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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,690 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

problem #18

Jan 042016


  • 67,000 miles


Im experiencing a lot of problems with my car. First of all the lights don't always work they would turn on and off on their own until finally stopped completely. The next problem it has waiting at a stop light it looses power and shakes and stalls. Then I started experiencing the same problem while driving one time I was pulling into my driveway the car cut off and steering wheel locked thankful I was not on the freeway at the time. Then again on the freeway in rush hour traffic I was lucky enough to get over and pull off before it stalled the car putting and I was giving gas but car did not want to go it was not gaining speed it was on the verge of stalling. This is a safety issue its my only vehicle I'm afraid of it cutting off and stalling while driving and a accident occurring. The car stalling is while driving and with foot on the brake or in park. It also has a problem while in park and foot on brake the cars RPM rave on their own.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #17

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 #16

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 #15

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 #14

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 #13

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 #12

Jun 142014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 15,900 miles


Car would not accelerate properly, requiring the pedal to be completely depressed to achieve any acceleration even to low speeds. At this point, a brake warning light appeared for the first time. Vehicle was brought to dealer, jim ellis VW in the atlanta area who tested the model and determined the ABS module had failed. After replacing the ABS module the brakes locked during a test drive by the service staff. Subsequently the brake booster and brake master cylinder were replaced. Owner believes that this early failure of so many components on a newer, very low mileage vehicle likely represents manufacturing defect and could have resulted in serious injury.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #11

Mar 272014

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 65,000 miles
I was cruising at 60 mph this morning when the glow-plug warning light began to flash and the cruise control was shut off immediately causing an unexpected deceleration. I pulled into the emergency lane and the engine shut off once I came to a stop. The engine would not restart and the glow-plug light was joined with the check engine light. I had it towed to my mechanic who read the computer codes as "low fuel pressure to the injectors". he looked into the fuel filter and found metal shaving. He stated those shaving point to a complete failure of the high pressure fuel pump (hpfp). I owned this car for only two weeks and, based on Volkswagen's reputation and the reputation of the tdi diesel engine I expected to own this car for years. The repair costs are now estimated to be half the purchase price I paid less than a month ago.

- Locust Grove, GA, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Feb 262014


  • 169,000 miles
I was driving down the interstate at 70mph when my engine control light came on. I lost all power in the car. Once I let go of the pedal, the car began to stall. While pushing the gas pedal completely, I couldn't go any faster than 60mph. Once I got off at an exit and had to come to a stop, the car completely stalled and would not start again. The high pressure fuel pump had apparently failed.I had to have it towed to VW to be diagnosed and they state it is the high pressure fuel pump, and that this is a known issue. While I was still at the VW service center in ocala, I called VW usa, who claims they are not having any problems with these pumps and asked where I got this information. I had to demand to speak with a supervisor which they would not let me talk too. The rep put me on hold to speak with them. Finally she came back and said she was just made aware of something that I need to go to the service manager and speak with him. I did so and he said that he is putting in a special request for customers that are out of warranty. I now have been waiting 3 days with no response. The service manager has been very helpful and kind in attempting to resolve this issue, so the issue is not with them. The issue is that I am able to search the internet and find in a multitude of sites, where these vehicles are having this issue, yet I am still waiting after 3 days to get my vehicle repaired. I did not put any regular gasoline in my vehicle. I am a die hard diesel customer and know better. I am also able to view the open investigation through this site which includes my 2011 VW Jetta tdi. A co-worker of mine also just had this exact problem with his 2012 VW Jetta tdi, with similar mileage, and even had a second failure, both of which VW covered at no cost to the customer, I am beginning to grow extremely frustrated with this situation I would like it resolved.

- Homosassa, FL, USA

problem #8

Nov 072013


  • 14,580 miles


During mid motion, with foot on the gas, the vehicle died in the middle of the intersection. No warning indications appeared on the dash. The speed of travel was approximately 35mph. The car was towed by aaa. Service at VW has yielded inconclusive results. There are numerous forums on edmunds detailing and accounting this seemingly ubiquitous and potentially fatal flaw. As it stands, VW is persistent in there stance to do nothing about it. They refuse to issue a refund or exchange on certified cars. This particular model in which I write about, was on its first day off of the lot, as a certified pre-owned vehicle. VW refuses any such possibility of return, even on account of possible safety concerns, and despite the accumulative reports others have made documenting this exact flaw, without any known way of remedying on VW's part.

- North Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 182013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 37,000 miles
I was passing a semi and needed to accelerate to get out of the way of car to my rear...depressed the accelerator and no response. Two days later experienced similar event at low speed (30 mph).

- Birmingham, IA, USA

problem #6

May 312011

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 1,500 miles
Upon acceleration the vehicle had a tendency to stall or when accelerating to pass. This has been an ongoing scenario, however it does not happen all the time. We have taken it to the dealership several times, and were told that their machine does not show any defective parts. What is frustrating is when you want to blend into traffic the car might stall, so you have to be extra careful that this does not happen. I have to pump on the pedal to get the car going again. I am also very worried that this could happen when my wife is driving, actually this did happen when my wife was leaving the dealership. She turned right back and the vehicle was put on the machine and again everything was suppose to be fine. I did tell the service manager that it was very possible that the car was going back to the dealership in pieces.

- Las Cruces, NM, USA

problem #5

Jul 152012


  • 11,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph and approached a traffic stop to make a turn. The contact applied the brakes to a complete stop and when the brake was released, the vehicle abnormally accelerates to 70 mph. The brake warning indicator illuminated intermittently with a loud chime sounding inside of the vehicle. The brake pedal was depressed and the vehicle reduced speed before resuming normally. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who was unable to locate the malfunction. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 11,000.

- Rogers , AR, USA

problem #4

Feb 012011

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 600 miles
I have experienced dramatic hesitation while, from slow speed, trying to accelerate quickly onto a main road with heavy traffic. The dsg cannot figure out which gear it needs to be in and either hesitates or goes into what seems to be neutral, the engine high reves. The Jetta just comes to a stand still in the middle of the road as the computer tries to decide what gear it needs to be in.the hesitation is pronounced enough that I fear I wouldn't be able to get out of someone?S way if I had to. This is most definitely a safety concern. I work in the boston area and you need to be able to get into fast moving traffic quickly. This happens on a daily basis and has been happening since I purchased the car in January of 11. I have reported this to the dealer numerous times and they said they are aware of the problem. One of the service advisor's stated that this is a known problem.

- Swansea, MA, USA

problem #3

Jul 212011

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 50 miles
While entering freeway have to depress accelerator peddle 1/4 to 3/4 of the way down before acceleration begins. From stop and merging into traffic have to depress accelerator 1/4 to 3/4 of the way down before acceleration. Entering freeway or fast starts, accelerates then dies off then goes again. On hill starts it sometimes rolls back as if it is in neutral. These are intermittent problems at varying degrees of severity.

- Paradise, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 162010


  • 10 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated there are times when the accelerator pedal was engaged, but the vehicle does not accelerate immediately. The failure occurred intermittently. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer three times and was told the failure could not be duplicated. The failure mileage was 10 and the current mileage was 10,276. Updated 10/18/11 updated 3/27/12

- Auburn, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 152011


  • 6,000 miles
With the speed control engaged and while pressing the deceleration switch on the turn signal arm to slow the vehicle down, the speed unexpectedly increases. Each press of the deceleration switch normally causes the speed to be reduced by 1 mile per hour. The first few presses cause the vehicle to decelerate as it should, but occasionally on the third or fourth press the speed jumps back up by 2 or 3 mile per hour. Sometimes it corrects itself and sometimes it keeps repeating the pattern.

- Severna Park, MD, USA

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