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:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,669 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2011 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Sep 242016


  • 40,000 miles


Both low beam lights went out at the same time. Checked all fuses none burnt. Changed the bulbs still out.

- Thibodaux, LA, USA

problem #27

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 #26

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 #25

Jun 152015


  • miles


My VW Jetta blows white smoke on start up. It fills my garage with white smoke.

- Wampum, PA, USA

problem #24

Feb 232016


  • miles
Since 2012 I have had to replace all exterior lights including break and tail lights. My head lights have been replaced at least at 8 times over the past two years or so. VW claims there is nothing wrong and its my fault because I am not replacing them with their brand and buying them elsewhere.

- Middleburg Hts, OH, USA

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problem #23

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 #22

Oct 302015


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that while driving at night, the front driver and passenger side exterior head lights and the rear driver side tail light became inoperable as the lights out error message displayed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #21

Oct 262015


  • 70,000 miles
I have owned a 2011 Jetta since it was released and this vehicle has had to hvae the headlights replaced multiple times over the last several months no matter what side or brand of bulb and there is no indication as to why.

- Smyrna, TN, USA

problem #20

Jul 302015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 72,300 miles
Random exterior lights were non-functional with multiple dashboard notification errors. Took vehicle in for service and was told that a bad fuse had shorted out and melted the fuse box causing the problem. Fuse box must be replaced due to overheating of bad fuse. Repair place said this is a known problem with Volkswagen and certain models had already been issued a recall.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #19

Jun 012015


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving approximately 70 mph, the bulb failure warning indicator illuminated sporadically indicating that the external lights were failing. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the fuse panel had thermally overheated, melted, and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Powderly, TX, USA

problem #18

May 012015


  • 114,000 miles


I was having trouble with various light bulbs going out. It turned out to be a fuse that had melted the fuse plate. I am lucky that it had not started a fire. My dealer replaced the fuse plate at a cost of 372 which VW is refusing to reimburse me for. I know other VW models have had the exact same problem and have been recalled. This is a serious safety issue and should be recalled as soon as possible. Loosing your headlights at night or a vehicle fire are serious safety issues.

- Northborough, MA, USA

problem #17

Jan 052015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
I was on route 95 in Florida driving at night and a car had cut in front of me I honk my horn and then both of my headlights blew. I had to put flashers on and get off next exit to find a auto parts store where they change both headlight bulbs. I then checked for recalls on my car found out that the horn was faulty and that it could cause electronic malfunction and shut engine off. Headlights are working now but my horn does not work. Contacted VW about recall and they said that since I had high mileage. That I had no warranty on the vehicle and that I would be responsible for the repairs.

- Lauderhill, FL, USA

problem #16

Dec 012014


  • 46,000 miles
Right side headlight stopped working. I took it to an independent mechanic who changed the light bulb. One day later, the right side headlight stopped working again.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #15

Dec 302014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • miles
Exterior lights kept going out - first the front left low beam and then the high beam, then the right side front lights, then rear brake lights - right, then left. Problem diagnosed as a fuse plate - "found 30amp fuse that controls lights that are out is melted and blown" know this was part of a recall for other VIN #S for the 2011 Jetta but believe the part was flawed/had a defect and VW won't stand behind their product.

- Barkhamsted, CT, USA

problem #14

Dec 012012


  • 27,000 miles
I purchased a used 2011 Volkswagen Jetta in July 2012 with approximately 20,000 miles. 6 months later I noticed that one of the front headlights was out. I looked up the replacement bulb and purchased a H7 halogen bulb for approximately $25. A few more months down the road the other headlight went out, again, I purchased the replacement bulb at price point of $25. Since then I have replaced each headlight at least two more times. With that said, I am now coming to the conclusion that there has to be an electrical problem with the Jettas headlights. I've noticed other Jetta's on the road with headlights out as well. In most cars lights last at least year or more. I recall in a previous vehicle I replacement the lights once and that was after 3 maybe 4 years, and these were all day running lights. The cost to take the car to the dealership would be $149 and that is just to look at the car. That would be unfair for me to pay $149 every time the light goes out because of an electrical issue I have no control over.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #13

Dec 112014


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving approximately 50 mph, the headlights and brake lights failed to illuminate. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The contact diagnosed that a fuse melted and damaged the fuse box. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V569000 (electrical system, exterior lighting). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Mullens, WV, USA

problem #12

Dec 102014


  • 37,000 miles
Headlights, brake lights, turn signals and license plate lights all went out at the same time while driving at night with a toddler in the car. Numerous warnings flashed on the car. Tracked down the problem to a melted fuse connection on the fuse plate in the engine compartment, next to the battery. The fuse (F16) was also melted. I replaced the fuse and everything is now working, but since the plate is still melted, I'm concerned the issue will reoccur. I called VW and apparently there is a service action (97am) to fix this exact issue for Jetta sedans and gtis but not Jetta sportwagens. Since I'm having the same issue, I believe that this service action should be extended to 2011 Jetta sportwagens as well.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #11

Sep 112014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 81,393 miles
Turned my vehicle on and heard the radio pop and has been useless ever since. The radio in this vehicle controls everything. I have talked to vwoa and several other VW repair shops and they have told me this is not their problem and I must pay for diagnostics and repair myself. I am very displeased with the quality of parts and service in this vehicle. Also the way everyone seems to know what the problem is but lies about it really gets on my nerves. Its not right that a multi billion dollar company can continue to do this to people legally. I hope that there are good people at your organization that can make this right. I have found so many different websites, blogs, forums. And disappointed people that have this same problem. I have included just a few of the ones I have found with hundreds of thousands of complaints of the same issue. Thank you for taking the time to listen."5801721-rcd-510-just-stopped-working"45226-help-radio-and-cig-outlets-stopped-working-2011-tdi

- Beaver Falls, PA, USA

problem #10

Oct 112014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
My external light malfunction indicator went on. I stopped and saw that the left running light and the right low beam light were out. I turned the car back on 2 hours later the indicator was off and all the lights were working. Today I got the warning again and it cycled through to show multiple external lights needing replacement. It appears this is the melted fuse box issue. I see there has been a recall on some vws. Is the 2011 Jetta tdi recalled for this?

- Yreka, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 302014


  • 35,000 miles
This complaint is for the 2011 VW Jetta sportwagon tdi. There is a manufacture defect that caused the fuse box under the hood to melt. This caused most of the lights on the exterior to fail, which included the headlights, taillights, brake-lights, ect. There were recalls on similar models, but not this specific car. There needs to be a recall on this car to prevent potential injuries.

- Houston, TX, USA

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