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:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,053 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 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #35

Jan 032011


  • 700 miles


My VW has had problems since a week after I bought it. While going 1500 RPM's around 15-25 mph my car chugs and stalls. I have brought it to VW 4 times, and a personal mechanic. Each time VW said there was a either a computer issue and that they have fixed it or said there was no issue. They completely reset my cars computer back to factory settings due to them saying that my car learned my driving style. This didn't help. Years later I am still having this problem. I have almost gotten in a few car accidents because of the stalling/chugging problem. I have an infant and can't have my family car causing such problems.

- Salinas , CA, USA

problem #34

Feb 092015


  • 89,000 miles
Traveling along at highway speed. Car sputtered and died. I was able to pull over and be towed to a repair shop. Apparently there is a well-known design flaw in the intercooler intake pipe on all Volkswagen tdi (diesel) engines since 2009 that causes moisture to develop in the intercooler intake pipe during cold weather. If enough moisture collects in this pipe, it will get channeled to the engine and be fed into the cylinders, causing the car to sputter and stall exactly as mine did - or to simply not start on cold days. Other side effects of this, are severe engine damage. VW is well aware of this issue, and has issued a tsb about it. "tsb# 21 11 06 / 2025464 frozen air charge cooler" and there is a repair part they have already designed - # cold weather ic kit 1K0-198-803-B... however, the part is only made available upon request and at owner expense if out of warranty. This is not a warranty issue; this is huge safety hazard and a design flaw that VW needs to correct for all owners. This situation also, apparently does not throw any codes to the vehicle computer, as there are no sensors of any type in this intercooler pipe. The only way to determine that this is the cause, it to put the vehicle up, and remove one end of this hose and see if water or 'sludge' drains out of it, and this pipe would probably be destroyed in any front-end collision, as it's far forward in the engine compartment. There is a ton of information about this all over the internet. Here is a link to just one of the articles I found after this happened to me.

- Pickerington, OH, USA

problem #33

Jan 152015


  • 59,000 miles
I have a 2011 VW Jetta tdi (diesel). After leaving my car parked for about a week, it would not start. The battery was fine, so I had it towed to the dealer, and was told that condensate had build up in my intercooler and air intake lines and frozen. The suggested repair was to replace the intercooler, and associated parts, but I had them thaw and drain the lines and took my car home. I am concerned because if the condensate built up in the lines and got into my engine I can potentially throw a rod causing severe engine damage. I asked the dealer about this and they said while unlikely, it could potentially happen. I'd like to know the prevalence of this in the 2011 Jetta tdi so I can make an informed decision about the future of my car.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #32

Jan 062015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles


Brought to dealer for a dpf light. Dealer diagnosed with a clogged particulate filter replaced under warranty. Picked up car drove about 5 miles and the glow plug light came on turned around and headed back to dealer car went into limp mode (on I93 rush hour traffic) shut car off in VW parking lot and tech could not get it to start again. Received a call next day with the hpfp failure news and the fragment went through the entire system. Dealer tested fuel and confirmed no gas in the 3/4 of a tank that is in the car currently.

- East Bridgewater, MA, USA

problem #31

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 #30

Dec 192014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
I was driving 40 mph and the car lost power and the glow plug light turn on and off then the car turned off and it didn't turn back on.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #29

Nov 302011

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 54 miles


This car stalls out as it slows down. It does not change to a lower gear in time when decelerating and stalls out. It will not stall out every time I slow down. I never know when it will stall. It's very random and I have stalled out in the middle of intersections and any situation slowing down. I brought this car back to the deal twice and they could not find anything wrong with it. I pleaded with them that the car is dangerous but they sent me packing. I am writing this because I do not want them to resell this car to someone, the car stalls out and they get injured. For four year, I have had to drive this car using either the manual shift, or put it into neutral when slowing down. I am returning the car today. Please don't let them resell this car. Also, sometimes the car will not shift into 6th gear. The driver side window will not stay up. I will roll it up and it will automatically room down like something is obstructing it.

- Las Vegas , NV, USA

problem #28

Nov 122014


  • 66,000 miles
While driving in a residential area, the Jetta tdi engine light began flashing and the engine started lugging. According to the dealer, this is due to a known defect with the intercooler hose that traps condensation in the system. When the condensation freezes, the engine is deprived of air. According to the forum post below, this issue is very widespread and can sometimes cause engine damage from hydrolock. If the car is moving at high speeds when this happens, it can be dangerous. VW is charging customers who are out of warranty over $1,000 to fix a known design flaw. A recall should be issued to protect customers from this problem. Forum describing the widespread nature of this issue;

- Mc Farland, WI, USA

problem #27

Apr 152014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Purchased this car new in 2011. VW fixed the fuel exhaust ports. Engine light came on again and dealer stated that the particulate filter and catalytic converter both needed to be replaced. Also warned that the fuel pump had serious issues. I had one year left to pay this car off, it had 90K miles on it and I had to turn it in. How can they get away with selling a brand new car for $28K to have it crap out with no repercussions like this?

- Townsend, MA, USA

problem #26

Sep 092014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
Driving vehicle on South bound I-5 going 60mph right outside of the Tacoma dome in far left lane when vehicle suddenly started flashing engine light and engine died at the same time. I had multiple vehicles screeching to a stop right on I-5 and honking at me, almost hitting me, barely missing me. I almost died. No shoulder to get off on. Engine light then went off. I sat in my car for several minutes crying, shaking and then tried starting car again. Car barely started, able to get off to the side of the road, but car was shaking and jumping to the side of the road. Larson's Volkswagen dealership is charging me $480 and says this happened due to "failure in ignition coil pack a" I almost died, why is there not a recall on this?

- Lacey, WA, USA

problem #25

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 #24

Aug 032010

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 15,000 miles
Shortly after purchasing the vehicle new we experienced issues with the vehicle stuttering when driving and at times shutting off completely as if it stalled (the vehicle is an automatic with the dsg transmission). We took the vehicle to the VW dealership under warranty but the tech could not replicate the problem and sent us on our way and told us to comeback if it kept occurring. The problem persisted and we took the vehicle to the service department again and they said the problem could not be found and once again sent us away and told us to come back if the problem kept occurring. The vehicle is now stuttering and stalling much more often and the warranty has run out. I called the VW hq they told me to take the vehicle in and have the tech look at it which has cost me $112 in which they once again found nothing and recommended I let the car warm up prior to driving. It is currently summer and the low temperatures are around 70 and the highs are 85+. in addition this is a modern vehicle and had I know I was going to need to let it warm up I would not have purchased it. This isn"T the 50"S. my wife and I now feel the vehicle is unsafe to drive due to the fact it stalls out at unpredictable times causing a loss of power steering, power brakes. If VW does not fix this issue I will be trading it in due to their disregard for safety of my family.

- Dover , DE, USA

problem #23

Aug 082014

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 54,000 miles
I was operating the car on a highway when the vehicle experienced a sudden reduction in power and the dash displayed a flashing glow plug light and solid check engine warning lights. I immediately pulled to the side of the road where the engine was shut off. The engine failed to restart and was towed to a Volkswagen dealership. The service manager told me that the cause was a catastrophic failure of the (hpfp); it totally came apart and distributed metal throughout the fuel system. Injector pump (diesel), injectors, injector lines, primary fuel lines, and primary fuel pump. The car only has 54,000 miles on it.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #22

Aug 082014

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 54,000 miles
While driving the engine light came on and the car lost power. We were on a rural road so we could pull to the side of the road safely, if this had happened on a freeway we could have been in danger of being rear ended. Once stopped the care would not restart. Had to be towed to VW dealer. The high pressure fuel pump had failed.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #21

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 #20

Apr 252014

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 127,754 miles
Went to pass a vehicle and I felt a surge then a siren sound started coming from the right side of engine. Was told by dealership it was a vacuum issue and it was safe to drive. When I got to dealership they told me it was a blown turbo. Wondering if this is tied to the incident I had with the high pressure fuel pump failing around 100K. Too many major catastrophic issues with this car. I've been quoted 15,000 for repairs on a car I'm still making payments on and only cost 28K to begin with.

- Woodbine, MD, USA

problem #19

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 #18

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 #17

Nov 012013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 124,000 miles
My 2011 Volkswagen Jetta tdi started to sputter when accelerating, I brought it the dealer and they found shards of metal in the fuel system. Hpfp (high pressure fuel pump) had failed. The quote to fix was $6875 to fix a two year old car. Very un happy.

- Norton , MA, USA

problem #16

Jan 172014

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 48,074 miles
The effected car was a diesel model 2011 Volkswagen Jetta tdi sedan with 48,074 miles on the odometer at the time of the incident. While traveling at approximately 40 mph in normal driving conditions, the vehicle experienced a sudden reduction in power and displayed a flashing glow plug light and solid check engine warning lights. The vehicle was immediately pulled to the side of the road where the engine was shut off. The engine failed to restart and was towed to a Volkswagen dealership service department. The Volkswagen dealer determined that a catastrophic failure of the vehicle's high pressure fuel pump (hpfp) had occurred. The dealer found that extensive damage to the entire fuel system had resulted from the failure, causing internal metal debris contamination that required substantial repairs. The total cost of repairs were reported by the dealership to equal $6,500.

- La Crescenta, CA, USA

Read the next 15 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?