Structure, engine and transmission problems issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
Since the 80’s, the Volkswagen Jetta has been motoring down roadways worldwide. The ever-popular sedan, now on its seventh generation,has been completely redesigned for 2019. Although the revised car is praised by many for being both sporty and economical, some owners also complain of mechanical issues. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, main problem areas for the 2019 Jetta are the powertrain, engine and structure.
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Problems with the Transmission
In 2019, the Jetta debuted an all-new 8-speed automatic transmission. Many owners claim that the unit makes a grinding noise or scraping noise at lower speeds. The torque converter, a fluid coupling device located between the engine and transmission, may also be to blame.
“Torque converter makes a grinding sound at 1,400 rpm. the sound is louder with “eco” mode selected on transmission but is still present when not engaged,” writes a consumer on the NHTSA website.
Another owner states: “While accelerating, a distinct grinding noise comes from the transmission. The noise is consistently heard while the vehicle is accelerating between 25-30 mph. My vehicle is roughly 5 months off the lot and has less than 10k miles, so this noise is very concerning. Third party mechanics have confirmed the noise is a hazard for the transmission, and have advised to bring the vehicle to Volkswagen for a warranty repair. Both the Volkswagen dealership and Volkswagen customer service have notified me the grinding noise is normal and of no concern. However, a software patch is available to “fix” the “non-issue”. Volkswagen customer service also notified me the patch does not completely fix the grinding noise. When I pressed further, customer service notified me there are no other options and “there is nothing we can do at this time to fix it.” The dealership also confirmed the noise is present in other 2019 Jettas on their lot, which is why they said the noise is normal for my vehicle. It sounds like VW has a transmission issue with all 2019 Jettas, and they do not know how and/or refuse to fix it.”
Some sources, like the owner mentioned above, say dealers have a software update designed to reduce the noise. Though, whether the software patch actually fixes the issue is unclear. A technical tip (32-18-01TT) issued by Volkswagen says the sound is “a normal operating characteristic” and does not recommend any repairs.
There are also accounts of the transmission leaking. “Car was bought brand new. After 6 weeks of driving and approx 1,200 miles noticed leaking oil in the garage. Took it to the dealer. transmission seal needs to be replaced and it could take 2-3 days depending on the availability of the parts,” says another consumer.
At this time, it’s unclear whether the alleged leaks and grinding noises are related.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta Complaint Summary
|Number of Complaints
|Unknown Or Other
|Vehicle Speed Control
Problems with the Engine
Two engine options are offered in the 2019 Jetta: a 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder and a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder. Some owners claim their engine runs low on oil before the 10,000-mile recommended service interval.
On the NHTSA website, one consumer says, ”First issue is the car running low on oil before it reaches the 10k mile mark. This car should be getting an oil change every 10k miles however it will run out of oil before the 10k mark is achieved.”
“The engine. I believe there is a internal defect because today I was driving a the engine oil light came on. Once I checked the oil I saw that the dipstick was clean, no oil, nada. Where has all the oil gone on a new 2019 Jetta? It sure hasn’t been leaking on the ground of my garage because there is no fluids,” says another owner.
So far, the NHSTA website does not list any communications from VW regarding the concern.
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Problems with the Vehicle Structure
Some owners allege their brand-new Jetta is improperly sealed from the elements, allowing water to leak into the interior.
“Takata recall- I took the vehicle in because the horn on the vehicle was going off randomly while driving. Once diagnosed VW dealership said that it was because the firewall of the vehicle had not been sealed, therefore water was entering the vehicle. There was mold found in the vehicle, which now they have to replace the interior of the vehicle. The vehicle has been at the dealership for over two weeks, and I have not received a completion date from the dealership. They have actually made no efforts to contact me,” reads one complaint on the NHTSA website.
Another states: “This car has vent issues and cowl seal issue. The seal is not tight and the inside the windshield and window freezes.”
Volkswagen has released a Technical service bulletin (TSB 50 18 04) to address leaks. The document outlines a “water leak due to improper application of body seam sealer”. Dealers are instructed to apply seam sealer to various parts of the vehicle, depending on the car’s VIN number.
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