2019 VW Beetle Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine, exterior lighting and electrical issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2019 VW Beetle was the final year that this iconic car was produced. The automaker says that it is “a classic that keeps up with the times,” but it’s also clear to see why the car was discontinued. This particular model struggled with the electrical system, engine and exterior lighting.

Problems with the Electrical System

In today’s modern world, more equipment relies on a reliable electrical system. When this is faulty, the ride is anything but enjoyable. 

Here is one Cars.com review to consider. “First car- net is a joke. I have make more calls than I can count to get it to work only to find it only works with a wi fi signal. What good is that, gave up and don’t use. My fordpass works ANYWHERE, starts the car and works flawless. take note VW . Second air conditioning has never worked, took into dealer, said sometimes they forget to put Freon in. Great quality control VW. Worked 2 weeks, brought in again, tried to fill it, Freon machine broke. Took in 3 time, filled it, not smart enough to check for leaks, stopped working again. Now bringing in 4 th time. If your crazy enough to like to waste a day at a repair shop, buy a VW. If not don’t get a VW, these cars are horribly unreliable. Hopefully I can lemon law mine a get rid of it.”

It turns out that the electrical system failures in the VW Beetle are much more severe than these issues. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V61500 signifies a recall that affected nearly 700,000 vehicles. It states that built-up silicate on the shift lever micro switch could enable the key to be removed from the ignition, even if the vehicle is not in Park. This defect makes it easier for the car to simply roll away, after the person has exited the vehicle. Unless cars of the future are meant to roll away on their own, this VW Beetle is definitely not keeping up with the times.

2019 VW Beetle Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Exterior Lighting
Service Brakes
Electrical System:ignition:interlock/lockout
Power Train
Unknown Or Other

Problems with the Engine

The engine is another vital component of any functional vehicle. Yet, this VW Beetle seems to have forgotten to upgrade technology since the sixties. 

Here is one more Cars.com review. “As title says, EPC light and check engine light came on the 1st day of driving off the lot… I had to get a rental.”

While Volkswagen has a long list of engine-related communications, about three-quarters of them all talk about the same thing. They are simple bulletins that updated VW’s “engine oil standards.” That’s it! There’s nothing about the defects, problems or any solutions. Instead, customers are left in the dark about what’s happening to their beloved Bug. Maybe the automaker thinks that the car will turn into a Herbie that helps consumers fix the problem themselves.

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Problems with the Exterior Lighting

Another system that is causing a stir is the exterior lighting. Without the proper lighting, driving in the dark can be dangerous.

One NHTSA complaint says, “Fuse that controls reading on map light in cabin and external lighting outside for night driving continually fails. Safety issue because rear lights at night only come on when brakes applied.”

While talking about brakes, it’s vital to discuss another safety recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V094000 stated that the instrument cluster might not tell drivers when the brake system fails in the VW Beetle. Without this warning, the driver could unexpectedly lose control and crash while attempting to brake. First of all, modern vehicles shouldn’t have so many instances of brake failure that there is a warning light needed. Second of all, this VW Beetle needs to head straight for the junkyard and retire. Maybe the 2018 Beetle should have been the last model instead.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes VW pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.


Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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