A car's transmission should last much longer than 108k. It should last until at least 175k-200k before total replacement is needed - especially an automatic. Our 2001 Jetta is currently in the shop and needs a new transmission. It has 112k and is an automatic. (Just missed the 100k warranty.) We are the original owners. No prior tranny problems. Just suddenly heard a loud rattle and lost reverse. Our other car is an '87 Chevy. Has 181k on it. No tranny problems ever.
My 2001 TDI blew its auto trans at 55k miles.
I would have to agree that VW aren't the most reliable cars on the road today.
I know Volkswagens aren't known for their dependability as much as say a Honda. That being said, the second owner of a car with 108k on it can't really say that Volkswagens aren't dependable because he/she knows nothing about the car history. No car will last past 100k if it isn't maintained, and face it, few people are perfect with maintenance schedules. I know of a pair of Jettas that will make it to the 200k mark soon, no major issues...
My 2002 Jetta GLS was purchased with 48000 miles on it Oct 21, 2005. Since then I have had the following problems. Door light says there is a door open, when no door is. Replace door lock assembly, $500. Windshield wipers don't work in the rain. Wiper motor, $440. Brake light comes on when you push the AC button. Cost $108 to diagnose that the problem is a $3000 electrical issue that I cannot afford to fix. NOW, I cannot get the car out of park. Been to the shop 3 times, and was told that it needs a new shift assembly. $1200. I thought I would LOVE the Jetta... you know, German engineering... but since I just bought it and will never recoup my money, I am stuck with a car that doesn't work consistently, and I will NEVER buy a VW again!
I love VWs, but your dealer has you by the throat. Not coming out of park is a brake light switch issue. The brake light switch is covered by a recall. Do NOT get the new shift assembly, and change dealers.
I'm looking into a VW (along with other cars), and to the person who commented about the issue of a transmission going bad at 100k, and the 100k being a huge issues. I have a 1992 oldsmobile with an auto. tranny and 297,000 miles and no issues. I expect to to make it to 400,000, so the issues with the 100k and all these problems I would say are related to poor engineering.
I also have a 2002 1.8T w/Triptronic. Fortunately for me, my transmission failed around 40k and was covered under warranty. I had the same symptoms as the owner w/the 108k replacement (slipping gears and when it did shift, it was a hard shift). The dealer told me the 'sealed transmission' had been overfilled in the factory and they were surprised it had lasted as long as it did.
As I write this, it's in the shop once again undergoing a look over for poor gas mileage (17 city and 22 hwy). Lets hope it's a warranty issue, I squeaked in at 49,960 miles.
I have just put my 2002 in the shop for the same thing. The car was bought used with 48k on it, and with in 3 months was in the shop for 4 weeks, they replaced both axles and the transmission after I had it in for a wobble while driving. Dast foward 1 year and 30k miles, and the transmission went out again in the middle of traffic. Completely lost 5th gear as well.
I loved the idea of a Jetta, but after the first lasted 1.5 months before the dealer bought it back, and this one, I'll be giving them a miss next time. I plan on selling it as soon as it's fixed.
I own a 2002 Jetta 1.8T and have had a few problems since purchasing it new. Left and right drive axels replaced at about 6K miles. Numerous software updates. Ignition coil replacements 2X. My dealer must have used cheap oil because despite 3000-3500 mile dealer oil changes, my engine was loaded with sludge! Since my final warranty service at 50K I will only run Mobile 1 fully synthetic 5W-30. The sludge is diminishing with time and frequent oil changes. Main engine cooling fan renewed at 60K for $300.00. Sunroof leaks water during heavy rain (found the fix here. Thanks!) And most disappointing is the failure of the crank case ventilation hoses. They just crumbled away after about 60K and that 5 inch molded rubber hose was $108.00! Is that a designed failure and if it is what else will fail? I am at 75k and counting.
Along with more problems than I have time to list I bought my car with 22k miles on it and its already on its 3rd transmission at 51k miles. Unfortunatly I can't even sell my car because it has had so many problems and never even been in an accident. The carfax report reveals that my car is a maintenance nightmare because of how many times it has been in the shop for different repairs. VERY UNRELIABLE CARS!!!
I guess transmissions run in the VW family. I have a friend with an old 1986 Jetta with like 270,000 miles on it and its on like its 5th transmission while my 1995 Plymouth Neon is still on its first with 231,000.
Same stories as above, windows falling out & new transmission. My '02 Jetta has 96K on it and is now for sale.
I love my Jetta, but lately I've been upset with it. Bought a 2002 VW Jetta 1.8T with 27000 miles Sept 2005. Everything was great until April 2006 when I had to replace the alternator. It was $693 to replace (I feel so ripped off). Now the exterior brake lights are out. I tried to replace the bulbs and the fuse, but nothing! I was trying to avoid the dealership. I guess I'll have to go there now!!!
I too have been having the same problems with my jetta as listed by others. My 1997 Jetta jerks hard from first to second gear when the car hasn't been warmed up. Previously I have owned two VW's and have never been so disappointed with a VW has I have been with this car. I bought it two and a half years ago for $4500 and within six months I spent $3000 on a rebuilt transmission. Now with 138,000 miles on it I am very disappointed with my Jetta. I also need to replace my ignition switch for $300. I think I will take it in to the dealership to get the software updated and the tranny oil changed based on the previous comments listed here.
To the ones above writing about jerky motion taking off and between shifts I have something for you to check. My friends 1999 Jetta gas 2.0 had the same symptoms. It was the result of a sheared off bolt between the engine and the rubber mount. The bolt was replaced with a higher grade bolt and it solved the slamming sensation under the hood.