1998 Volkswagen Beetle TDI 1.9 TDI from North America


A good company write off for repairs


Owning our own auto repair facility, we wanted a vehicle that was kinda trendy and new on the market at the time, that we could decal with our shop info. We purchased our 1998 Beetle Turbo Diesel new. That's where the problem begins, or at least two weeks after.

The windshield cracked from the inside, the rear view mirror vibrated (and is still hard to see out of while driving) and it had a coolant leak.

Since then, under warranty, the driver's door panel has been replaced due to paint chipping off, the steering wheel replaced for paint fading, the starter, the instrument panel for inoperative fuel gauge, the EGR and the Mass Air Flow sensor.

After this we have replaced the floor mats (worn out), the glow plug wiring harness, the glow plugs, the glow plug relay, the pre heater in the effort to put out the check engine light.

After all this it had no power. It had plugged exhaust.

The hatch rattles.

General Comments:

We sure are glad we bought a vehicle that requires so many repairs, it's a good write off for the company! On the up side, it is kind of fun to drive (when it runs right) and the fuel mileage is awesome - again, when it runs right.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th March, 2003

1998 Volkswagen Beetle GLS from North America


Volkswagen should have never stopped making it!


Power window switches have needed to be replaced 3 times.

Anti-lock brake light comes on for no reason.

Visor has needed to be replaced.

Front grille under fog lights basically fell off.

Gas tank won't open if it gets below about 65 degrees.

Alarm goes off for no reason.

Don't EVER get the tan cloth seats, if even a little drop of rain gets on them, they look awful.

General Comments:

Besides all of the little problems listed above, I love this car. It is my dream car. I think if you really love a car, you will put up with the faults. I love to drive it, I even love to just sit in it from time to time and read the manual. The car is so roomy, fun, safe, gets pretty good gas mileage, and costs surprisingly little to fix! Very fast for 115 HP!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th August, 2002

1998 Volkswagen Beetle GL 2.0 gas from North America


I love it!

General Comments:

I absolutely love my new Beetle. The only problem I have had with it is that the "Check Engine" light keeps coming on and going off. The dealer said that it was an oxygen sensor, so I took it to get a new one and it works fine! No more light!

The car handles great around corners and generally on the street. There is plenty of room inside. It may not be the fastest car around, but, it is fast enough for me!

I will definitely buy another Volkswagen car, possibly another Beetle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th May, 2002

1998 Volkswagen Beetle LX from North America


A huge lemon!


The first day after I purchased the car, I had to take it back in for an oil leak. The oil housing had to be replaced. I called Volkswagen Customer Service to voice my concerns.

Dash board bubbled. Had to replace.

Headlight went out, had to replace.

Side mirrors were loose.

Seat parts cup holders were loose.

1999, vehicle stuck in park position, had to be towed. I called Volkswagen again to voice my concerns.

2000, vehicle stuck in park position, had to be towed. I called Volkwagen again at this time to voice my concerns.

2000, vehicle stuck in park position, tow truck driver rocked the car back and forth for several minutes and got it out of park position. We took it to the dealer, now going on 3rd time for this issue.

2000, vehicle stuck in park position while I am on a company overnight rafting trip in Sacramento, California in the middle of the wilderness. My boss and his son are able to get the car out of park by rocking car back and forth for several minutes. I call Volkswagen Customer Service when I returned. I am very concerned and the manufacturer is treating me like it's not a big deal.

2000, mileage speedometer is getting stuck, engine is lurching, car is making a popping noise in reverse, and the mileage cluster system is going on and off.

2001, front driver's seat broken, $536.00 repair, battery needs replacing, engine light on, mileage cluster out, fuel door won't open (2nd repair for this problem), emergency knob broken. I call Volkswagen customer service again. Total repair is close to $1400.00.

2002, car stuck again in park, mileage speedometer still getting stuck, car radio is not working, engine is lurching. I call Volkwagen Customer Service again. My complaints fall on deaf ears! Repairs cost $487.00.

January 24 - My daughter picks up the car from the Volkswagen dealer, drives off the service lot, parks the car and starts it up again, and it won't move out of park. We have just had it "fixed" for this problem. CAR GOES STRAIGHT BACK TO DEALER. I call Volkswagen Customer Service and they assure me someone will return my call. I do not get a return call. I'm not surprised!

General Comments:

I will never ever ever buy a Volkswagen again. Not only is my car very bad, but Volkswagen Customer service is the worst. If anyone at the factory had dealt with my issues I could have resolved myself to buy another Volkswagen, but I have received the worst customer service I have ever received in my entire life! I am stunned!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th January, 2002

8th Jun 2002, 11:34

You have to realise... calling VW customer service won't cure your problem. you have to aim at the DEALER!!

What will someone on the phone do? "I understand; I have taken your concern"...tell the dealer to replace the car, and stop wining to the people at the call center!

8th Sep 2004, 17:10

Ever heard of the lemon law... after the thrid time trying to fix your car stuck in park thing, you should have filed a claim. Consumers need to be more educated when making thses kinds of purchases!

30th Apr 2005, 16:41

I absolutely believe this review. I went to test drive one (2001 with 107,000 miles on it) and they brought it around for me. I jumped in and it was stuck in the park position! Three guys from the dealership all tried to get it out of park and they couldn't. Made me NOT want to buy one. Sounds like a pile of junk to me!

25th Oct 2005, 13:59

When I had the same problem with my 2001 Beetle, I immediately called the 800 number and they gave me a temporary solution to get it out of park, but failed to tell me that I wouldn't have brake lights... The brake sensor, a $10 part mind you, failed -so the car wasn't recognizing that I was pressing the brake, therefore I couldn't get it out of park. It is a fairly serious problem with a simple solution (It took $10 and ten minutes to replace in dash under steering wheel). :O (It is a shame that the customer service is poor, but even more disappointing is that the dealer can't even fix the car they sell. I would've taken it to a different Volkswagen dealer, or called the management as soon as the problem persisted the second time around.

6th Apr 2010, 19:18

I just bought a 1999 VW Beetle today! What have I gotten myself into? You have all made me very nervous.