on rescue the passenger who sits in the back, usually children because the door is not being opened by anyhow from outside. I think VW should recall this problem.

- Farmington, MI, USA

problem #24

Mar 242013


  • 58,000 miles
When the car is parked the interior and exterior lights come on until you go crank the car. The dealer completed a diagnostic test and he said everything checked out ok....this is not normal and my concern would be will it eventually affect the battery.

- Hampton, GA, USA

problem #23

Feb 212013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 44,000 miles
While driving to an early morning appointment, I notice a burning smell within 5 minutes of starting the car. I soon saw smoke coming from the upper right corner of the dashboard. I immediately pulled over and turned off the car. At that point I saw a flame appearing at the front end of the driver's side rocker panel. Plastic at the base of the rocker panel had melted and I could see electrical wires. I tried to stamp out the fire, but it was growing rapidly and I was unsuccessful. I got out of the car. Within seconds, the flames were several feet high. I closed the door and called 911. The flames eventually extinguished themselves in the closed cabin. The firefighters arrived and opened the drivers door. Most of the dashboard on the drivers side, and the headliner were melted. There was a lot of exposed bare wire visible. The temperature at the time was 34 degrees F, and this was the first trip of the day. The driver's side seat heater was turned on high, the headlights were on, and the radio was on. No other operator controlled electrical functions were on. There had been no previous electrical incidents with this car, nor were there any aftermarket electrical items installed on the car. The weather was dry. This Jetta is a tdi model (diesel).

- Darien, GA, USA

problem #22

Jul 152009

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 20,000 miles
The car turned over and then turned itself off. The immobilizer activated and the car refused to start. The car was towed to the dealership and I'm not sure what was done to fix it. The yesterday, September 29, 2012, we were 5 miles from the house at a park and the same issue happened again. This time, because we were without a phone, we walked home and got it towed. Although there were no bodily injuries, this is as much a safety issue as anything else.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #21

Apr 282012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 9,500 miles
Coming back from the mall, I turned on my car and a few seconds later the engine shut down and "immoblizer active" message appeared. Restarted car again, engine shut down and the same message appeared again. I tried it a couple of times more and then called VW roadside assistance to get my car towed to my dealer, which luckily, is near by the mall I was at. Once at the dealer (got there at 4:30pm, and they close at 5 on saturdays), the technician had time to look at my car. He came back 15 minutes later and was surprised of what he found. The diagnostic machine could not read the engine control module. He said that pretty much according to the test, the ECM/ECU did not exist! I have had the car for about 8 months (brand new) and only aprox. 9500 miles driven so far. They will check the car in detail on the following Monday. Will wait for results.

- Cypress, CA, USA

problem #20

Nov 052011


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta tdi. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked and upon exiting the vehicle, there was an increase in the engine rpms. The vehicle also would not shut off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they stated that the push to stop button failed. A switch clip on the vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 2,000. Updated 05/31/12

- Jasper, GA, USA

problem #19

Oct 062011

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 16,790 miles
The vehicle immobilizer activates, preventing the vehicle from being started and leaving driver stranded.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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