1999 Volkswagen Beetle GL 2.0 from North America
An Automotive Nightmare from First to Last
My check engine light came on after driving the car 300 miles. It remained on for four months, and went off after $700 expenses: 2 dealer diagnoses which turned up nothing, spark plugs replaced, new ignition wires, and a leaking valve.
Excessive oil consumption discovered after driving 500 miles. Ongoing issue, which VW claims is normal in technical bulletin 1701 (2001). Car consumes 1 quart per 1000 miles and has to be checked every three weeks.
Interior door handles, parking brake finish worn.
Transmission died from sudden 'internal failure' at 67K. Repair cost 3000, with a clutch (75% worn at this point, according to the mechanic) thrown in for another $500. This occurred 2 months after a major service, and a replacement of the starter motor (500).
Battery dead at 58K miles.
Tire rims damaged.
Grid in front is a lousy piece of plastic which has cracked twice from a tiny knock in a car park.
Power mirrors have never worked.
Locking system started mistiming immediately after transmission replacement. $250, and could have been more.
Piece of plastic on a vent broke off, so that no AC will come through that vent anymore.
Trouble with trunk latch in past.
I like the drive and style of this car, but it was by the far the worst car I have ever purchased. One year of ownership cost me nearly 6K and the car has spent more than a month in repair.
VW USA told me the 100K power train warranty doesn't cover the second owner, so I had to bear the transmission costs myself. The dealerships were all hostile and the customer service is awful.
My Beetle is an utter nightmare, and I would never buy VW again. I am currently selling it (since I am deep in the hole with repair bills already) and will buy a Scion.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 12th August, 2004