2021 Volkswagen Jetta Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Air bags and engine issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2021 VW Jetta provides some luxury touches at an affordable price. The automaker claims this popular model “can help you stay out of trouble,” but what if the vehicle itself is the trouble? With faulty air bags, a defective engine and a poorly-made structure, customers have a lot to complain about.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019    2020    2023

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes VW pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Electrical System
Fuel/propulsion System
Seat Belts
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Power Train

Problems with the Air Bags

If the Jetta is keeping people out of trouble, the air bags should work as designed. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case, according to real drivers.

Just take this NHTSA complaint as an example. “The contact owns a 2021 Volkswagen Jetta. The contact stated that the air bag warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was diagnosed with needing the air bag control module replaced. The vehicle was not yet repaired.”

On top of that, there is an air bag-related recall worth mentioning. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V492000 states that the air bag control module might not be positioned properly, causing the air bags to deploy the wrong way when a crash occurs. It turns out that the factory welded the module in the wrong position because VW is so concerned about safety.

Problems with the Engine

The Jetta can provide a good amount of power, but the reliability of the engine is up for debate. It doesn’t seem to provide the feel and dependability one would expect from a new vehicle.

One Edmunds review reads, “My car has less than 300 miles on it and it is a month old.  I’ve noticed that each time I accelerate onto a highway or high speed roadway- there is a weird noise that emanates from the engine between 25-30 MPH that last for a few seconds- metal on metal type of sound.”

Of course, there’s not much that can be expected from an automaker that can’t even get the simple rear view camera right. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V716000 talks about how the rear view camera malfunctions, leading to a black or frozen screen on the infotainment system. Without the right image showing up, an accident is much more likely, further proving that the Jetta is leading to the trouble instead of preventing it.

Problems with the Structure

How well is the VW Jetta made? According to current drivers, it doesn’t seem the manufacturer put a lot of TLC into the design and production.

This Edmunds review states, “Another thing I noticed is how cheap everything feels inside the car, don’t get me wrong it has great safety features inside, but it feels very plasticy and cheap. It is not a car I feel safe in or feel is reliable. It is not a smooth drive at all! I am so glad this is only a rental car because I would have regretted actually buying this car very much.”

There’s another recall showing the lack of attention during manufacturing. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V038000 says that there are vital bolts missing from some front seat tracks. Without these bolts, the seats can move around unrestricted, leading to an injury during an accident. Furthermore, the Jetta has been the subject of some class-action lawsuits. It turns out that numerous vehicles, including the Jetta, have been shipped out with leaking panoramic sunroofs. So, on top of having all of the annoying defects, customers also have to deal with being rained on during a commute to further add insult to injury.

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.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

Share your story

Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.

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
  • Jamal T

    My brakes on my 2021 VW Jetta GLI has been failing and this will be the third time having the brakes fixed I have 26,000 miles on my car and this is a problem throughout the line up of these vehicles what are my options?

  • Jennifer

    Our daughter has 34k miles on her 2021 Jetta and her rear brakes also need to be replaced! We were also quoted almost $500.00 to have them replaced. We have had several Toyota’s and did not have to replace breaks until over 70k miles and that is for a work truck that pulls trailers almost daily.

  • Lilly

    I’ve had my 2021 VW Jetta for a year now I bought it with 6 miles on it assuming it was brand new and there would be no issues this is my first car.. when the car had about 10-12k mi on it my rear brakes were worn and needed to be replaced which was over a 500$ job but my front brake pads were fine I figured maybe something odd had happened or something but I had them replaced by a personally known shop and they did an awesome job except they’re still wearing rapidly my car has about 23k mi on it and they’re nearly ready to be replaced again. This is my every day car for work, appointments for my children, and other errands. I take care of my car so I’m not sure what could cause something like this. There’s also another issue that caused my master cylinder and brake booster to be replaced under warranty because there was an odd noise of liquid or something so I brought it to the dealership they claim to have fixed the problem and the night I picked it up as I’m going to the grocery store I hear the noise again and they’re keeping my car for further analysis because they can’t find the problem. I’m being run around and ignored it’s been there 24 hrs already and I’m not able to go to work tomorrow due to not having a car and then keeping it.

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.
By submitting above, I agree to the privacy policy and terms and consent to be contacted by an agent via phone call or text message at the phone number(s) listed above, including wireless number(s).