hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,928 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.

2008 Volkswagen Rabbit drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Volkswagen Rabbit Owner Comments

problem #3

Nov 262013

Rabbit 5-cyl

  • 79,000 miles


I tried to enter the highway across oncoming traffic and had very slow acceleration. I switched to manual shift mode and the transmission was stuck in 5th gear and would not downshift. Once I started I couldn't stop and was barely able to make it across the lanes. I have had similar occurrences before. I took the car to my local shop and they changed the fluid which they said was very dirty and burned looking. Note, the transmission is (was) supposed to be service free for the life of the car. Apparently it is a know defect in these transmissions that the valve body fails prematurely and eventually causes catastrophic failure of the whole transmission. VW has admitted the valve body issue and extended warranty coverage to 7 years or 100,000 miles after entry to service for the valve body only. Unfortunately, this does not include the damage done to the entire transmission which can, and does, costs thousands of dollars to repair or replace. There is much discussion of this issue at various places on the internet.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #2

Jul 152013

Rabbit 5-cyl

  • 74,300 miles
While driving in second gear, the vehicle abruptly stopped leaving dual skid marks on pavement. The engine was restarted but vehicle would not move forward or reverse. When towed, a pool of transmission fluid was found under car, mechanic reports new transmission is needed but exact cause currently unknown. Vehicle is 5 months and 14,300 miles over warranty and Volkswagen dealer will not cover any costs since out of warranty and is 5 speed. More importantly, if this occured at higher speed, injury or death could occur.

- Limerick, ME, USA

problem #1

Mar 292010


  • 14,484 miles
Vehicle does not respond to accelerator on ocassions, no response when trying to accelerate fron stop. Have complained to VW dealer @ 5,000,10,000, & 15,000 miles. They say they cannot find the problem. This is a dangerious situation as it stalls, then accelerates very fast. I never know when it will happen as there is no set pattern. I feel like the dealer is not responsible as they say it might get worse then they can find the problem. It does not show up on the scanner, and the check engine light does not come on.

- Foley, AL, USA

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