definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,835 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Dec 012016


  • 27,000 miles


The first thing I noticed after driving the car was the smell of burning oil occasionally, then upon opening the hood and removing the engine cover there was minor oil seepage from the valve cover. The car itself is 2012 Jetta gli and only has about 27,500 miles as I type this message. But it gets worse, I notice the oil level dropping and having to put refill it about 2 or 3 times a month. At this point I know something isnt right and its not just a faulty valve cover gasket. Did some reading online and I suspected it was a faulty oil separator/PCV system creating too much crank case pressure. I also checked the rear main seal recently and see oil leaking between the motor and transmission, suggesting the rms has began to fail. My question is if the car was "certified pre-owned" and PCV valve failure is some what common for both tsi and fsi engines, why wasnt the vehicles PCV inspected for failure or changed entirely with the new revision" there are many revisions on the oil separator/PCV valve from what I see. Shouldn't the damage to the rms replacement be covered by the manufacturer since it was due to premature failure of the oil separator, that is known to be prone to failure or faulty from the factory" currently im not driving the car and waiting for the newest revision of the oil separator but since the rms has already began seeping oil its only a matter of time before it fails completely. Being a trade school student who is lost his job right before christmas last year this unexpected failure of the rear main seal at only 27,500 miles, regardless of vehicle age is unexpected and at a severe inconvenience. If Volkswagen cannot provide at least the labor cost for the rms replacement I cant say ill ever buy another VW from a dealership again.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #43

Dec 182016


  • 89,934 miles
Coolant came then went off after shutting off car turning back then 3days later engine light came on while driving pulled over turnt car off turned on after 5 mins engine light cut off. 2 days later engine light came back on.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #42

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 #41

Aug 112016


  • 63,000 miles


Key stuck on the on position and not able to turn key, to turn car off.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #40

Apr 042016


  • miles
Had car in for new tires and after I left the mileage went from mid 40S to mid 30S, no engine service light, no partical filter light, returned to dealer and didn't offer to check it. 24,000 miles. Is this something to do with dieselgate?

- Howards Grove, WI, USA

problem #39

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 #38

Jan 112016


  • 44,000 miles


I had two no start conditions due to a frozen inter cooler. This happened in January a week apart. This happened while the car was in the garage.

- Flushing, MI, USA

problem #37

Dec 292015


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. While starting the vehicle, the contact noticed a burning odor emitting from inside the vehicle. The engine compartment caught fire. The fire department was able to extinguish the fire. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was towed to an auto body repair center, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Depauw, IN, USA

problem #36

Sep 152015


  • 22,000 miles
Engine runs rough, sputters and stalls randomly. When stalls, some lights flash and states service needed. Dealership didn't find any faults. If stalls on highway this can be life threatening. Steering wheel pulls hard to the left even with car properly aligned and tires air pressure reading accurately full. Just had car serviced again no faults found. Ignition issue with car not shutting off. 20 minutes after parking and trying to turn car off with no prevail. Had car serviced and was gifted a free repair since my 2012 Jetta has only 22,000 miles on it. Ignition replaced but other issues still exist. Paid out of pocket for servicing this vehicle multiple times since all these issues came about conviently after the warranty period ended.

- Tacoma , WA, USA

problem #35

Aug 232015


  • 44,500 miles
I have a 2012 Jetta tdi that is now just out of bumper to bumper warranty, except the 10yr/120K coverage extended on the known poorly designed hpfp (investigated in NHTSA action PE10034). I do a fuel filter change early 15K from the last dealer change at 44500 miles... and I find metal particles in the fuel filter. This is not normal, and indication of wear, and source is almost certainly the hpfp cam and roller/piston which is lubricated and cooled by diesel fuel recirculated to the filter via bypass, and some of this ends up in the fuel tank, and worse can end up in the injectors causing injector failure, even possible burned piston heads and catastrophic engine damage. I assume the path forward is document my findings, I did this with high resolution digital pictures, printed for the dealer, and a pristine white rag turned grey with metal filings, along with the old filter delivered for their inspection (I even provided the vcds diagnostic print out for the vehicles self-diagnosis). Since I did the filter change, and about 100 miles and one day later, there is no more evidence of these metal particles in the system.. the dealer service department tried, VW would not authorize a pump replacement.. so I called and VW explained the situation to them, they did not bother to record name or VIN, clearly not interested in "customer care". official VW policy seems to be to ignore the metal filings and the customer, they offer a bogus explanation that metal filings could come from fill nozzles, or some other source (unlikely, I also own a diesel truck, and with longer service time, with more fuel used, there were no metal particles at nearly 30K miles. I now have a car I can't trust, knowing the hpfp can suddenly fail without warning and leave my family stranded, even cause an accident if it happens in a busy interstate, or when pulling into traffic.

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #34

Aug 032015


  • 62,740 miles


Car lost all power and would not restart.I was driving about 55mph on a rural road, thankfully there was not a lot of traffic at the time the car failed. The glow plug light started flashing as the engine was losing power. There was no warning that the car would fail like this. I was able to pull off the the road in neutral. I suspected a high pressure fuel pump failure since VW had just sent out a letter notifying me that the warranty on that part had been extended to 120K miles. After it was towed to the dealership, they confirmed it was a hpfp failure and I am waiting to find out if VW will cover the repair. Was told that this failure caused damage to the entire fuel system ($8,800usd). I do not see how VW can put a car on the road with a part that could potentially fail and cause this much damage.

- Roscoe, IL, USA

problem #33

Jan 092015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
Tried to start vehicle started once then stalled immediately. Tried a second and third time vehicle would just click. Let car sit 14 hours vehicle clicked once then started and ran rough with white smoke coming out of exhaust. Read up on hard starts and found out about intercooler freezing. Pulled tubing off and found approx. 2-3 oz of clear water and 4-5 oz of green sludge in the intercooler piping. Numerous instances of this have occurred even on the highway some of these have resulted in a condition called hydrolock resulting in bent connecting rods. This has also occurred in vehicles being driven at highway speeds. At highway speeds this will cause a rapid loss of engine power possibly causing a vehicle accident. There are numerous forums noting this in 2009-2012 models and possibly 13-14 models.

- Havelock, NC, USA

problem #32

Jan 052015


  • 73,092 miles
Engine would not start after standing in cold weather X 10 days. Moisture from the intake air condensed & collected in the charge air cooler. This moisture then froze, and caused blockage of the intake air system. Tsb issued in June 2011, amended September 2011, re: This issue. VW revised the charge air cooler design to avoid the formation of moisture and freezing in the boost system. Purportedly, 50,000 Jettas already affected; local dealer reports a car/day entering shop for same issue, and requires same repair @ $1300. VW will repair tdi's under warranty @ VW expense; those vehicles no longer under warranty are responsibility of owner. However, because VW knows of the problem, is aware of the tsb and issued the revised charge air cooler kit, VW will negotiate with owners whose vehicle is no longer under warranty. Given the magnitude of this issue with Jetta tdi's, why has there not been a recall" why is VW not assuming the liability for all these repairs, regardless of warranty status" would ask NHTSA to 1) recall these vehicles for repair, and 2) ask VW to assume liability for all repairs associated with this known design defect, & 3) ask VW to assume all costs, including parts, labor, towing, and car rental for us.

- Highland, IL, USA

problem #31

Dec 212014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Upon returning home on Sunday 12/21 at 3 pm, smoke was coming from our garage. We opened the garage door to discovery my car on fire and a garage full of smoke. We called 911 and requested fire assistance. We then proceeded to extinguish the fire using 5 commercial size fire extinguishers. The fire department arrived and extinguished the flames and dragged the car from the garage. The car had not been driven for approximately 18 hours.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #30

Dec 092014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
This problem is diesel engine specific: -engine starts, then when pulling away, stalls immediately. -towed after multiple restart attempts failed dealer found water and sludge in intercooler, aka, intercooler icing. Car spent overnight in warm service bay while it thawed out. VW has tsb for issue but I was told by the dealer that it doesn't fix it. Wow.

- Kingston, NY, USA

problem #29

Aug 302014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 68,900 miles
While traveling at a constant speed between 10 and 15 mph the vehicle began to jerk harshly, and after about 2-3 seconds of jerking the engine shut off. The jerking has happened many times, and has been getting worse over the past 10,000 miles. The vehicle has stalled twice now, once at about 68,900 miles, and again at approximately 71,500 miles. The second incident happened more quickly and in a parking garage and nearly resulted in a collision. The jerking happens at all speeds, including on the highway.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #28

Oct 142013

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 34,397 miles
I drove the car to work win I get out of work start the car put in reverse and the car staled out cant star towed to the dealer I whose told at that time car have fuel contamination no warranty. Towed it home my husband check car found fuel filter sum metal rust change filter clean line and filter housing and all parts connected to fueling car start fine for a 3 months same ha pin did same now car staled as I whose driving with no start tow home an we are in contact with VW to see were this going. Culprit is hpfp.

- Glenwood, NJ, USA

problem #27

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 #26

Aug 242014


  • 37,200 miles
With no prior indication, the engine glow plug light began flashing while driving on the highway. Within few minutes, the engine light came on and car started to loose power. Engine noise pitch changed, and was able to pull the car of the main freeway and barely made it to the dealership. As soon as we made it to the dealer parking lot, the engine cut off. Diagnostic of the car showed that the car suffered a catastrophic hpfp failure which caused debris contamination throughout the entire fuel system. 4 days later, the engine had its hpfp, fuel lines, injectors, and auxiliary pump replaced. Fuel tank was flushed and cleaned out from debris. Cost under warranty was $5500. The dealer said that they've had 50 cars exhibiting similar conditions. Cause of the failure is under investigation by VW. As owners, we have no clues what to do or when this will re-occur again which does not give me ant sense of confidence. I always fill at the same chevron station so it is not the quality of the diesel.

- Cerritos, CA, USA

problem #25

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

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