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Common Volkswagen Beetle Failures: Problems, Reliability And More!

The Volkswagen Beetle is a reliable compact car that is also known for its distinctive and iconic looks. Although the Beetle has been around in some form for almost a century, in this article we’ll only talk about the New Beetle, the A5 versions that went on sale in the late ’90s, and the issues. Stay until the end and find out the common Volkswagen Beetle faults .

Although the Beetle is a much-loved car, production of its A5 version was finally halted in 2019. If you’re interested in driving a 2019 Beetle, the five-year depreciation rate for this particular model year is 40%. %.

How good is the Volkswagen Beetle?

The Volkswagen Beetle is a reliable compact car. In fact, this model is given a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0. Despite this above-average reliability score, the Beetle ranks 24th in the lineup of 36 compact cars.

The average annual cost of ownership for a Volkswagen Beetle is about $610 , which is slightly above the average for compact cars ($520) but less than the average for all vehicle models overall ($650). You may need to take this model to the shop for major repairs around 0.4 times a year, which is around the average for compact cars (0.3 times a year).

With proper care and maintenance, you can expect this model to last 150,000 miles or 10 years, but some owners have shared that their Beetles have lasted even longer.

Common faults of the Volkswagen Beetle

Despite being a reliable car, the Volkswagen Beetle has some serious issues that potential owners should be aware of. Below are some of the common Volkswagen Beetle faults:

1- Engine failure

Engine failure is one of the main problems with the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle. According to one of the affected owners, they regularly took their vehicle to the shop for maintenance and repair. One day, however, his vehicle shut down and stopped working.

The mechanics who diagnosed the problem said the timing chain had failed , causing severe engine damage. It took owners an average of $19,500 to fix this problem.

One owner said there was a dispute settlement from Volkswagen regarding the timing chains on the 2013 Beetles. The settlement was granted final approval on December 14, 2018. This settlement covers certain 2012-2014 Beetles and Beetle Convertibles as well like other Volkswagen and Audi models.

2- Problems in electric locks

Although not as serious as engine failure, faulty electric locks are definitely annoying and can be inconvenient for affected owners. According to an affected owner, his power locks were malfunctioning intermittently. When the mechanic replaced some faulty latches on his vehicle, the power locks worked perfectly again.

3- Failures in electric windows

Defective power windows are the most reported 2009 Volkswagen Beetle problem. According to one owner who encountered this problem, the windows on his 2009 Beetle were making screeching noises and would stick when going up or down. After replacing the window regulator, the owner experienced the same problem again in the dead of winter.

All other affected owners had similar stories. On average, owners encountered this window regulator problem at about 40,000 miles, and it cost about $760 to repair.

Volkswagen released a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) to troubleshoot the Beetle’s window lifters on January 24, 2014. TSB #TT 64-14-02 contains diagnostic procedures and service tips for troubleshooting the window lifters. . There are no recalls for this specific issue, but some Beetle owners on the forums tried to file a complaint with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2009.

4- Fall of the roof covering

Although this is a comparatively minor issue, it was definitely annoying for the owners who experienced it. Owners reportedly ran into this problem at about 50,000 miles. One of the owners complained that the dealership asked him for $300 to fix the problem, so he just put construction adhesive on the falling material to temporarily fix things.

As annoying as it is, this isn’t the only problem with the 2006 Volkswagen Beetle. This model was part of Volkswagen’s N4 recall, which affected more than a million vehicles. The problem is that the brake lights could malfunction or stay on even after you have turned them off . This could cause an accident, so Volkswagen announced this recall in February 2007.

5- Transmission failure

Transmission failure is the worst 2004 Volkswagen problem and the Beetle’s worst problem in general. According to many reports, there was no warning that something was wrong with the transmission or the vehicle. An owner has reported that his vehicle suddenly wobbled when he was shifting from fourth to third gear.

This owner said it felt like the engine was trying to jump out of the vehicle. On average, owners have reported this problem at around 90,000 miles. For many, the only solution was to replace the entire transmission, a repair that cost at least $5,000.

Volkswagen published TSB #TT37-06-06 back in June 2013. This document contained information on what to do if the transmission needed to be replaced.

Owners of 2003-2007 Volkswagen New Beetles filed a class action lawsuit in 2011 over the allegedly faulty Tiptronic automatic transmission that Volkswagen refused to fix. However, the case was dismissed by a federal judge in June 2013.

6- Slippery transmission and limp mode

Some 2003 Volkswagen Beetles owners have problems with their transmission and their vehicle goes into limp mode. According to one owner, they knew transmission problems were a widely reported problem on 2003 Beetles, but their 2004 Beetle had all the same symptoms.

The reports were all the same: transmission was hard to shift, jerked into gear, or skidded intermittently. The transmission was also leaking after displaying these symptoms . According to a couple of reports, affected owners spent about $4,000 to repair their transmission.

The 2003 Beetle was also part of a recall that affected more than 75,000 vehicles. Volkswagen announced the #R6 recall on April 17, 2008.

The problem was that the front air bags could deploy with more force than designed in low gravity frontal impacts. This problem increases the possibility that front seat occupants will be out of position and is a potential safety risk.

7- Airbag light on

Airbags are a vital safety feature in today’s vehicles. Therefore, having problems with this part is a serious matter. Unfortunately, despite being a reliable vehicle, the Beetle does have some airbag-related issues.

In the case of the 2000 Volkswagen Beetle, the problem mainly has to do with the airbag light malfunctioning. According to the affected owners, the airbag lights suddenly came on while they were driving . When they had their vehicles checked, the mechanics who served them said the sensors were faulty and needed to be readjusted or replaced. Needless to say, this problem worried many owners.

In addition to the 2000 model year, 2012 through 2014 Beetles also had airbag issues. These models were part of Takata’s mass airbag recall, which affected an estimated 100 million vehicles worldwide. At the time of this writing, Volkswagen had already recalled approximately 105,000 2012-2014 Beetles with faulty Takata front airbags and inflators.

Volkswagen has also reached a $42 million settlement with US owners over the Takata airbag problem. This agreement covers 1.35 million vehicles equipped with potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators.

To end

As long as you are aware of the possible problems that you may encounter in the Volkswagen Beetle model that you are planning to buy, choosing this car has little risk. If you want to buy a second-hand Beetle, investigate the common faults of the Volkswagen Beetle of the model you are looking at and make sure that the seller has clarified everything before making the purchase.

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