really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,194 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Oct 212014


  • 43,000 miles


I took my Jetta to get an oil change and the mechanic went to move my car in the bay and could not get it turned off. I had to have it moved to a Volkswagen dealer to what I thought was a faulty ignition and Volkswagen said a bad steering lock.

- West Linn, OR, USA

problem #24

Aug 162014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 46,448 miles
I purchased a 2012 Volkswagen in August 9, 2012. One week later after purchase, the car stopped in the middle of driving with no warning. I called hertz car sales where I purchased the car and to no avail the problem did not get resolved. I then noticed that the horn works at time and then doesn't work. I really shouldn't have to explain what a safety hazard the car can be if you can't alert another driver with your horn. I then did some research and found out that Volkswagen did a recall for the 2011 model but did not include the 2012 model which is obvious that the same problem exist. I called Volkswagen and found out that my car was manufactured 2/2012. If the same part was used in my car which is showing the exact same malfunctioned parts that were recalled in 2011. It is more than likely that the earlier 2012 models had the same problem as the 2011 problem. I used this car to get myself and my son back and forth to dr.'s appointments, school and other daily errands. I consider the car to be a hazard with the horn malfunctioning and the car stopping I the middle of driving.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #23

Sep 182014


  • 56,500 miles
While pulling into intersection, ignition quit. Tow truck driver restarted vehicle. Dealer found fault with electronic ignition. Replaced ignition switch.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #22

Jul 152014


  • 43,000 miles


I own a 2012, Jetta, tdi. The dealer had to change the horn. The dealership advised me that they change so many of these defective horns that they stock them. As a law enforcement officer I feel this is a safety issue. It makes me wonder now if there other life-threatening problems with the vehicle they haven't bothered to fix. I see countless VW's with taillights out as I patrol. I can't believe VW is putting their customers in danger with a known common problems.

- Horseheads, NY, USA

problem #21

Dec 312013


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to successfully move the vehicle off the highway by shifting into neutral. The dealer was unable to duplicate or diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 10,000.

- Houston , TX, USA

problem #20

May 302013


  • 45,000 miles
Car ignition will not turn off. Was told by a dealership that it was the steering column lock and sheer bolts would need to be replaced.

- Weatherford, TX, USA

problem #19

Aug 012014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 51,900 miles


Key will not turn to shut engine off, turn key forward like starting car, then release key so it springs back and remove key. Defect, could not shut car off while pumping gas, had to wait till I was home to lookup on internet how to turn key off.

- Hillsborough, NC, USA

problem #18

Mar 282013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 18,959 miles
Engine light and ECM (engine control malfunction) light both come on. Have taken this new car in 6 times in 2 years, and the lights are on, yet again. After VW replaced sensors (four times), and wiring (module), and harness....all under warranty, this is still a problem. And I do not know if it is a safety defect or not. I want to know that before a crash, fire, or fatality happens. Please....if this is happening to your vehicle, make it known to this site. Thanks.

- Alto, GA, USA

problem #17

Mar 112014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 20,045 miles
Approached a red light - was 2nd car from light. Just as I stopped the light changed to green and when I stepped on the gas to go the car cut off. This happened again about 5 days later and then today I was going slowly through a shopping complex parking lot and the engine cut off again. I had my car in for an oil change a few days after the 2nd incident and had them check it out but was told everything was ok. I was told about 8 or 9 mos ago there was a recall on the ECM and the dealer checked it out and assured me all was ok just like they assured me there was nothing wrong when they checked it out after the call stalled out on me.

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #16

Aug 052013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 16,312 miles
I had taken my vehicle to a new VW in el cajon, where I had a new issues pop up with my A/C. my A/C was not blowing as cold as it should have been. When driving I would notice my A/C go from cold to warm a lot. It would randomly do it all throughout the day, I was never getting constant cold air. I brought it in and notified the dealership of the issue and even pointed out a wire that seemed to me to be a odd because wire was showing, they told me don't worry we will take care of this issue. They did not do so they told me that they could not duplicate the issue and said everything was normal, even though I knew it was not because I was the one experiencing this issue. It seemed to me once again they did little as they could to actually help me and get this they supposedly did another multipoint inspection and did not say anything about my tires, something VW kearny mesa said to be cupped and feathered, but yet they did not catch this.

- Lemon Grove, CA, USA

problem #15

Apr 162014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 35,910 miles


When I drove home at 7pm on Wednesday, I stopped the car and shifted to park. But I couldn't turn the key off from ignition. The key was just locked in the on position and the engine just kept running. I drove around and tried it again. But I still couldn't shut the engine. I called the police officer and my insurance company, but none of them can help me with this situation. The engine kept running for an hour and almost 40 minutes until I accidentally turned it off. I was calling my friend and tried it again, after almost two hours it stopped.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #14

Dec 052013

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 64,784 miles
While driving home after a snowstorm, my wipers suddenly stopped working. Because of it, I could not clean my windshield and had to keep pulling over and pouring windshield washer fluid down my front window so that I could see. It is very dangerous in Maine in the winter time to have this happen as we often encounter wet/snowy roads and you must depend on your windshield wipers and fluid system to work properly and keep your windshield clear. I took my car into the VW dealer (O connors in augusta Maine).. they determined there was no power coming out of the wiper switch to the pump. First they replaced the wiper/washer switch which did not fix the problem. Then they had it for another full day and determined the "body control module" was not working. They had to order the part. It cost $1041 dollars to replace the module, part # 5co-937-087-E-Z09 control unit. When I finally picked it up I was told that 5 other VW owners had their cars in for the same exact problem that week. One owner was standing there in the customer service area and he told me the same thing happened to his 2013 Jetta. The shop rep said they were seeing a lot of these since the cold weather set in. My car is in excellent condition and was only 20 months old when this happened. There has got to be a major defect for this many new cars to have this happen to them. I wish you would investigate.

- South Portland, ME, USA

problem #13

Feb 182012

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 5 miles
I was sold a brand new 2012 Volkswagen Jetta without a passenger airbag. Additionally, there were multiple other defects with the vehicle, and by definition, I was sold a lemon. I've tried bringing the vehicle back to the dealership on multiple occasions to repair the problems, and they have yet to be able to correct the issues. The dealership installed a new airbag which has malfunctioned on more than a few occasions, resulting in the airbag light coming on and causing faults in the terminals leading to the tail lights and shorts in the dashboard.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #12

Feb 042014


  • miles
My VW Jetta from 2012 has issues with the horn not working properly when there a heavy rain and humidity. When driving in the rain the horn becomes extremely low or won't work at all. Have been to the VW service center and gotten this replaced. The issue persists. This is not safe when having to alert a driver or pedestrian.

- Miami Lakes, FL, USA

problem #11

Apr 122012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 7,281 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta sport wagon tdi. The contact stated that the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The failure was recurring. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who advised that the cruise control switch and steering column computer chip needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The vehicle was not further repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximately failure mileage was 7,281.

- Providence, RI, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Nov 162013

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 12,400 miles
While my daughter was sitting at a stop light in a left hand turn lane, all of the dash lights began to flash. She thought if she turned the car off and restarted it, it would clear. She could not restart the car, the hazard lights would not turn on, the back doors would not unlock, the radio could not be turned off and it was pitch dark. Thank god, a man with a family pushed her car to out of the left hand turn lane and into a gas station parking lot across the street. Upon my husband and my arrival, we could not open the trunk either to allow the tow truck driver access to the tow hook. We leased this car due to its safety features of our college age daughter. Hazard lights should work regardless of what's going on with the vehicle. Had someone reared ended the vehicle due to no hazard lights, passengers in the back would not have been able to exit the vehicle. Or if it had caught fire to only way to exit would be through the two front doors. We were told by the VW dealer that it was a controller that went out and that he has never heard this happening before. I'm writing to VW to let them know that if this is true for all VW products, it is a design flaw that jeopardizes everyone that buys or leases one.

- Newark, CA, USA

problem #8

Apr 042013


  • miles
Cpsc:I1340048A. 2012 Volkswagen. Consumer stated that VW made a software change to the car which caused it to race dangerously when the brake was released or put in first gear.

- Palmetto Bay, FL, USA

problem #7

Apr 122013


  • 37,000 miles
I was on an approximately 6 hour road trip. Approximately 100 miles from my home, my 2012 Volkswagen Jetta tdi was being driven at approximately 70 mph on the highway. The glow plug light on the instrument cluster began flashing. Vehicle then went into "limp mode", slowing to approximately 45 mph on the highway. I was able to make it to the next exit off the highway, and come to a stop at the off ramp stop sign. The vehicle then stalled, and would not restart. This left my wife and I stranded 100 miles from home. Vehicle was towed back to the dealership, where the vehicle was purchased. Mechanic at dealership stated the high pressure fuel pump "exploded", sending metal shards throughout the vehicle's fuel system. Dealership states this may be caused by "contaminated fuel". a small amount of online research revealed this is a common problem with Volkswagen tdi engines.

- Arlington, TN, USA

problem #6

Dec 282012

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 14,364 miles
I was driving at about 45 miles an hour and the vehicle suddenly lost power steering and all power. Without power steering it was difficult to get all the way over to the side of the road. The vehicle was towed by roadside assistance and to the nearest VW dealership who evaluated the problem. The dealership indicated that the main fuse had melted and blown out the entire fuse box and the alternator cable had melted. The repair invoice indicates: "found alternator cable at fuse box melted, replaced fuse panel, alternator cable and fuse on front of fuse panel. Replaced wiring harness. Tested battery and charging system and road tested car. " I believe this is a fire hazard.

- Easton, PA, USA

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