2001 Volkswagen Beetle New GLS Turbo 1.8 turbo from North America
The car refuses to start on an intermittent basis. It starts fine for days, then suddenly will not crank or turn over. I can jump start the car without difficulty. Or, if I wait a while (a few minutes or few hours) it will just start up as if there were no problem at all.
The fuel tank cover latch sticks.
The plastic coating on the interior door handles is peeling off. Especially on the passenger side, which gets almost no use at all.
This starting problem makes the car unreliable. Reliability is, in my opinion, the most important function for a vehicle. Also, since the problem is intermittent, I can't seem to get it diagnosed and fixed.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 30th July, 2005
Two of your problems are so common as it's not funny.
On 98-2001.5 cars, the gas tank cable stretches and prevents the latch from operating. VW have a replacement cable that does not stretch as much. You're out of warranty, but this is a very easily fixable item, and is fixable by yourself if you have an afternoon, patience, and some metric tools.
The 2001.5 door handles don't peel as they're not coated. Swapping them out for new items is cheap, simple and fast.
See newbeetle.org for details.
I have the 2001 beetle Turbo 1.8L. The door handles are peeling (or delaminating) as the dealer calls it with little use or no use on passenger side. They will not replace them as they are out of warranty. It is obviously a bad design/paint process. Also, the dashboard material is quite fragile, just placing an object on it can mar it, again a bad choice of materials.
As for the intermittent starting problem: I had this, and solved it with a new battery. Mine was taking or keeping only a partial charge, so at times it didn't have enough juice to start or even crank. Batteries can need replacing after as little as three years in some climates. The car is fun to drive, but I don't know if it will have the staying power and reliability overall to keep it as the original beetles did.