Common Problems with Volkswagon Jetta Cars

by Louie Doverspike

Volkswagen is a popular and generally reliable import choice for American consumers. With the degree of penetration the German company has in the U.S. market, maintaining the import is not particularly complicated or more prone to headaches than most domestic car models. However, that is not to say Volkswagen is bug free. Their most popular sedan, the Jetta, has a host of minor problems reported by multiple drivers. While none of these bugs should be enough to ban a Jetta from your consideration, they are good to know in advance. Prepared with the right information, you may just avoid owning a lemon.

Electrical Systems

One of the most common complaints concerning the Volkswagen Jetta is the frequency with which the interior electronic components break down. Common problems include broken fans and lights, usually due to loose wiring. According to the account of several drivers, the Volkswagen Jetta has loose wiring immediately beneath the dashboard that tends to become disconnected or frayed, reducing the efficacy of interior systems.

Engine Trouble

Another common complaint, often connected with electrical issues, is trouble with a stalling engine or an engine that will not start. This tends to be the most common cause of a Jetta becoming a lemon, since a number of factors can make engine troubles hard to diagnose and repair. Most frequently it is due to malfunctions with the electric starter, although transmission problems are also common to the machine.


In addition to those complaints that are frequently cited by unhappy Jetta owners, Volkswagen has issued a number of recalls on its own. While most of these have been corrected, it is valuable information for those intending to purchase a used Jetta. The most recent recall was due to inappropriately aligned headlights that did not work as they should have under normal driving conditions. A more serious recall, conducted in 2007 cites the possibility of a frayed fuel line igniting a fire.

Chronic Recalls

In line with other complaints about the electrical components, Volkswagen issued a recall to fix brake light issues in 2006. However, unlike other issues that have demanded recalls, broken brake lights have been the subject of two additional recalls since, indicating a chronic problem.

Paint Issues

While not a super frequent complaint, many drivers have noted the Jetta's thin paint job, which tends to chip away very quickly. Issues with the bumper have been particularly frequent, to the point that many dealerships are pushing touch-up paint on buyers of the Volkswagen Jetta.

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