2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Build quality and engine issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

There are few vehicles on the road that look like the 2020 Volkswagen GTI. In fact, the automaker claims this is “one hot hatch.” However, customers couldn’t be more disappointed, especially with the defective engine and poorly-made structure.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2021   2022   2023

Problems with the Engine

It doesn’t matter what a vehicle looks like; it still needs to have a reliable engine to get from Point A to Point B. Yet, this GTI seems to be struggling to make it out of the driveway.

One NHTSA complaint states, “I began experiencing the engine stall from the day I purchased the vehicle. The engine keeps stalling as I come to a stop. It happens with the clutch pedal fully depressed. It happens without any warning. There is no Check Engine Light or other warnings. When I attempt to restart the engine, I sometimes have to press the Engine Start button multiple times until I get a response. When the engine does restart, the idle sometimes fluctuates and shuts off. It happens whether I’m driving on a local street or a highway.”

Among the numerous manufacturer communications, there is very little of any value shared. In fact, the majority of the bulletins simply talk about the “engine oil standards.” It seems a little ironic that VW is talking about any level of “standards” while dealing with an engine that simply doesn’t run properly. Maybe it is a “hot hatch,” but if it doesn’t drive anywhere, it’s just an expensive lawn ornament.

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2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Fuel/propulsion System
Unknown Or Other

Problems with the Build Quality

Since Volkswagen has drawn attention to the structure, it’s more important than ever to look at the quality and integrity. Needless to say, customers are disappointed.

Here’s another NHTSA complaint. “I was driving on the freeway going approximately 65 mph. It was a clear day (about 70 degrees F), very light traffic, no other cars were in my immediate vicinity. I was not driving under any overpass nor did I see or hear any rocks hit my car. Out of nowhere, I heard a very loud pop which sounded like a gunshot. I looked up and my sunroof was completely shattered upwards and some small shards of glass fell onto my passenger seat, my console and me. I was able to maintain control of my car although it was very alarming to have this happen while driving on the freeway and I had to slow down to realized what had just happened.”

VW isn’t hiding all of the structure problems, although most of them aren’t addressed. Service Bulletin #V0019012040590_7 does talk about the appearance of a paint defect. However, VW wants customers to feel at ease, knowing that it is simply water migration located under the RAPGARD. Of course, having moisture trapped under the clear coat shouldn’t be alarming, according to the automaker. However, this is actually a problem and could even be considered a paint defect. As Volkswagen continues to deceive customers into believing this vehicle is special, owners everywhere are dropping the “hot hatch” for something more reliable.

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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