really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,706 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #15

Sep 152016


  • 33,700 miles


No warning or drips in the driveway. Steering rack needed to be replaced. While driving, started making noise when turning. Took to the dealer that night. Required steering rack replacement. No power steering fluid was found. See attached.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Jul 072016


  • 65,000 miles
Key gets stuck in ignition when turning off the off the engine. (it was stationary I.e. in park)

- Capitol Heights, MD, USA

problem #12

Feb 042016


  • 53,000 miles


The contact owned a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle failed to remain in position and the rear of the vehicle moved to the opposite position when the steering wheel was turned. The contact veered to the left and the steering wheel seized. As a result, the contact crashed into a concrete divider. The air bags deployed. The contact sustained neck and shoulder injuries that required medical attention. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was towed from the crash scene and was deemed destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V656000 (suspension). The failure mileage was 53,000.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #11

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 #10

Feb 082012


  • miles
I purchased my 2012 Volkswagen Jetta approx October 31, 2011. Within the first 3-4 months the car computer system locked up while I was driving. (I was unable to put down the windows, the A/C stop working, engine lights lid up on the dashboard) so I drove it straight to the dealership and they immediately apologized and kept the car for several days to correct the defect. In 2013 the steering lock went bad while driving and we couldn't turn the car off. This happened at 6:45pm after the dealership closed. So the car continued running in front of my house from 6:45pm to 7:30am when the dealership opened. I explained to the dealership how frustrating, physically, and mentally draining that night was. We couldn't park the car in a garage and risk the gases getting into the home so we left it in front the house and had to stay up all night and watch it so no one would steal it. They diagnosed it as a bad steering column. The car sometimes accelerate fast on its on when you attempt to use the cruise control. Now currently the sterling lock is gone bad on the car again. I have contacted Volkswagen and the dealership several times about this part/issue this year and they told me the car is out of warranty and I would have to pay for the repair. A steering column going bad in a car every year is not normal. My problem is paying for this faulty, defective dangerous car. I have invoice and repair invoice on this car dating back to the first few months of owning it. Volkswagen is on a major coverup to avoid a massive recall of several of the vehicles they knowingly are putting drivers at risk.

- Gretna, LA, USA

problem #9

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 #8

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 #7

Jun 092014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
The clock spring in the steering wheel failed. Also referred to as the steering column electronic control module. The failure illuminated the airbag warning light and all the steering wheel switches and horn stopped working. It was just over the 50,000 mi warranty so dealer would not repair.

- Purchase, NY, USA

problem #6

Apr 302014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 46,206 miles
On the afternoon of April 30th, 2014 while the vehicle was ideal at a stop light the vehicles power steering and A/C gave out. After inspecting the engine, it was determined the belt tensoner broke due to a faulty bolt that should've secured this part. This incident happen 6 days after taking it to a local authorized Volkswagen service dealership. As a consumer and driver I feel a formal safety investigation must take place because a part such as this snapping off endangers my life and the life of the general public. This should become a major concern because Volkswagen negligence to detail puts all drivers at risk of major injury and or death.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #5

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 #4

Sep 162013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 19,967 miles
After my last visit with the A/C, I maybe thought that this dealer ship would help me out (VW el cajon) unlike (VW kearny). I had told them what has been going on with this rumbling noise that had started off faint but now is progressively gotten worse and is affecting other parts, because the noise now picks up when turning. They told me they would find it, took it out on a test drive with several mechanics and they all tried to play me and told me they could not hear anything even though the mechanic rep did hear it. Than they did a inspection and could not figure it out it seemed to me because they than just came to a conclusion that my tires where cupped and feathered as VW kearny told me. I asked them if they do multipoint inspections every time I bring my vehicle in and they said yes, than I asked how come you did not catch this before, they could not come up with a answer and just said please sign the paper. So what I did next was took it to several tire dealerships as well as a new VW, all of which told me my tires is not what is making that noise. I really feel like VW is avoiding this issue with me tell my warranty expires to than tell me that there is a problem.

- Lemon Grove, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 182013

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • 9,058 miles
Just had been a little over 2 months, before I started to hear and notice a unusual noise coming from the front driver side of my car. I started to hear a constant rumbling, grinding noise while driving. Didn't think of it much at the moment, but notified the dealership and they just told me to bring it back if it worsens. I took my car in this day for my first 10K service. They supposedly did a multipurpose inspection and even stated everything is fine and normal (remember this, for my next multiple complaints will further into this problem).

- Lemon Grove, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 252014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 14,363 miles
Car was only under my possession for one year and seven months... it was leased brand new. 3/25/14-when got into the car to go to work, car would not start. Discovered it had no battery power. Horn stopped working. Previous to this, week before thermostat light was going on and off. Car was at 14,030 miles. Volkswagen roadside assistance came and brought vehicle to nearest service center which is actually where I bought the car. Service center confirmed dead battery. The dealership including the person who sold me the vehicle attempted to charge me $240 for it and considered it "wear and tear like the tires, " until I called Volkswagen customer service number right on the location who confirmed that my battery was covered at 24,000 miles or 2 years whatever came first. Volkswagen service center confirmed that horn was in fact inoperable due to blown fuse and replaced it. I was informed by the service agent that the thermostat light was due to low anti-freeze and it was topped off. In addition I requested I multi-point inspection which they conducted. Shortly after receiving the car back on 3/26/14, I noticed by voltage adapter was not working. I assumed it to be a defective phone charger so I purchased a new one. 4/8/14- I tried to use the new charger for my phone in each of the front and back adapter slots. That is when I realized these was something wrong with my adapters possibly after the replacement of the new battery on 3/25/14. My plan was to contact the service center and schedule a check up and have the adapters checked but unfortunately I never was able to do so. That day I was involved in a car accident where I was unable to turn the steering wheel into the exit and ended up crashing into metal guardrail.car had shut off and. Airbag deployed. Car was ruled as a total loss.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #1

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

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