2011 VW Jetta Stalling and no one knows why!

We purchased our 2011 Jetta SE Automatic brand new - first people to drive it - and have had virtually no problems up until this summer. The car has stalled on us dozens of times now and been to two different dealerships for service a handful of times and no one knows what the problem is. We found that the car typically stalls when we’re slowing down; however, it recently stalled when we were in Park. When it stalls, the steering wheel locks up, the breaks are nearly impossible to push and everything seems to shut down except the radio. We’re virtually a sitting duck for other cars.

When this happens, we’re able to put the car back in park, turn it off and back on and drive fine for a while. It seems to be happening more frequently but the dealership hasn’t been able to replicate the issue - there are no codes left on the computer and they’ve literally taken the car apart and can’t find anything wrong. They’ve even ‘driven’ it for 200 miles and still, nothing. Initially we were told it was bad gas, then we were told it was an operating system update. Now they’re trying to tell us that it’s our driving style but multiple people in my family have driven the car with the same effect - stalling spontaneously while slowing down, stopping or trying to break.

We’ve also noticed skipping or slipping between gears when we’re at higher speeds but I’m not sure if that’s related. It almost feels like your foot falls off the accelerator or slips while you’re driving but instead you’re actually applying constant pressure.

We’re at a loss! We haven’t been able to figure this out for two months now and VW and the multiple dealerships don’t seem concerned that we could be in a serious accident at any point in time. We really love our car and want this fixed as soon as possible. Any insight or help would be greatly appreciated!!!

The problem might be caused from a defective Crankshaft Position sensor. http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=2413666&cc=3101

This sensor tells the computer whether or not the engine is rotating. If the signal is lost from this sensor the computer see’s no reason to operate the ignition and fuel systems and the engine shuts down. Crankshaft position sensors won’t necessarily turn on the Check Engine light if they suddenly fail because it’s one of the primary inputs into the computer. All the computer knows is that there’s no signal from the sensor.


Thank you, we’ll definitely talk to the dealership and see if that’s the issue — I have to admit, I’m still a little skeptical. Thanks for your insight and help!!

So What is the Solution

Have you contacted the higher-ups at VW, listed in your owners manual?

When the engine quits, it feels like the steering wheel locks up and the brakes don’t work - but the steering and the brakes still do work. They require a surprisngly great amount of additional force, but they do work.

I was leaning toward a problem with the transmission. Some trannies have a lockup feature that makes a mechanical (not just fluid) link between the engine and the drive wheels once at cruisng speed. If this lockup does not release when the car slows down, the engine will stall because the drive wheels are forcing its RPMs too low. I am not sure if your trans is of this type.

But when you said it once stalled in Park, I think there is something else (or additional) going on. Good luck and keep us posted, please.

Problem solved! Tester was right. It was the crankshaft sensor. Replacing it fixed the stalling problem, and the transition hiccup problem too. Wish the boneheads at vw had of ask you guys first instead of spending two months try to figure it out themselves:)



I’m having this exact same problem, where the car stalls randomly in the middle of the road. I had the software and crankshaft replaced but it hasn’t fixed the problem. Can anyone help or experienced the same problem?

I went to the dealership several times and faults have not come up and they dont know what to do.

Did you figure that out? I have changed cam and cranks sensor but still same problem :frowning: