really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,073 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.

2009 Volkswagen Rabbit brakes problems

brakes problem

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2009 Volkswagen Rabbit Owner Comments

problem #17

Jan 022017


  • miles


The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit. While driving various speeds, the brake pedal was depressed, but failed to engage while making right or left turns and traveling downhill. The ABS warning indicator illuminated. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but the failure could not be duplicated. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 16V913000 (service brakes, hydraulic, electronic stability control). The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #16

Oct 142016


  • 67,000 miles
My 2009 VW Rabbit has had intermittent ABS issues for a few months now. The car has 67K miles. Occasionally, when the ABS activates the the dash will light up with the ABS, brake, and esp light. The car will also beeps a few times. After this happens, the car will have no ABS or stability control. Restarting the car will make the lights turn off, but the issue will happen again when the ABS is activated.

- Dubuque, IA, USA

problem #15

Oct 172016


  • 93,000 miles
The ABS module in my vehicle failed around 90,000 miles, which I'm now discovering is a very common for this particular model and year. The ABS system ceased to function but other systems were affected as well; my speedometer would stop working for several minutes at a time, as well as my fuel gauge. Power steering would cut out and I would experience a considerable loss of power from the engine. I was nearly hit while crossing a busy intersection because I couldn't get any acceleration from the car. The check engine light has also been triggered intermittently by this problem so I haven't been able to pass a smog check, making my vehicle illegal to drive in the state of California where I'm stationed with the marines. Volkswagen dealerships are charging more than $1,500 to fix the issue and there has been no recall issued for the problem.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #14

Sep 012016


  • 75,000 miles


My ABS brake pump and/or control module have failed at 75K miles. I purchased this car for my children and used the iihs safety rating when selecting it. The repair is over $2000. I've read countless threads of VW owners with similar problems on multiple models. I've contacted VW and even wrote their executive team and was told there was nothing they would do. With so many such issues reported, I believe it's time for NHTSA to act on behalf of VW owners whose vehicles should be repaired at VW's expense.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #13

Oct 082016


  • 59,000 miles
Took my vehicle in as the ABS, brake, esp/asr lights came on and were beeping. Replaced the rotors, brake pads, etc. When I came back to pick up my vehicle, the vag com had multiple faults still showing, come to find out I need the control panel replaced. Vehicle has less than 59K miles, dozens of folks have reported a similar situation in 2009 VW model cars, ABS system malfunctioning w less than 60K miles

- Van Nuys, CA, USA

problem #12

Oct 092016


  • 76,000 miles
My ABS light has been going on the past few days when I use the brakes. Especially when I am turning. I am not slamming the brakes on at all-- I am a very careful driver. I know this seems to be a common problem with the car and Volkswagen will not cover repairs. My car has about 76, 000 miles.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #11

Sep 162016


  • 91,000 miles


The ABS control has failed (diagnosed by Volkswagen dealership), ABS, traction control and brake lights are on, speedimoter is always on zero, the car looses steering control

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #10

Sep 242016


  • 110,000 miles
Electrical problems have been constant since purchasing (I.e. the check engine light coming on for no apparent reason during long trips, the prnd lights lighting all at once at random). These issues were not much of a problem until recently. I started the car and immediately the ABS, traction control, and brake lights lit up and the car made 3 "beeps". I turned the car off and on again, and the same thing happened and continued. I then drove on the freeway for about 10 miles when the steering, and epc lights came on. Simultaneously, the speedometer and gas gauges dropped to zero and the car would not accelerate. The steering became slow to respond/delayed. Luckily there were not many cars on the road and I safely pulled to the shoulder. I safely drove the car home that day, but my husband experienced the same issues when he tried to drive the car the day after. After researching these symptoms online, I found that this is a very common problem for 2009 gti and Rabbit models, and that, while this malfunction makes the car unsafe to drive, VW will not help consumers with the estimated $2K repair costs.

- Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 312016


  • 139,000 miles
The traction control on my vehicle initially did not turn on even after pressing the button that turns the ESC on and off. After not being able to activate it, my ABS, break light, ESC, and steering wheel lights have come on. Now my vehicle looses traction if I make a fast turn. My steering has also become really stiff. When the vehicle is stationary, the fuel meter goes down despite the fact that the car has fuel. Lastly, the speedometer goes up and down while being stationed. This same problem regarding the ABS control module has effected hundreds of 2009 Volkswagen owners and despite the documented evidence, Volkswagen has refused to cover this under a recall.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 272016


  • 112,000 miles
Driving into a curve, my ABS brake module failed, turning off my traction control, ABS disabling my power steering. As I was trying to come out of the curve, the steering failed to respond temporarily. I almost T-boned another vehicle, scaring that driver to death...I was able to pull the car out of the turn, over correcting almost putting it in a a ditch... this is a known issue.

- Hephzibah, GA, USA

problem #7

Jun 192016


  • 56,000 miles


Put on brakes suddenly. Car spun out of control to the left hitting a highway divider and then to the right hitting a car. My car was totaled and the ins. Co. paid me the full market value for it. This happened twice before about 6 month and 5 years ago with no damage to the car.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #6

Jun 202016


  • miles
The ABS brake warning light came on....followed by steering light, engine light speedometer failing, gas warning light on, now my car will not start and the key is stuck to the ignition. My power windows not working properly....all started from the ABS brake warning light

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 022016


  • 76,000 miles
My car has been running fine since purchase and I have had all the necessary maintenance done to prevent issues. Last week while driving on a major highway my cars steering wheel locked as well as stalled almost causing a major accident. When I looked it up it seems that this vehicle has been issue with campaign number: 10V621000. Albeit this is not the same issue but my vehicle has experienced fuel leakage at the same time and I have reason to believe that they are interrelated. Beyond that, there have been several complaints about the same issue on many VW forums. This is a major issue and a huge safety problem. Could you imagine the lives that could have perished if I had not handled that situation effectively. I am now told that I need to replace this part for $2000 where I truly believe Volkswagen should be held liable. This company has shady business practices and I would not be surprised if this issue is due to a defective part. My car was bought in 2009 and has 76,000 miles on it.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 012016


  • 61,000 miles
ABS, traction control & handbrake lights turned on in the middle of driving. Nearly had accident because ABS did not activate when needed. Me and my family were in significant danger. Upon mechanic inspection the ABS module has failed.

- Emeryville, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 262015


  • 65,744 miles
While driving at a normal speed of 45mph, the car began to shake slightly. All of the instrument panel lights flashed on, and the fuel gauge along with the speedometer began to fail. As a result, the car needed to be pulled over and stopped in order to prevent a serious accident from occurring.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 312014


  • 72,000 miles
In snowy conditions the ABS fails and completely shuts down until I restart the car. Seems to be dangerous, especially driving in snowy/icy conditions.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #1

Mar 302014

Rabbit 5-cyl

  • 72,500 miles
The ABS, brake, and stability control warning lamps came on during a scary event on the expressway. I hit the brake pedal hard and quickly turned the steering wheel in order to avoid hitting a car that swerved across two lanes and cut in front of me. The ABS and stability control systems failed, but the hydraulic brake system worked like a car without electronic controls, so I was able to control the car while braking and steering near the traction limit. The problem is that the lamps stayed on until I turned off the engine. There was no ABS or stability control system while the lights were on. I cycled the key to test the lamps. The lamps functioned correctly during the bulb test and turned off after a few seconds. On the first repair attempt, the wheel hubs, bearings, and wheel speed sensor rotors/exciter rings/tone rings were inspected. Any road debris, dust, dirt, and magnetic particles were removed. There was no looseness, end play, or runout. The wheel speed sensors were removed, cleaned, and installed, but the symptom returned during another scary event. On the second repair attempt, the ABS control module (electronic black box component, not hydraulic control component) had a software failure per VW tech support analyzing the failure conditions, visual indicators (warning lamps), audio indicators (warning tones), and scan tool codes. The ABS control module was replaced.

- Warren, MI, USA

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