2019 Volkswagen Golf Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, fuel system, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2019 VW Golf continues the lineup of this iconic vehicle. The automaker claims that “every model needs a runway,” but many of these cars have trouble moving at all. There are massive complaints about the electrical system, engine, fuel system and powertrain, proving that the basics are all defective.

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Problems with the Electrical System

Everything in a modern vehicle runs from the electrical system. If part of this system malfunctions, it can create severe issues.

That’s what is seen with this NHTSA review. “2019 Golf GTI SE 6MT purchased with 12 miles. Engine randomly stalls in Neutral when rolling to stop with clutch fully disengaged after having downshifted to either second or first gear. This has happened (3) times since picking up the brand new car (4) days ago. The electronic display that shows which gear you are in has also reported the wrong gear once (so far). This is an issue affecting *many* 2019 Golf GTI owners.”

The engine issues caused by electrical concerns are not something new for VW. There will be more about this situation in a moment, but first, it’s important to look at an electrical system recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V615000 states that nearly 700,000 vehicles end up with a build-up of silicate on the shift lever micro switch contacts, allowing the key to be removed from the ignition, even while the shift lever is not in Park. If an owner removes the key without the car securely in Park, it could roll away and lead to an accident or injury. Maybe that’s why this model needs a runway.

2019 Volkswagen Golf Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Fuel/propulsion System
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Vehicle Speed Control

Problems with the Engine

What everyone is talking about, in some fashion or another, is the Golf engine. This vital component doesn’t operate the way it should and has turned a lot of customers off from the VW brand.

One NHTSA complaint states, “I had some engine stall problems with the vehicle when first purchased. The engine would cut off quietly while at a stop light and beginning to depress the clutch while in Neutral. Happened in heavy traffic on the highway and in stop-and-go city traffic. I brought it back to the dealership and they claim to have reset the engine control module. Upon a few days after return, the engine cut off while the clutch was depressed in the middle of a turn.”

It turns out that the NHTSA has an open investigation about this VW engine. NHTSA Action Number DP19003 has been ongoing since September 2019 and alleges defects in the vehicles. Of course, it doesn’t take a lot of expertise to see that there are clear engine issues. However, it’s important to let the authorities perform the due diligence before calling the automaker out. Still, it won’t be long before these engines are heading down the runway to the salvage yard, where they belong.

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Problems with the Fuel System

What powers the engine? The fuel system is responsible for offering the gasoline the engine needs to move. Yet, many complaints are being filed for this system as well, because of the defective engine technology.

Here is another example from the NHTSA website. “Vehicle is stalling while coming up to a stop at low speeds. I fully engage the clutch and then it stalls. It feels more of an engine shutdown than a stall; I say this because it is a very quiet and gentle shutdown. You can’t even tell it happened until you see the RPM’s drop to zero.”

There are no further statements from VW about this situation. It seems that everything the company has wanted to say has already been done. In the meantime, customers are left watching their RPMs to determine if the engine has shut off or not. This isn’t something that owners should be dealing with, especially while focused on showing off the car on the “runway.”

Problems with the Transmission

One look at the powertrain is going to show the same major malfunctions that have already been addressed.

As one more example, read this NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2019 Volkswagen Golf. While driving in first and second gears, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The failure occurred on multiple occasions and also occurred while the transmission was not in gear with the clutch pedal depressed. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer, but the failure could not be duplicated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and provided case number: 190719047. The contact indicated that the failures were related to the NHTSA Investigation Number: DP19-003. The failure mileage was 100.”

The owners are barely getting their new Golfs off of the dealer lot before the engines are failing. How are they supposed to even show this VW model off before it dies? It seems that Volkswagen severely dropped the ball on this model, and the sales are going to reflect this failure.

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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