1999 Volkswagen Jetta from North America


This car caused me financial ruin in 16 months of ownership


Here's a small sample of what went wrong with the car:

Check engine light never went off, no matter what the mechanics did. (at least 200.00)

Oil distributor cap broke, oil leaked, and oil burned excessively. (1,500.00+)

Power steering gage and components exploded while at Blockbuster. (400.00)

Transmission nearly bottomed out three times this summer. (1,000.00)

O2 sensor replaced twice (VW paid for this one with a recall)

Turn signals, headlights, and other essential lights do not function properly, short out, and have caused me to get pulled over by the police.

Locks and windows go on and off, up and down, all on their own. Sometimes, in the dead of winter, my windows would open on their own, stay open, and not go up no matter what I tried. I had to bring the car in to fix this (200.00).

The car leaks when you drive in the rain, especially on the highway.

The car will leak out all essential fluids. I had to manually add water to the engine once a week.

Interior holds dirt and lint excessively (also animal hair).

Cup holder broke, too expensive to fix.

Outlet for cigarette lighter/cell phone jack broken.

Lights stay on in visors, causing the ceiling to burn and smolder.

Plastic parts all over the dash (including the vents) broken, too expensive to fix.

General Comments:

Stay away from this car! This car has nearly put me to financial ruin. I have spent over 3,000 dollars in repairs on this car in my first 16 months of ownership. I walked myself back to Toyota, took a severe loss on this car (I had 5,000 of negative equity put toward my new car loan), and left with my tail between my legs because I should never have left Toyota in the first place. I have a new Corolla now, and despite the fact that I will pay on this loan forever, I am not going to have my car in the shop every week, nor my credit cards burning up with repair charges. I've been left stranded in public on at least 5 occasions, have had to call in sick to work on at least 6 occasions, and have spent over 600.00 on rental cars to get me through the repairs I stated above. Please, if you have any sense of how much this purchase could hurt you financially, stay away from this vehicle and tell your friends to do the same.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th March, 2005

1999 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0 Gas from North America


Purchase an extended comprehensive warranty!


Replaced 1st Cat Converter at 71,000 and again at 127,000.

During warranty period (2 years) :

Transmission failed

Brakes need to be replaced

Mirror adjuster broke off

Front cup hold sticks

AM radio reception non-existent.

After 2 year warranty expired:

Moon-roof came off tracks (very next week)

Brakes had to be replaced again

Front alignment required at 100,000

Window would drop after 100,000 at random intervals

Car would just shut off (electrical) at random times

Battery had to be replaced at 85,000 and 110,000

Light group for the temperature controls came loose ($300 to fix)

General Comments:

During the 1st year, while under warranty, the car ran great.

I would have recommended it highly.

As soon as the warranty expired (2 years for the 1999 models) the problems just kept compounding.

Driving the car is wonderful. Fixing is another story.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th February, 2005

8th Sep 2005, 19:45

I had the same problems you listed and much more. The car was a lemon from the day I drove it off the dealer. I would not recommend this car to anyone.

1999 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0 Liter Gasoline from North America


It's a looker, but not a keeper


Bumper fell off!!! Button on center console shot out at a drive-thru. Interior soft touch paint peeling everywhere. AM radio stations come with LOUD alternator noise. Not just a whine, but a LOUD annoying buzzing noise and gets louder and faster as you drive.

General Comments:

The car looks great.

No power at all, in fact 18 wheelers slow down for me as I enter the freeway!!!

This car handles well and very smooth.

There is a crayon smell that emanates from the interior. I have heard from other Jetta owners regarding this problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd January, 2005

20th Feb 2007, 22:25

I have the crayon smell too, but it's not too bad. Also got the window problems which VW pays for (reimburses). My transmission blew out 3 weeks before the warranty ran out on a Certified Pre-Owned 99 Jetta. I was lucky and they fixed it. I think the transmission fluid just leaked out and there was no warning indication in the instrument panel. I use synthetic oil because it does burn oil, and that solved that problem. A hinge broke on the glove box too. And the cup holder, which is flimsy, also in disrepair. But I like this car a lot it drives well in the city and highway. I have a standard transmission which is fun to drive.