CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Jetta TDI problems

My new 2009 Jetta TDI got a check engine light at 900 miles and has been out of commission for the past month with the dealer and apparently VW techs totally stumped as to why it continues to stall out even after 3 part replacements.

Anyone else having problems like this? I’d love to hear from you.

Maybe take a peek at the lemon laws in your state.

You likely can get this car switched out for a new one that works.

That being said your VW techs have access to factory engineers/support who can hopefully fix the problem at hand.

I have reached the Lemon Law requirements on all counts; days out of service, number of attempts to fix, etc. We are going to the dealer this weekend to see what our options are. Just was wondering if anybody else has had any problems with the TDI Sort of reluctant to get into another one. Have always had Hondas and Volvos with few problems. Vw not looking so good from here.

You can post here but also post at www.tdiclub.com. You can register free and then post your question on an appropriate forum or not, you will be directed. You will need to provide more specific information such as the trouble code from your engine computer (dealer can tell you this) and the parts replaced with no positive results. It would also be necesary to know in more detail the symptoms that your car displayed to indicate that it was not running well such as stalling when first started for the day, after a high speed run, during a high speed or low speed run, when the engine is cold, after warmed up etc.

Yea, the two important things are:

  • Check the lemon laws for your state:
    ** http://www.jdpower.com/cc/auto/bbb/lemon_law.jsp
    ** http://www.lemonlawamerica.com/

    And the TDI Club.

  • I would also want to know what error codes have been set when the CEL comes on. If the dealer is not telling you (VW dealers, in general, don’t have great reputations, although some are good) your local auto parts store may be able to read them for free. Most error codes on VW can be read with a standard reader, but other VW specific codes need a special VW tool.

Well, if you’ve pressed them about the lemon law(not yelled at them about it), then they should most likely give you a brand new one. If you haven’t said anything about it to them yet, casually mention it next time you stop in, along with a printout from the website(s) Joseph Meehan posted. Call the regional office and tell them nicely they have one more chance to fix it, then you’re gonna file for lemon law.
Have read of 2 success stories on here about lemon law cases. One was where a Toyota engineer came out and looked at the car and it got fixed properly. The next, a woman posted about her Mini Cooper and she got a new one out of the deal.

The Devil is in the details as far as the Lemon Law goes in your state. Some states give the car owner the option of a comparable replacement vehicle OR a full refund of all fees (including registration). Hopefully, your state gives you that option.

However, no matter what the exact details are for your state, DO NOT depend on the dealership to be your impartial advisor on how to proceed. Even though the dealership will not lose anything from a Lemon Law settlement (except for status, perhaps), they are still not likely to be helpful or accurate in providing information on how to proceed. After all, VW dealerships consistently get the absolute worst rating for customer service from the readers of Consumer Reports.

Regarding Lemon Law claims, your claim is against the manufacturer, not against the dealership, so you need to communicate IN WRITING with the manufacturer. Contact information can be found in your Owner’s Manual. Be sure to send your letter via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested.

Thanks for all the info.As far as the codes go this is the sequence of events so far:
Glow plug light comes on after I come to a somewhat abrupt stop at a stop light after traveling in the 40 mph range. Car is still drivable at this point but engine response is slightly erratic.
First diagnosis is Fault 00802 Ignition/Distributor Input circiut no signal. They replaced the engine speed sensor but after a test drive the car stalls out. They tested it again and got no codes at all. After this I have no paperwork so this is what they have been telling me. The did a complete electrical test and found a shorted wire in the engine harness.
Instead of replacing the wire they replaced the entire engine harness. After second test drive, car stalls out and dies again. They bring in the VW tech guys from NJ or somewhere and they decide the control box that sends the signals to the engine sensor needed to be replaced so they ordered the part from Germany. The part came in last week and they called to say it had arrived and they were going to install it. Haven’t heard back yet but the silence says it all I think. I haven’t called yet to see what’s up since tomorrow Oct 10th will be the 30th day out of service and the Lemon Law for WA state has this as one of the requirements other than the 4 attempted repairs requirement.
Thanks for all the info from everyone. I realize the dealership is not responsible that it is VW that gets me the replacement car or refund. I am curious as to how the dealer is going to handle this as they really do have decent customer service for a car dealership and talk a good line.