2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T


You are supposed to eat lemons... not drive them


The Malfunction Indicator Light came on at 972 miles. The car would also shake and struggle at start up at this time. Most likely this is when the ignition coils started to fail, but they would not be replaced for another year because the MIL light turned off and the dealer ignored the problem.

The armrest latch and glove box latch broke off completely at 10,500 miles.

At 23,200 miles, the driver's side window regulator broke and the glass fell down inside the door.

Also at 23,200 miles, the front end of the car is making a very loud creaking noise. In response to this, the dealer replaced the steer gear, tie rod and boots. This, however, did not fix the problem because the car has been in the service shop for about a week now as they try to figure out what is making the sound.

At 24,000 miles the ignition coils were finally replaced.

Since the date of purchase the car creaks and squeaks inside (IE; the dashboard, the doors and center console).

Ignition coils replaced again at 25,500 miles.

General Comments:

I spend most of my time taking this car to and from the dealer for repairs. This is an 80 mile round trip for me and I have to take off from work to do this every time.

I have been driving a rental car for 7 days now and it's not even a Volkswagen. It is a Mazda Protege. At least the dealer is paying for it and it does not even creak and squeak like my Jetta. How sad is that?

I am very interested to hear from anyone else who has attempted to have their Jetta declared a lemon. That is going to be my next step if and when I get my car back from the dealer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th July, 2003

8th Mar 2004, 11:23

I just recently got an MIL indicator come on as well.

Apparently, the dealership assured me, "As long as the light is not blinking", I shouldn't worry about it. Their reasoning was that the gas tank wasn't closed properly, and some air might gotten in.

Besides that, I haven't had nearly the troubles that I've been reading in this forum.

Should I be concerned with my VW purchase???

2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0 4 cylinder SOHC


Terrible quality, terrible service


These problems are all common:

(Immediately upon purchase.)

-- The transmission tends to downshift sharply at odd times, almost always when turning a corner. It is not a frequent problem, and I would not mention it if there were not other problems with the car. According to other submissions on this site, this is a software glitch.

(At around 10,000 miles.)

-- Driver-side window dropped like a rock into the door. Fixed both front doors under warranty, however the child protection feature no longer functions. I asked the dealership if this was a recall problem, and they said no. Then, I asked the man in charge of loaning out vehicles, and he admitted that VW knows the problem exists, but won't recall because it's too expensive. They handle it case by case.

-- Arm rest assembly broke. It now hangs down against the console. I was driving down the highway, resting my arm, and it suddenly dropped like a rock.

-- The clock has a strange glitch. It displays strange characters at random times during the day.

(At around 19,000 miles.)

-- Yellow wax began leaking out of my doors almost constantly, ruining the seals on all four doors. I called the dealership. The service representative told me that this is paraffin wax that is supposed to be in the door for corrosion resistance, and that it will normally leak. While it is true that the paraffin wax should be IN the door, it should STAY IN the door, and certainly not ruin the seals. Any statement to the contrary is an outright lie. His response when I pointed this out, and that the car was still under warranty, was that I could bring it in, and he would have to inspect to see if there was a problem.

-- The plastic handles on the driver-side door has begun to bubble and peel. It is a slight problem now, but I expect this will look terrible in the near future.

General Comments:

Every single item I have listed above has been echoed by every other Jetta owner on this and other sites.

I have never been notified of the recall on my model, which is the ABS Control Module. The module tends to start fires. I would think that this would be a good thing to let me know about.

I intend to sell this car after fighting to get the warranty work completed. I did not buy a new car for the fun of making a payment, and I am concerned about the resale value as these problems continue to degrade the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th July, 2003

12th Apr 2005, 05:27

I also own a 2002 Jetta and have experienced most of the same issues. Some of the problems mentioned were fixed under warranty, however there were some issues not mentioned. For instance, at about 50000 miles my catalytic converter needed to be replaced. This work was done under warranty, but just barely. Another nasty little problem that has crept up is the windshield wiper motor decided to fail. I am really getting fed up with the problems and glitches with this vehicle. It is no longer under warranty and I foresee major functional problems in the future. My recommendation is to stay away from them.