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 1 of 5)

problem #98

Feb 222016


  • 90,000 miles


Map sensore (manifold absolute pressure sensor) has repeatedly went bad even a day after changing it. I had replaced the sensor in February then again in March and again in March a day or 2 then again in July after just replacing it. It has no hose leaks or anything wrong with it that Volkswagen couldn't find anything that would make the map sensor continue to fail.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #97

Sep 042015


  • miles
I have issues with the headlights. Every other month my headlight goes out. When I drove off the lot I had one headlight. This has been ongoing for almost 2 years. When I change it the other side goes out. I know thats not normal. And then one day I had been running arrends and made a stop. I was wearing flip flops that day. Well when I went to turn around in my seat to get what was being handed to me from my girlfriend I burned my three little toes ! !!! I immieately went under the steering wheel and seen it was a pipe not covered.I have had many cars and I have never felt any thing so hot under a dash.I had three blisters.each toe had a tiny blister.thats when I seen all the rust everywher or anywhere there is metal is covered with rust.there was a recall on the rear end.I noticed after I took it in that the tires diidnt look even in the back.driver side tire bows inward on the top side and the other side doesnt. The air bag light well thats always on..and when I checked the air filter it smelled like it was in an electrical horn sounds defective.barely hear it. And the windsheild wiper has aloud noise when operating.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #96

Oct 012015


  • miles
My cars low beam headlights unexpectedly stopped working after bringing it into the West broad Volkswagen of richmond, va for a safety recall. I thought there may have been a chance that they both burned out simultaneously and had the light bulbs changed, but still no luck. I also purchased a new light switch for my dash and it still does not work. I am a college student and do not have a lot of money to spend on blind diagnoses. My daytime running lights work and my high beams, just not my low beams. I have done research online and have found that this is an issue with many Volkswagen Jetta drivers from their standard models, through SE-sel, and up into the tdi trims. I believe there should be a recall on this, because it is unsafe for me to drive during dusk and if I ever need to drive at night I am forced to use my high beams.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #95

Aug 212016


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving in the rain at approximately 30 mph, the windshield wipers and horn failed. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 11V196000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and referred the contact to NHTSA without filing a case number. The failure mileage was approximately 130,000.

- Dumfries, VA, USA

problem #94

Jun 302016


  • 22,000 miles
At 22,591 miles, I discovered the driver airbag, audio controls, horn, other electronics on steering wheel failed because of faulty clock spring. There is a recall notice for multiple VW models including my model and year, but the dealer and VW corporate told me my vehicle's VIN doesn't qualify for the recall. Here is the link to VW recall information regarding this issue: this is dangerous, someone could get killed. How can this fail at only 22K miles and be normal wear and tear? it is obvious my VIN number should be included in this recall. I have contacted mark gillies 703-364-7104 who is listed on the VW site. They still refuse to issue a recall for this VIN.

- Rutherford, NJ, USA

problem #93

Aug 082016


  • 75,000 miles
My vehicle will cut off at random times while driving and steering locks up, also my alarm will make the sound to disarm the vehicle when driving I have to pull over shut down car and disarm it and start again. While at a stop light the vehicles RPM will raise and go down raise and go down until car just shuts off. I was pulling into my parking stall and car shut off and locked up I had to hit the brake and re start the car to pull in safely or it would have ran into the carport. On this date the car shut itself off in motion 2 times and it cut off with brake on at a light 3 times

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #92

Jan 152016


  • miles


My horn does not consistently work. When I'm driving it only works sometimes due to believed to be faulty electrical. My door locks do not engage. A noise sounds but they do not engage causing safety issue. My wiper blades do not always work correctly nor do they spray wiper spray causing visibility issues. My electrical system is faulty causing one door to stay unlocked unless locked with key. My alarm system does not work. My driver side window does not properly work and will stop in the down position. The same door is having locking issue. There is known recall for other 2011 models on electrical system. I called VW and they said my VIN was not affected by the recall. I'm having the same issues as other Jetta owners with same year make and model and with active recall but VW refuses to fix my car. I could get into accident due to faulty horn, faulty door locks, faulty visibility and wipers that do not work properly. My electrical system is clearly faulty if all of these issues are failing at once. I took my vehicle to Firestone and they said faulty computer issues need to be fixed by VW. The vehicle is only 5 years old.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #91

Jul 242016


  • 102,300 miles
I got into my car after filling the fuel tank and the the car started fine, but the radio is suddenly gone blank. Radio does not work. The vehicle was stationary. The radio was working just fine prior to my stop for fuel.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #90

Jul 052016


  • 75,000 miles
My boyfriend and I drove to get dinner. On the way there my radio was fine we were singing and laughing. We get to the restaurant and I turn my car off and there were these little buzzing sounds, didn't think anything of it. It was a hot day cars make sounds. After diner getting in the car and getting ready to start driving I realize I can't play music! I always use the aux cord. At first I thought it was my phone then I looked up and seen that my touch screen was black.... then I just thought it was turned off so I tired pushing the power button... nothing. So on the way home my boyfriend looked up the fuses got the chart, and we pulled it out and it was perfect no nothing. Then I immediately got on the internet and started reading. No only did I find that similar models and previous years have had the same problem, but in a few months it leads to dead batteries, and the possibly that's your car is not reliable and it should be with an easy fix. I also found that the type of radio is very hard to find, I couldn't find it in VW parts and replacements, but instead finding earlier, and more update versions!

- Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

problem #89

May 092016


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled and the battery warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing, but no failure could be determined or duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 11V196000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 36,000.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #88

Jul 062016


  • 60,000 miles


The radio is completely dead. I have checked all applicable fuses, none of them are blown.

- Bend, OR, USA

problem #87

Feb 042016

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Fuse box with blown fuses. Unable to replace fuses without diagram. VW dealer states I need to bring car in and pay for diagnostic test which totals over $100 that I cannot afford. I am able to change fuses myself that are blown but need to know what the fuse is for and this is what VW dealer told me I have to do, get test from VW dealer or pay for a diagram. I feel this is wrong, as long as I have been driving, all fuse boxes will have a diagram of fuses so individual can change fuse themselves. How can I resolve this issue for diagram without costing me over $100. I will await your reply. Noticed my cigarette lighter and phone charge was not working. Did not notice when car was purchased. Changed a 20 amp fuse that was blown, that took care of cigarette lighter and charger, but now my horn does not work. That is why I am asking on advise on how to resolve situation. Thank you

- Carson, CA, USA

problem #86

May 162016


  • 44,000 miles
Horn quit working completely as well as honk when alarm is activated. Also when alarm goes off there's no sound. This is not an isolated incident. I have discovered many cases online where owners experience same safety concern. I called VW and they refuse to fix nor do they confess a safety concern even with obvious multiple jett's of same year having the exact safety issue. Will it take a few dozen road side deaths for VW to do the right thing and fix these safety issues? horn fails when car is in motion or stationary. No blown fuses, and the relay clicks when the horn is depressed on the steering wheel. We've called 2 VW dealers who refused to fix but they offered to charge us to tell us what we already know being its not an isolated incident. We also called VW customer service about the issue and they wouldn't tell me how many owners have to drive unsafe vehicles before VW acts. Some owners had their jett's with the same problem fixed under nthsa 11V19600 but we were refused assistance so this seems to be selective safety corrections.

- Cheney, WA, USA

problem #85

Jun 252016


  • miles
Vehicle driven earlier in the day without any issues. Later in the day, I was unable to turn the key while in ignition to turn on the vehicle. Towed it to nearby Volkswagen dealer and diagnosis proved that ignition lock and cylinder have failed without any explanation of what could of caused it. Searched online and discovered that there are numerous owners of 2011 and up experiencing the same issue. Currently, my vehicle has 76,000 miles.

- Kentwood, MI, USA

problem #84

Apr 152016


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle inadvertently stalled without warning. The contact coasted the vehicle over to the side of the road and was restarted. The failure recurred three times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed, but a failure could not be found. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 96,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #83

Jan 022016


  • miles
The radio loud popping went dead. Turns on by itself sometimes about 1 time every 2 weeks or so. Loud popping statled while driving.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #82

Dec 012013


  • miles
I began experiencing issues with the anti-theft/locking system about late 2013/ early 2014. The locking system malfunctions and the doors do not lock, but also while driving the locks continuously click while trying to engage. I spoke to my local VW dealership via phone on multiple occasions and received multiple answers, but ultimately was told the cost would be around $500-600 dollars to repair, out of my pocket. I was unaware of the recall information at that time and could not afford this at this time. Then, in late December of 2015 my horn suddenly, without warning, stopped working as well. I did research and found that both issues were probably related to the recall number: 11V196000 recall date: 03/29/2011. I spoke to VW customer care and was informed of other recalls as well. I took my car to the VW dealership to have all recalls performed and was reassured that this particular issue with the horn and anti-theft would be examined, along with the other recalls. The horn/anti-theft issue were not addressed as stated. That same day I emailed the service lead with the recall information and was told that my VIN did not match this recall and that I would need to bring my vehicle in, again, for a diagnostic test and/or repair (services to be performed out of my pocket). According to the documentation provided by NHTSA campaign number: 11V196000 my vehicle is a match to the specific VIN associated with the recall. This is a serious issue, as I understand it has to do with the electrical system malfunctioning and could very well cause other parts of the vehicle to malfunction. According to the documentation not all vehicles in this recall were accounted for, and I believe my vehicle is part of the unaccounted vehicles.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #81

Jan 142012


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that the vehicle's horn and radio did not function, there was a burning odor, and the windows functioned independently. In addition, the vehicle felt as if it would lose power, the air bags were not functioning, and the exterior lights were malfunctioning. The epc and catalytic converter malfunction warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 93,000.

- Jacsonville, FL, USA

problem #80

Jan 012016


  • 76,300 miles
Windshield wipers are working intermittently in the cold weather... but as soon as it warms up or the vehicle is pulled into a garage... wipers begin to work as normal. Additionally, the vehicles horn is also doing the same thing. This problem seems to occur when the vehicle is stationary and/or moving in extreme cold weather. Vehicle did this 2 years ago (2/14/2014). VW dealership replaced horn and wiper switch. Problem is now occurring again intermittently. My vehicle was brought to a trusted VW mechanic today (1/5/2016) who diagnosed the vehicle with 3 different electrical trouble codes but found no problems with the horn or wipers individually. Through research online, I found found many similar stories with intermittent windshield wipers and horns in the cold on VW Jettas 2011 and later in articles and forums. My mechanic feels that there may be faulty wiring in these vehicles that with extreme cold conditions does not allow the full conduction of electricity to properly activate the windshield wipers and/or horn which can be a hazard while driving especially in adverse weather conditions. VW admits that there have been previous recalls to problems with malfunctioning windshield wipers and/or horns but my vehicle was not covered under the recall. Additionally, VW is refusing to admit that this is a larger problem then just my vehicle and is not willing to have the issue fully looked into.

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #79

Nov 302015


  • 55,000 miles
Ignition switch key lock solenoid (N376) problem. Hello, my wife's 2011 Jetta has a malfunctioning ignition lock cylinder. Perhaps the ignition switch key lock solenoid (N376)? normally the key should be locked in the ignition while the car is in D(drive). However, there appears to be a malfunction in the N376 (or other) which does not engage the locking solenoid. This allows for the key to be pulled out while in D. she was able to turn the car off and pull the keys out of the car while the car was still in D(drive), got out of the car and the car rolled back and hit a Porsche. Thankfully the car did not run over a child or other person. From brief research I see there have been multiple recalls on similar items, here is an article on one though not specifically on the 2011 Jetta.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

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