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

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2011 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #55

Dec 122016


  • 96,000 miles


Car shuddered and lost power to accelerate. Epc light and check engine flash - same as last time.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #54

Jan 202015


  • 74,740 miles
Car shuddered and lost power to speed up while driving on the freeway. I had to exit as fast as possible.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #53

Sep 062016

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 50,000 miles
2011 VW Jetta tdi failed while driving on highway. As car slowed due to traffic, the coil (glow plug?) light came on. When car came to complete stop due to traffic, engine light came on and the car stopped and would not restart. There was no time for me to move to the side of the highway due to traffic congestion so I was stranded in the middle of the freeway. Waiting for ca highway patrol for help, traffic cleared and I was subsequently hit by a car moving at freeway speeds and sustained injuries (ribs, back and neck injuries, and concussion) online, there are numerous reports of other VW cars that experienced the exact same issue (coil/glow plug light, then engine failure). This happened to me on a freeway and the rear-end collision I was subjected to due to car failure could have been fatal. Since this is happening to other VW cars, I believe this needs to be investigated to prevent fatalities. Thank you!

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #52

Aug 292016


  • miles


I left work to pick up my children 3 times in a short trip the car cut off, it seems as if you don't give gas the car will stall and quit. I have started trying to hold the brake and give gas to prevent from it cutting off at stop lights, the car will also cut off in motion if not given gas. I can't file a complaint everyday but not one day goes by that my car don't cut off

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #51

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 #50

Mar 262016


  • 73,000 miles
High pressure fuel pump breakdown littered the diesel injection system with metal particles. At least the following were damaged, according to Volkswagen fuel pump has metal in it intake fuel pump high pressure pump auxillary fuel pump fuel lines 4 injectors fuel rail w/sensors this is a $6,500 fix and there is an astronomical failure rate that is greater than 1%. I believe that this problem should be revisited.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #49

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 #48

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

problem #47

Nov 012015


  • 60,000 miles
Car shakes when driving to the point we have to pull over turn the car off and restart it. The check engine light comes on and goes off as it pleases as does the epc light. Car won't accelerate while shaking.

- Mount Laurel, NJ, USA

problem #46

Nov 112015


  • 35,000 miles
While driving straight on a city highway, the car stalled, and would not restart. This happened in moderate traffic, but we were able to coast out of the road and into a parking lot. The dealer where we bought the car analyzed the fuel system, and ruled that out. He found a bad fuse related to the fuel pump, and claims at this time that it is probably an electrical issue. At this time, the exact cause remains unknown. This is the third time that we've had the same problem, though the previous two times the dealers claimed that it was a fuel system issue.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #45

Jun 012015


  • 108,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that when the ignition was turned to the on position, the check engine warning indicator illuminated continuously. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the dpf filter failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 108,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #44

Feb 012013


  • 38,875 miles
38,875 miles - total collapse of the fuel line due to an internal failure of the tank fuel pump (hpfp). VW dealer inspected and found metal in the fuel system. VW dealer tested the fuel in my tank and it showed clean diesel fuel with no contaminants. VW paid dealer to replaced fuel system components & cleaned tank, unit in tank & hard lines. Adapted injectors, bleed fuel by stem and tested. I've retained records, communication, and sample of gas in tank at time of collapse. One problem after another with vehicle.

- Santa Rosa Beach, FL, USA

problem #43

Aug 142015


  • 52,000 miles
Manual transmission tdi sportwagen. Driving 30 mph in 4th gear. Flashing glow plug warning light went on. Vehicle lost power and speed. Attempted to downshift. Engine immediately shut off and RPM went immediately to 0. lost power steering and brakes. Did not have enough speed to bring vehicle to curb. Vehicle stopped at intersection and had to be towed. Dealer diagnosed as hpfp failure.

- Centerport, NY, USA

problem #42

Mar 122014


  • 12,000 miles
I purchased the Jetta used from carmax in nashville, tn in 2014. It began having safety issues on March 2014. Randomly, my car will just stop while driving down the road, or after accelerating from a stopped position when moving on from a stop sign or stop light. I can be driving anywhere from 15 mph to 50 mph, and all systems shut down. The battery light goes on, the steering locks, and the brakes lock. I always panic, put the car in neutral and have luckily managed to veer off to the side of a road and stop, shut the car off, and turn it back on again. Eurofix tried to manage the problem by replacing the crank sensor and cam shaft. But he problem came back, much worse. The second problem is now I cannot unlock my drivers side door with my magnetic key or by sticking the actual key in the lock. I see that another recall has been announced for the 2011 Jetta that is not pulling up via my VIN number, but I believe it might be my car's issue: Online, ate that in March 29, 2011 (published by NHTSA) in which an issue with "an electrical wiring and fuse layout where the converter box is protected by the same fuse used by the signal horn and the anti-they alarm system. Should that fuse be blown, , the converter will be disconnected from the power supply which in turn will shut off applications such as the engine management system, lighting system, and wipers"......"should this happen while the vehicle is being driven, the engine could stall or the headlights or wipers could turn off unexpectedly, potentially leading to a crash without warning." Please help me!!!!!!! what do I do. What will remedy this situation so I don't get killed or kill others. I't gonna happen....then my family will file a lawsuit. I need guidance and for this car to be fixed/traded out.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #41

Jan 202015


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving at 65 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact merged to the right side of the road and restarted the vehicle. The failure recurred three times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the number two and three fuel injectors were faulty and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Shillington, PA, USA

problem #40

Jul 092015


  • 46,674 miles
I was driving to work, which includes crossing a toll bridge daily. I was on the bridge, which is only a 2 lane bridge, when all of a sudden my diesel engine failure light began to flash. I lost acceleration and was able to pull off to the shoulder safely and turn off the car. I sat there for a few minutes contemplating if I should call aaa to get a tow to the dealer. Seeing as I was only about 5 miles from the VW dealer, I decided to see if my car will make it there. It started back up no problem and I was able to accelerate back into traffic and make it to the dealer with no further issues. I explained the problem to the service rep. And they checked in my car and I waited for them to call me with the issue. Later in the day, I received the call from the service rep., and he informed me that the high pressure fuel pump failed, and they will have to rebuild the fuel system, as there were metal particles found in the gas and gas lines. He said this sometimes happens when a customer may use biodiesel fuel or a lower grade of diesel. He also said that they would have to send the gas samples off to VW lab to review in order for the repairs to be approved since I have the extended warranty. I am shocked that this occured, seeing as my car is only 4 years old and less than 50K miles on it. Thankfully, there was not an accident and no one was hurt.

- Pinole, CA, USA

problem #39

Aug 042014


  • 53,000 miles
My car started shaking violently as I was driving. My check engine light came on along with my epc light. The car felt like it was going to breakdown on the interstate. I pulled over and turned the car off then turned it back on and it was fine. I drove a little ways down the road and the same thing happened, so I took it to a dealership and they stated L had a bad ignition coil with the codes 351,300,301,304,130. They replaced the part and almost exactly a year later 7/6/2015 I'm having the exact same problem.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #38

Mar 182015


  • 38,414 miles
The car loses power, stalls then it dies. At times it speeds up, and stalls dies without warning. Loses all power, found recall in reference to this issue. VIN# matches series, matches date, and place where the car was made, except for the last few digits. Recall 11V19600, and VW will not replace harness to electrcial fuse and circuit breaker. I need to help to get this resolved. I have been battling the dealer and VW of America since 03/20/2015 until today 06/26/2015

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #37

Jul 152014


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving at 50 mph, the vehicle suddenly lost power and was unable to be driven. The glow plug light illuminated prior to the failure. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer several times and was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 35,000.

- Sun Valley, ID, USA

problem #36

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

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