Notes: VW updated the Jetta's interior and added new features like backup cameras to certain trims. Time will tell if these adjustments start falling apart.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,200 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.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Nov 122016


  • 74,000 miles


Ignition would not turn off resulting in having to leave the car running for an extended period of time. Features built in to the car did not permit me to lock the car while the key was in ignition. The car had to be left running with no way to lock the car to prevent theft or children from accessing the car. Vehicle was stationary.

- Scottsville, VA, USA

problem #28

Nov 112016


  • 63,883 miles
My timing chain tensioner failed and bent 14 valves. All 4 cylinders had zero compression. Volkswagen represents in the warranty and maintenance schedules that the tensioning system is expected to last for about 120,000 miles without the need for repairs. In fact, according to the plaintiff, owners are provided manuals that do not show any timing chain system inspection or maintenance schedules at all.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #27

Nov 122016


  • miles
A failed tensioner causing the timing chain to snap and bend the valves.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #26

Oct 082016


  • 65,000 miles


Car jolts on freeway. Driver side mirror protector fell off. As a result of trying to grab fallen off piece over extended arm injury. Due to extending arm out window

- San Clemente, CA, USA

problem #25

Sep 092016


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that the vehicle would reverse while in the drive position. The engine indicator illuminated when the failure occurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 63,000.

- Mokena, IL, USA

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problem #24

Jun 172016


  • 125,000 miles
While driving suddenly loose power or transmission failure. It'll feel like it's in nuetral. Diagnostic test can't pick it up so what can we do as consumers? keep complaining nobody is hearing us. Damage!!

- Fruitland, NM, USA

problem #23

May 272016


  • 65,000 miles


While driving vehicle with dsg transmission in normal "drive" (D) mode the transmission will shift into what feels like neutral with no warning whatsoever and no clear way of making the car driveable again. Car has to come to a complete stop with no power available for transmission to return to working condition. Happens intermittently in varying driving conditions such as while cruising down the highway or while driving at normal commercial street speeds. Took it to dealer but issue could not be replicated.

- Culver City, CA, USA

problem #22

May 202015


  • 26,000 miles
When starting to accelerate, my Jetta will randomly shift with a very hard jerk. Took it to the local VW dealer here in germany but they could not duplicate it (my car is us spec, but we are stationed abroad). The service manager sent a message to the engineers for possible solution but it took another 6 weeks to get advice which was to do a reset on the computer. That did not work as now when it happens, it sometimes acts as though it is not in gear, RPM's rev, but car barely moves, making it unsafe on the roadway. When I pull over, turn off the engine, and then restart it, it is usually fine again for a little bit. But because it is a random occurrence and they cannot replicate it, the technicians do not see it as a problem.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #21

Jul 132015


  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving 15 mph, the brakes failed and the contact's vehicle rear ended the preceding vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact was not injured and a police report was filed. The vehicle was taken to a certified independent mechanic and the body damage was repaired. In addition, when the vehicle was in park or reverse, it would jerk. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 43,000.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #20

Apr 072016


  • 26,415 miles
While driving with a total of 26,415 miles, the manual transmission suddenly failed. Specifically, after stopping in front of my son's school on a city street to put car into reverse to parallel park, the stick shift would not go into gear. I was stuck in the roadway and had to solicit two men to push my car to the side of the road to await towing to the dealership under the 3 year warranty. Come to find out VW does not warranty the clutch except for the slave cylinder, and thus considers all other mechanical failure to be user wear and tear. I have noted many Jetta owners on the internet complaining of the same problem with as few as 2930 miles driven. In 30 years of driving a manual transmission, the past 13 in vws, I have never had any clutch problems, issues, work or replacements. I am still waiting for them to officially "diagnose" the problem after agreeing to pay $500 to take out and examine the transmission, and bear that cost and all other parts/labor if they determine the cause is anything besides the slave cylinder. Yet my problem is not with the clutch but engaging the stick into gear and thus unlikely to be diagnosed as the slave cylinder. Clearly there is a history of shoddy or cheap clutch parts for which VW fails to take responsibility and instead shifts costs onto its customers claiming user wear and tear. After failing prey to the faulty sunroof problem in a prior 2003 gli and paying to fix it myself after eight years of dealer bandaids and missing the class action lawsuit, you would think I would have learned and bought something else.

- Long Branch, NJ, USA

problem #19

Nov 042015


  • 30,000 miles


This vehicle doesn't run correctly it refuses to move while in driving

- North Ridgeville, OH, USA

problem #18

Aug 272014


  • 0 miles
The vehicle would loose power while accelerating, this would happen randomly at any time or speed of driving when the the RPM would hit 4000, the car would love all power and then violently jolt as the power to the engine would kick back in. The Volkswagen vehicle while sitting in traffic, at stop signs or red lights would loose power completely. I have taken the car to two different Volkswagen dealerships to try and get the issue resolved and for the best part of 6 months one of the dealerships kept telling me the issue didn't exist purely because they couldn't replicate it enough to understand whats the issue was! I feared for my life sometimes driving it as it would cut out and loose power while I was crossing intersections or pulling across a busy free way, many times it happened with my children in the car! I eventually took it to another dealership when it got so bad I could replicate it every time I would drive the vehicle, they managed to resolved the issue for only a month before it started happening again! not its starting to recreate the whole issues and more over and over again and now 1 year and 2 months later I'm back to taking back to the dealership to try and resolve issue they keep telling me they cant recreate, though they have fixed it temporally once before, so they must have idea on what the issue must be. I have got Volkswagen corporate involved but I cant honestly say this is the worst experience I've ever had with customer service and a product, the product which in this case is a car clearly has a defect and Volkswagen are doing absolutely nothing to help me resolve this, I feel as though Volkswagen do not even believe I have issue with this car, for two years an 2 months I've had a car thats spent half of its life with issues and in and out the dealership! all I wish to have is a safe car to drive for my family and I,

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #17

Jul 302015


  • 62,000 miles
The problem showing error code P0087, P0387 high pressure fuel pump failure, the cost of expensive to repair, difficult to meet warranty related power-train & engine. It has been twoce break down. Its third break down. It only 62K mileages on it. VW want to working on it due of out of warranty cost. I am not happy that VW is not qualify to inspect part problem cause. I hope it is affect other customers who have simply problem with hpfp.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #16

Jun 132015


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving at 40 mph, the vehicle jerked. In addition, the accelerator pedal was depressed, the vehicle failed to accelerate but increased in rpms. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The contact was aware of NHTSA campaign number: 13V568000 (power train). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 42,000.

- Bartow, FL, USA

problem #15

Apr 032015

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 51,227 miles
Jetta sportwagen tdi with a 6 speed manual transmission. Pulling out of a gas station, shifted from first to second, clutch pedal stayed on the floor. Could not shift or control vehicle speed of vehicle. Rolled to a stop. Car had to be towed. Had to replace clutch, throw out bearing and slave cylinder. Up to this point, there had been no indication of clutch problems. I have driven 6 manual transmission cars a total of 911,000 miles and never had any clutch problems.

- Jamestown, RI, USA

problem #14

Mar 052015


  • 18,000 miles
While driving, my car just lost speed and power and drifted until it hit zero. My car still turned on, and my engine worked fine, but the clutch wouldn't start in any gear it would just rev the engines and the RPM's would go up but the car would not move. There was no prior clutch, transmission or powertrain issues with the car until the exact moment that the clutch burned out. Car was towed to VW for repairs and I had to get a hotel room for the night plus a rental for 5 days as I had to be in Rhode Island and the car broke down in New York. Total clutch burned out with several large cracks in clutch plate, service manager stated it was due to build up of snow/ice in around tire and creating a drag on the vehicle and increased torque on the drive train. There are many complaints of very similar issues located on the internet, vehicle was built with a clutch that can barely handle the torque output of the engine but cannot handle any additional torque resulting from normal driving conditions such as snow and ice. Required total cost was $1,800 for repairs and labor, plus $500 for the hotel room, food and rental vehicle.

- New Castle, DE, USA

problem #13

Oct 112014

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
Vehicle just exited freeway onto exit ramp. While braking from highway speed, at approximately 10-15 mph, there was a loud noise and the engine stalled. Wheels were locked, as if it was stuck in gear. Vehicle skid slightly into intersection on wet pavement. Vehicle was still in drive when car stalled. Vehicle was shifted into park and restarted. No warning lights came on after or before to indicate engine problems. Vehicle was taken to VW dealership for inspection.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #12

Nov 022013

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 8,477 miles
Transmission started lagging in my manual 2013 VW Jetta S when accelerating after switching into second gear from first gear. After a couple of days the engine seized up and all of the lights came on. Luckily, was just on my way to the dealership for repair and was right around the corner. First repair was 11/2/2013. This happened again 5 days later on 11/7/2013. Got it fixed, started driving home and the problem kicked in again. Had to bring it in on 11/8/2013 for the same repair in less than 12 hours (3rd time in less than a week). The ignition coil was misfiring and the spark plugs kept needing to be replaced. All was well in good until August 26, 2014 when the same problem happened. A week later, the problem came back but now it's more on and off. Will be taking it in again for the same issue for the 5th time now.

- West Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #11

Jul 102014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
Was driving when the car suddenly shut off but radio and dash lights were still on almost caused a crash finally got car stopped and started back up fine serious problem needs fixed....

- Celina, OH, USA

problem #10

Jul 142014

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
Car was driving on the interstate when problems began. When the gas pedal was pushed, the car's tach just revved up with no acceleration. The car began to slow down and we had to pull off the interstate. Upon exiting, the car seemed to be stuck in gear but would not accelerate. We tried switching to sport mode and manual mode but neither made a difference. No warning lights came on. Car struggled to maintain 15mph upon exiting freeway and was limped into a parking lot. This could have caused a very serious crash as vehicle would not accelerate or change gears.

- San Clemente, CA, USA

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