definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,813 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.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Nov 012015


  • 66,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle accelerated forward in a jerking motion without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be serviced per a recall related to the failure; however, the failure recurred. Also, a howling sound emitted from the engine and the oil and check engine warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer, but the failure was not diagnosed. In addition, the contact stated that the headlights became inoperable intermittently without warning. The contact also mentioned that the front driver seat independently readjusted and the steering wheel shook violently when the vehicle was driven. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the purge valve and the steering rack failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 66,000.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #23

Aug 032016


  • 39,540 miles
Key gets stuck in ignition when turning off the engine

- Andrews Afb, MD, USA

problem #22

Mar 052016


  • 43,000 miles
The vehicles engine would rev by its self with the pedal stuck to the floor and the clutch would not disengage during this leaving the vehicle accelerating on its own.

- Dyer, IN, USA

problem #21

Dec 252015


  • 42,000 miles


The car unintentionally accelerates and there seems to be an issue with the clutch disengaging at highway speeds. The car has 42K miles on it and the dealer wants a per-authorization signed of $1600 before they will look at the issue. Unsafe and insane!

- Dyer, IN, USA

problem #20

Mar 012014


  • 20,000 miles
There is a serious design flaw in the rear axle of this vehicle whereby road debris can strike the axle causing it to bend. I think the design flaw is two-fold. 1. the axle is placed in such a manner that it is totally unprotected from road debris. 2. the metal of the axle and trailing arms is not hardened to a strong enough degree to withstand debris strikes and subsequent stress. Driving at highway speeds, I ran over a 4-6" piece of two by four or possibly angle iron (not sure which). The object was kicked up by the front cowling. The object made multiple impact strikes under the car from front to back as evidenced by the markings left on the aluminum covered insulation that covers the undercarriage, ultimately striking the rear axle, causing it to bend. The bend in the axle is front-to-back. This is not from backing over any object (see campaign 14V656000). This is a serious design flaw and a serious safety issue. The rear axle and trailing arms are exposed to road debris and not of sufficient strength to withstand impact and subsequent stress on trailing arms. A thin piece of sheet metal is not sufficient to remedy this issue and is exposing american drivers to serious crash potential and death. You can also see china's investigation of this issue here: www.dpac.gov.cn/xwdt/gzdt/201509/W020150911606237827139.pdf and here: www.dpac.gov.cn/video_xinsuteng/

- Old Forge, NY, USA

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problem #19

Nov 082015


  • 47,890 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving at 65 mph, the electronic power control light illuminated and the vehicle began to slow down to 35 mph. The failure occurred twice. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the high pressure fuel pump failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not aware of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was approximately 47,890.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #18

Apr 012013

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


Since purchasing this vehicle new almost 3 years ago, it has very occasionally exhibited a hesitation during acceleration from a stop. It is a tdi version with the automated manual dsg transmission. Up till now, it has been impossible to induce on command, making it very difficult for the two dealerships that have examined it to identify the problem. Each time this has occurred, it seems to follow a very brief acceleration, as though you are starting to move into traffic and then back off the throttle for an instant before reapplying the throttle. As you step back into the throttle, there is no change in engine speed for about three seconds, regardless of pedal position - it just continues to idle until it finally responds normally. Since this usually occurs when making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic or merging from a driveway, the three seconds of delay during which you roll forward can be very dangerous.

- San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 152015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
Same problem as described in NHTSA action number: PE09035 and NHTSA recall campaign number:09V333000 car is currently at Volkswagen dealer awaiting a replacement megatronics unit to replace original unit. Vehicle would not accelerate after stopping at a traffic light. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #16

Jan 052015


  • 31,000 miles
The car, a 2012 VW Jetta SE, failed to respond to the reverse gear on 1/5/2015 and behaved as if the emergency brake was still engaged. The rear tires would not move and the reverse maneuver failed. The dealership was called and they recommended towing to their facility. This was accomplished on 1/9/2015 and to date there has been no resolution.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #15

Mar 102014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 27,000 miles
The vehicle tends to stutter, lurch, or hesitate at low speeds. This has caused several dangerous situations when attempting to accelerate into another lane or onto the road from a driveway. The dealer has informed me that this is normal behavior for thedsg transmission and there is no fix. An internet search shows that many other drivers have experienced this problem. I cannot believe that this is "normal" performance, and I am concerned about it.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #14

Nov 122013


  • 25,011 miles


After a new issue happened again in the same general area of the issue with my car that had been happening pretty much since purchasing the car. The noise that has been occurring now at this point, is still the same rumbling, throbbing noise (similar to a bearing going out or bad), but now is causing more and more issues such as the rattling noises coming from the engine through the A/C exhaust, which happens hear and there something I tell the dealership, but yet they tell me that can't do anything even I showed them the video. Well now I bring in my car to the VW dealership on another issue that had started happening on the same side as the original noise that has been progressively getting worse and seems to be affecting and causing new issues. This new issues occurs when reversing my car out without using brakes just my clutch, I turn my wheel all the way to the right and reverse out, to hear a wooooo noise they is loud and not normal, but yet here comes VW to tell me they could not repeat the issue, even though once again I had video as well as audio evidence of it, they would not help me. My miles are now higher and it really seems they don't care and treat me like I am crazy. I really think there is something truly wrong with my car because of these new noises occurring and getting worse.

- Lemon Grove, CA, USA

problem #13

Mar 202014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
When starting from a full stop in drive mode "D" I pressed the accelerator and the car responded with almost zero power to accelerate. It just rolled forward as though I wasn't pressing the accelerator at all moving 1 to 2 mph. After 5 seconds of pressing the accelerator and the RPM climbing slowly, it would achieve normal driving power. Even at speeds of 20-30mph the initial response upon hitting the accelerator was the same lagging response. Applying the gas pedal felt like starting from a stop with a manual transmission in 5th gear. I stopped the vehicle several times, even shutting off the car, without any change in the behavior during my 10 minute drive. After leaving the car off for half hour the problem didn't yet return.

- Easthampton, MA, USA

problem #12

Nov 182013


  • 51,000 miles
Leaving work I had started my car let the car idle down put it in drive and it slammed into gear after taking off the car shifted into 3rd gear and no higher after noticing this I pulled over put the car in park and tried shifting through the gears and it continued to slam into drive and reverse so I turned the vehicle off and started it back up at that point the mil was on and the service wrench was light up. Called me dealership they had the car towed to a Volkswagen dealership upon their diagnoses they said it could be a wiring issue possible a transmission control module issue upon further investigation the transmission control module had been warrantied previously (as I am the second owner of the car).

- Ticonderoga , NY, USA

problem #11

Oct 202013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 37,000 miles
The high pressure fuel pump failed and destroyed the entire fuel system of the car.

- Milford, NJ, USA

problem #10

Jul 312012

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
I was driving on the interstate on moderate traffic at about 35 mph when all of a sudden the car stalled and the steering wheel and brakes got really hard. I had to use the emergency brake to stop the car because the brakes wouldn't work. My Jetta has the automatic transmission and it was set on "manual with no clutch" when it happened. The thing is I wasn't even touching that when the car stalled. That first incident happened less than 2 weeks after I'd gotten the car fresh off the dealership. I didn't want to admit that there was something wrong with the car because I was excited to have a new car. I've owned the car for almost a year now and it has happened at least 7 other times. Now I realize this is very dangerous because when the car stalls the steering wheels gets very hard and it makes it almost impossible to move the steering wheel or use the brakes. I'm not happy.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #9

Feb 212013

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 3,645 miles
When making a broken U-turn in an attemp to enter a parking space, the vehicle got stuck in reverse and would not shift to park or drive. Because the vehicle was stuck in reverse, once the car was shut off, it was impossible to re-start. If this had happened in a busy intersection, the results could have been fatal. The two truck driver immediately recognized the issue as a frequent one with 2012 or 2013 VW Jettas. He said that the shift cable in these vehicles is unstable and can become loose, resulting in a complete loss of ability to shift the car from reverse to drive and vice versa. The technician at VW spent 5 minutes putting the shift cable back in place, which has solved the problem for now. This appears to be a design defect with VW Jettas and I would recommend that the Agency contact VW to find out what is being done to rectify the defect. I have contacted VW as well to inform them of this safety issue.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #8

Oct 012012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 15,000 miles
Volks 2012 Jetta tdi. At highway speed of approx 55-60 mph, with cruise control engaged, transmission seemed to come out of gear, engine revved and tachometer red-lined, vehicle began to slow, but obviously not loose power as evidenced by tachometer and high RPM's on engine. After tachometer red-lined, tachometer then began to drop and at about 5,000 RPM, transmission shifted a couple of times and then operation of vehicle was back to normal. Oddly, cruise did not have to be reset and seemed unaware of the event that had just occurred. Entire event occurred in the span of about 5 seconds. Took vehicle to dealer. Service documentation says "we scanned for faults and had a sporadic fault for gear shift control module. Performed test plan and found no problems. We cleared faults." Another service showed the error code with verbiage something to the effect of "lost communication with gear shift control module." Dealer would not replace gear shift control module and stated that if it happens again, return and they will replace. Clearly this is a safety issue, particularly when it occurs on a highway at highway speeds with congested highway traffic and clearly could have resulted in an accident.

- Old Forge, NY, USA

problem #7

Jun 012012


  • 47 miles
New volks Jetta 2012. Purchased new from volks dealership with approx. 40 miles on vehicle at time of purchase. Since day one and continuing through today with 12,000 miles on odometer, transmission lurches and jerks, either slipping in and out of gear or seemingly not able to figure out which gear to be in. Usually occurs while trying to maintain a constant speed. For example, while in school zone with 20 mph speed limit, car will lurch, jerk and shudder, sometimes violently with the symptoms described above. Additionally, when coming to a stop at a stop light for instance two conditions frequently present. 1. after coming to a complete stop, transmission is still in the process of downshifting. In other words, once completely stopped, you can feel the transmission still shifting down through the last couple of gears. 2. after coming to a complete stop at a light, when attempting to accelerate, car is not in gear and requires depression of gas peddle before car will engage in first gear. All of the above are dangerous situations. Dealer continues to insist that transmission is "learning" my driving habits.

- Old Forge, NY, USA

problem #6

Oct 032012


  • 81 miles
Picked up the car from the dealer on 10/03/12 at 11:00 a.M. it was new---had 47 miles on the odometer. Drove it to work and then arrived home at 6:45 that evening with odometer reading 81 miles. As I was parking the car in the garage I put it into reverse to back it into the spot and then switched the gear(this is a automatic transmission) to drive to straighten out. The car continued to move backwards in reverse and if I had not had my foot on the brake I would have crashed into the concrete wall of the garage. Tried to put the car back into drive--the gear shift was stuck in reverse. I turned off the car and of course, could not start it again because the car was in reverse. The electrical panel on the dashboard continued to read that the car was in park. Tow truck driver arrived and he had to manually pull the cable wire in the engine while the car was running to change gears and get the car to start. This is a very serious problem---the dealer and Volkswagen claim it has been fixed by simply tightening a clasp on the transmission cable. Why was the clasp loose? I maintain this is a design flaw. If I had been trying to make a U turn in traffic or park on the street the result could have been horrific.. I am petrified to drive the car again and the dealership and Volkswagen want to sweep this incident under the rug. Please investigate and prevent this from happening to someone else. Thank you

- Washington D.C., DC, USA

problem #5

Jul 192008

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 10 miles
The car will occasionally shutter upon acceleration.

- Chester, SC, USA

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