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:
36,877 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2011 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #62

Oct 032013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 96,855 miles


Brought to dealer to diagnose service engine light, code P191, and once P087. I get diesel at the same station whenever possible. These errors started occurring shortly after getting a full tank of diesel at a different station. Dealer concluded that high pressure fuel pump failure was imminent. Engine stalled on the way home and failed to restart. Fuel system was replaced. Car again works satisfactorily. How much life (miles) can I expect this time around" are there any proven preventive measures"

- Monroe, NY, USA

problem #61

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

problem #60

Nov 202013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 28,400 miles
Drive home from work at about 1500 hrs, with no issues. Stopped at local supermarket, started engine with slight delay, left parking lot, car started to buck, drove maybe 1/2 mi started losing power, after going another 50 ft car engine died, pushed car to my driveway called dealership and had car towed to dealership. On 11/21/13 dealership informed me that hpfp had exploded sending metal shavings into engine, they asked me if I accidentally put gas and I responded with no. They stated that fuel may have been contaminated. Dealership is repairing car since it is still under warranty, said maybe 1 week in the shop. I was given a rental in the meantime.

- Waipahu, HI, USA

problem #59

Sep 112013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 45,125 miles


I was on my way home after work approximately 6-7 pm doing 45 mph. I looked down to my instrument cluster to check my speed to make sure I wasn't speeding. Then I saw the glow plug light blinking multiple times then about less than 5-10 seconds later my engine cut out. I cost off into a harper college parking lot came to a stop. I tried to start the car 2-3 times, each time the engine was crackin over but wouldn't start it up. I called the tow truck company and had the vehicle towed to VW dealer in schaumburg, il ( fox valley VW) dealer said the high pressure fuel pump failed. Vwoa cover this under power train warranty 5/60K warranty. The dealer replace hpfp, lift pump, pump in gas tank, fuel lines to engine, coils etc... repairs came to roughly $5300. Vwoa only give 12/12K miles warranty on the hpfp. This is a known problem on some VW with cjaa 2.0L turbo diesel engines and vwoa has not found the defect in the hpfp.vwoa should extend the hpfp to 100K miles due to deft in the hpfp since they haven't found the problem and corrected it.

- Volo, IL, USA

problem #58

Sep 042013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 23,800 miles
While driving I suddenly lost all power to the engine of my 2011 Jetta tdi. Under warranty I had my car towed to the VW dealership. I was told the entire fuel system was destroyed by the high pressure fuel pump, and it was possibly be due to the diesel I used, being dirty or otherwise contaminated. I had all my receipts for diesel fill-ups from the same station, and it was listed on the website as a location for diesel. The tank was supposedly emptied and filtered during the repair and I was not informed of contamination. On reading further I note that many tdi owners have had the same problem with no acknowledgement from VW that this is a fuel pump problem, not a customer misuse of diesel fuel. This is a potentially dangerous situation. I was starting out from a red light and was able to steer the car to the right lane and then the shoulder. The danger on a busy roadway could be lethal. Read and other Jetta owner blogs and note the exact same incidents occurring. With the exploding interest in diesel cars for fuel economy, this situation needs evaluation.

- Penngrove, CA, USA

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problem #57

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 #56

Jul 082013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 37,000 miles


The fuel pump in my car's 2.0 tdi diesel engine broke.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #55

Jul 082013


  • 26,000 miles
While driving on the freeway, the glow plug light began to flash and a "service engine now" indicator lit. At this time, the car entered limp mode and power was greatly reduced. I decided to drive straight to the dealer to drop it off. Over the next few minutes the car produced less and less power (a feeling akin to running out of gas, but there was still 1/2 tank of diesel in the car) until it died and would not restart. No other warnings, no other drivability cues, just a dead car on the freeway unable to be started or moved. This could have been extremely dangerous/possibly fatal had I not been lucky enough to force my way to the shoulder before the car completely gave out. So to sum up - one owner (purchased new) diesel Jetta; car maintained by dealer at appropriate intervals. Fueled at pretty much the same three stations for much of its life, never had a non-diesel pump anywhere near it; driving perfectly one minute, five minutes later, a dead car. It has been towed to the dealer today, from the symptoms it sounds like the notorious high pressure fuel pump (hpfp) has catastrophically failed.

- Hacienda Heights, CA, USA

problem #54

May 302013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 46,000 miles
I was driving along and the power dropped to almost nothing. Before I could get to a safe stopping point, the engine died. I had it towed to the dealership. They diagnosed it with a failed high pressure fuel pump(hpfp). If it had been out of warranty, it would have cost $6000 to repair. If this would have happened in the middle of a 4 lane expressway, I don't know what would have happened.

- Dacula, GA, USA

problem #53

Apr 202013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 64,500 miles
While driving in traffic the vehicle lost power. Before it could be pulled off the road to safety, the engine died completely. The passengers had to get out of the car and push it across the road and into a parking lot. The cause of the incident was a catastrophic failure of the high pressure fuel pump. Proper maintenance and fueling of the vehicle had been rigorously followed on this vehicle. The owner is a mechanical engineer and diesel engine enthusiast.

- Collierville, TN, USA

problem #52

Mar 242013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 720,000 miles


2011 VW Jetta diesel at 70 mph going up a hill and without warning the car lost power and speed dropped making it unsafe to have time to pull off the road. The cars behind me had to all slow way down to let me get off the road. The car would not restart. My mechanic could not start it and said it was a fuel problem but could not fix it. VW reported the car started for them and they ran off and found fault for low fuel pressure but no reason for the problem.

- Heber, UT, USA

problem #51

Jan 022012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 6,000 miles
Approximately a year ago, my engine began to give a clear sense of the car shuddering or rocking back and forth. While sometimes the feeling would occur even when stopped at a light, the vast majority of the time this occurred while I was driving at consistent low speeds. In almost all cases, I was attempting to maintain a consistent speed around either 13pmh or 30 mph. Eventually, I found the rocking motion very easy to reproduce. I'd set the car to 30 mph via cruise control and drive down a straight road with very slight upward and downward slopes. While it happens even on flat ground, I found that a slight decline is most likely to reproduce the feeling. My best guess is that there's something about the way the fuel supply system/transmission is trying to determine whether or not diesel needs to be supplied to the engine. The fuel supply system seems to almost cut out because giving diesel would produce a speed too high, and then it comes back on suddenly, because giving it no diesel would cause the car to slow too much. While sometimes this is simply a nuisance, I have had on many occasions felt that it was a genuine safety hazard since I couldn't predict how the engine would react. This in combination with overly strong engine break when letting off of the accelerator and delayed acceleration when stepping on the peddle that can cause inconsistencies and safety hazards when maneuvering in stop and go traffic on the highway. I've mentioned this problem every single time I've taken my car in for it's regularly scheduled maintenance. The vehicle has a diesel dsg engine, and as I've been told by service technicians and representatives, some of the things like strong engine breaking are associated with this type of engine. However, the car's rocking motion certainly goes beyond anything that could realistically be considered normal and safe.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #50

Dec 192012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 45,000 miles
I had just exited the highway, when the engine died at 35 mph. The car would not restart afterwards. The dealer indicated that the fuel system was contaminated with metal shavings. This appears to be another case of failure of the high pressure fuel pump with the 2.0 tdi engine. Only diesel fuel has *ever* been used in the vehicle. As per VW's tsb, the dealer tested the fuel and indicated that it was ok. VW covered the replacement of the entire fuel system under warranty. Otherwise, this would have cost approximately $10K.

- Carlisle, MA, USA

problem #49

Dec 102012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 30,000 miles
Tdi diesel Jetta with 30,000 miles by original owner was being driven 35 mph city secondary streets, vehicle abruptly lost power. Coasted to side of road. Police were called, they ascertained that location was safe enough until tow. Towed to dealer. Dealer said fuel pump had failed. Vehicle had been to dealer a few days before for 30,000 mile service. Diesel fuel almost always purchased at same 3 yr old busy station, and car was running on same tank of fuel as when it was serviced. There was no warning of problems, no hesitation, no loss of power, no warning lights before total shutdown of engine. On a freeway, this could have been very dangerous.

- Valley Center, CA, USA

problem #48

Oct 242012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 14,185 miles
Jetta tdi high-pressure fuel pump & fuel line blow-out; stalling of engine.

- Montgomery Village, MD, USA

problem #47

Oct 142012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 47,000 miles
Car engine stopped suddenly while driving. Drifted to side of road; car would not restart. Had to pay $250 for tow to dealer. Service person called to say there was metal in my fuel system/tank, but they didn't know what was wrong. He also accused me of putting the wrong gas in my car. I informed service person that it took 5 seconds on the internet to learn about the NHTSA investigation into the many high pressure fuel system failures that cause engine to stop running. Interestingly, he called back 2 hours later and acknowledged that fuel system and powertrain and other stuff need to be replaced. This is an unsafe car. I could have been going 65 on the freeway with a small child or other people in the car, all of whom could have been seriously injured when car suddenly looses all power and momentum. Many online complaint reports are for second failures, after repair. I do not trust the service dept. Of any Volkswagen dealer and have no confidence that the problem is eliminated. I am afraid to drive the car.

- Pacific Palisades, CA, USA

problem #46

Sep 182012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 40,812 miles
2011 Jetta tdi diesel - second occurrence of engine stall due to high pressure fuel pump (hpfp) failure while driving at 40 plus miles per hour. Car stalled and would not restart and had to be towed to dealer. This is the second time that this car has been towed due to a defective design which results in the high pressure pump failing sending debris throughout the system. NHTSA says in concluding statements dated 12/21/12 that (NHTSA recall no. 11V-490) ¿¿the action taken by Volkswagen is sufficient to resolve the issues raised by this investigation. I can assure you that the defect remains and is potentially a serious safety issues as the car suddenly stalls while in motion. As this is the second replacement of the fuel system the defect remains a problem and the consumer is exposed to not only safety issues but high costs in repair at $10,000+ if the car is not under warranty. The trend is continuing with 2012 tdis as well. Please force VW to address this issue as I now have an unsafe car.

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #45

Sep 222012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 21,173 miles
High pressure fuel pump failure confirmed by VW dealer. Was driving 35 mph when car began to lose power, engine malfunction light (yellow coils) lit up and car lost all power. Malfunction light went off and alternator and catalytic converter lights came on. Car could not be restarted and was taken directly to dealer on flatbed. Repairs are underway.

- Arcadia, CA, USA

problem #44

Sep 132012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 35,465 miles
Driving 55mph car began loosing power check engine and glow light indicator lights cam on immediately. Once arrived home we verified the car computer it returned that there was low pressure in fuel line and that the catalytic converter was failing. We had car towed to nearest dealership. After 4 days dealer stated fuel had traces of gasoline, this is not possible I have never put gas in my diesel car. I immediately began making phone calls and the fuel companies where fuel purchased for last 5 fuelings where requested. Last purchase from sheetz hagerstown I notified them what dealership was proposing the corporate office immediately contacted the dealership 'sharretts' and requested proof of their blame. Once I have made contact to sheetz and shell they inturn call dealership the dealer stated that there was metal shavings noted in addition to the fuelrail system failure. On third call today they were not sure it was covered and a fuel test was being sent out for official testing to determine the presence of gasoline contamination. After I threatened a lawyer they state will call corporate for direction and have rep review. VW has continuously lied to many owners that the diesel was contaminated when in fact it is not, this should not be allowed my car is only 1 year old purchased new with only 4 miles on it I have made all the scheduled maintenance checks and had 3 recalls fixed within 7 months of ownership. I demand an investigation and an extended warranty on these diesel motors this is not fair to the consumer.

- Keedysville, MD, USA

problem #43

Sep 112012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 19,900 miles
I was doing my 20K service (diesel fuel filter). When I opened the fuel filter housing I found metal shavings in, and on top of the fuel filter cartridge. I had the car towed right to a VW dealership knowing that there is a major issue, and ongoing investigation with the NHTSA on hpfp failures. VW agreed that they saw metal in the fuel and on the filter, and proceeded to tell me that this was "not abnormal". that every tdi car they service has metal bits in the filter. I am a ase master tech in a high volume local repair shop that deals in a very high volume of diesel repair service. Metal in fuel is not normal. There is only one place for the metal to come from, and that is the hpfp. VW put a new filter in the car and sent me on my way. I guess I have to wait for the car to stop dead in traffic and not restart to do anything about it.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

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