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

Electrical system, brakes and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta is a popular sedan that’s supposed to have a lot to offer. After all, the automaker claims, “it’s only natural to stare.” The trouble is; people are staring, but only because of all the defects. From the service brakes to the electrical system and the steering, a lot seems to be going wrong.

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

Problems with the Brakes

Stopping a car is vital if drivers want to remain accident-free. However, the brakes on the Jetta are creating more problems than they are worth.

Here is one NHTSA complaint. “My car rolled into a wall on the other side of a parking lot while I was inside the opposite building. There is no alert/indicator/notification that the e-brake is engaged. There are alerts for the seat belt, air bag, truck/door opened, low gas, lights, etc. There is even a notification on the screen to remind me to grab my phone after I turn off the car and open the door. But for the e-brake, which is a two-step process that requires discrete pauses by the driver, there is nothing. This is a serious design flaw that could result in a car rolling and injuring someone. I urge you not to wait for critical moments as in the past for auto alerts to be installed in cars, but to act now. I request all auto manufacturers, VW and otherwise, that have e-brakes, create an alert that notifies the driver the car is off and the e-brake is not engaged, recall those cars, and update the computer. And if there isn’t room, I suggest deleting the notification to not forget one’s phone.”

It turns out that VW has issued a recall, but not for this issue. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V359000 states that the front brake caliper bolts could loosen, thereby affecting the braking performance. If a car can’t stop, it’s no wonder that people would be staring at it.

2020 Volkswagen Jetta Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Service Brakes
Fuel/propulsion System
Vehicle Speed Control
Air Bags
Electrical System: Instrument Cluster/panel

Problems with the Electrical System

As mentioned in the last review, there are also electrical system complaints. Because this system runs so much, there’s that much more that can go wrong.

Here is one more NHTSA review to read. “The EPC light comes on randomly at highway speeds when revving up the engine to overtake cars. The engine suddenly bogs down and engine RPMs are limited to 3000 when light is on. It could be a potentially dangerous situation because the car will not want to accelerate and forces me to get off the freeway. The only way for the light to come off is to turn off the car and turn it back on. I visited a local VW dealer and they informed me of a fault code P227900 Intake Air System Leak Passive/Sporadic. They performed an air intake system test and found no problems. This is the third time this EPC light comes on. If it happens a 4th time I will once again take it to the dealer if something comes on. It is very frustrating that I can’t rev my car at highway speeds or else this light keeps turning on.”

Additionally, there is another serious electrical system issue that affects drivability. Service Bulletin #Circular 24FD says the engine can stall while driving at low speeds or when the vehicle is stopped and running. This is unacceptable from a newer vehicle, but it could be a tactic of VW to get people to stare longer.

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Problems with the Steering

While discussing on-road safety, it’s vital to look at the steering situation as well. This is just another system that is causing trouble with the Jetta.

Here is one Edmunds review worth reading. “At highway speeds if one has to decelerate rapidly it does feel like the back end of the car gets very sensitive to small changes in direction and feels a little squirrelly.”

Along with the steering, there is a serious issue with the seats in the Jetta. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V505000 talks about some of the backrest adjusters and seat frames that were not properly welded together. Because of this defect, the backrest adjustment could break, especially during a rear-end accident. This fault would reduce the amount of restraint for occupants, thereby increasing the chance of an injury. The best way to stare at this Jetta is to watch it be towed out of the driveway and take a trip to the junkyard, where it belongs.

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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