2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical problems and issues with the brakes are among the main cause of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first fully-electric crossover SUV. Launched as a 2021 intelligent design (ID) model in 2020, it’s intended for the mass market and, as such, it’s relatively affordable. But it’s certainly not perfect. The first two models were plagued with software and electrical problems. Similar issues are at the top of 2023 NHTSA complaints. Owners are reporting that doors randomly open or lock, brakes decelerate but don’t stop, and batteries fail.

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Most Common Problems with the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4

Launched in late 2022, the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 has a variety of problems relating to 10 components and systems. Of the 9 complaints lodged with the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) between November 22, 2022, and January 25, 2023, more than half cite electrical system issues. The other components and systems named as having problems are the brakes, engine, exterior lighting, forward collision avoidance, powertrain, seats, steering, structure, and vehicle speed control.

Doors and windows are the subject of several complaints. For example, doors open randomly even when locked, and mysteriously lock and then won’t open. Windows also malfunction. Other complaints relate to brakes that enable drivers to decelerate but not stop.

One complaint tells how the electric SUV accelerated for no reason and crashed into the wall of a parking garage. The driver was badly bruised, but the passenger, her husband, wasn’t injured.

Another crash was reportedly caused by a short circuit that may be related to a current recall that has no remedy. This is one of three recalls, all of which affect safety and increase the risk of a crash. It is an urgent safety recall because it also increases the risk of a vehicle fire. It states that the 12-volt battery cable may come into contact with the steering column shaft and cause the insulation to wear. This might result in a short circuit. There is no indication of how long it would take for the insulation to wear, but the recalled vehicles hadn’t been on the road for more than a few months, if at all.

The other two recalls relate to the rearview camera display blanking out and an electric motor sealing ring that is incorrectly assembled.

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Fuel/propulsion System
Service Brakes
Vehicle Speed Control
Power Train
Exterior Lighting

Electrical System Problems

Five complaints are listed as being electrical system issues. They include problems with the battery, doors and windows, and issues involving heating, lighting, digital displays, and the infotainment system.

An owner from Utah describes in detail what happened after sending a remote command via the myVW app to heat the cabin of the SUV. While the car heated up, the information displays didn’t work, and nor did the speedometer. He solved the problem by following instructions he had read from forum users who had experienced the same malfunction.

Electrical Issues that Affect the Battery

The battery is the heart of an electric vehicle. If it doesn’t work, you may just as well have bought yourself a regular combustion engine car or a bicycle. So, when a new Volkswagen ID.4 owner from California got a warning the day after taking delivery of the SUV, there was considerable cause for alarm.

The SUV had only 20 miles on the clock and the owner decided to drive it for about 80 miles to ensure the 12-volt battery was charged. The next day, the vehicle was “inoperable and immobilized.” The battery had failed and the accessory voltage had dropped to 8 volts. The power steering stopped working, the headlights weren’t working, and it wasn’t possible to put the vehicle in neutral.

The tow truck operator got it moving again and persuaded the new owner to drive instead of getting towed. Although the battery was put on charge again, the next day it “was again completely inoperable and it was now blocking my garage where it was difficult to access. I continued to charge the 12V battery for another full day.” That seemed to work, but there were “a plethora of warnings including one that states that 12V battery supply is limited and the vehicle needs to be driven with care.”

At this stage, the owner scheduled an appointment with a Volkswagen dealer for the following day. It’s not clear what the outcome was. But the complaint states that “the manufacturer should have taken precautions so that the battery cannot fail in such a rapid and unpredictable fashion. There needs to be a way to put the vehicle in neutral in emergency situations such as this one.”

Problems with Doors and Windows

There is one window problem reported as an electrical system issue, that states the malfunction caused injury, but doesn’t provide details. The complaint is that when they pull the lever to close the window, it opens. It explains that there are two position controls for the windows. The first makes it go up and down. The other one-touch open/close control mechanism opens or closes the window all the way. The problem is that when they use the first control position with the window half open, pulling the lever up results in the window going down.

“This has put the safety of my child at risk as we had a large animal charging towards the vehicle and when I went to close the window, instead of closing, it opened the window fully.” While the dealer was able to replicate the problem, they said they couldn’t help because an error code wasn’t generated.

An owner from Massachusetts closed and locked the doors before driving. But, while traveling at 70 mph down the highway, the “electric controlled driver’s side door unlatched and opened.”

An owner from New York was stopped at a red light when the passenger door opened twice, “unprompted.” After trying to lock the door via the driver panel, “the same door opened again by itself. This is a major safety risk to have the doors open by themselves while driving.”

While some complaints only mention door or window problems, others report other problems as well. For example, an owner from California crashed while on the way to get his door problems sorted out (see Brake and Deceleration Problems below) at a dealership. It all started when the driver’s door wouldn’t open. The dealer told him it was caused by “some sort of short circuit,” but didn’t explain.

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Brake and Deceleration Problems

The California owner mentioned above describes what happened when he crashed.

After doing a bit of research, he assumed the dealer’s mention of a short circuit issue had something to do with the 12-volt battery cable recall. However, nobody mentioned that it might not be safe to drive the SUV. On the way to the dealer to get the door fixed, someone in front stopped suddenly to avoid hitting a dog. “I saw it, hit the brakes all the way down to the floor. ID.4 decelerated but did not stop and I braced for impact. I rammed into the car in front of me. I left (the) car at the dealership, I have yet to hear back if it was (a) vehicle malfunction.”

An owner from Florida describes how the ID.4 began shuddering and vibrating when she depressed the brake pedal. She was approaching a traffic light at about 40 mph and needed to stop. The brake failure warning light illuminated, and the SUV began decelerating. Fortunately, she was able to pull over and park on the side of the road. This was the third time she had experienced this failure. Previously, the SUV wasn’t drivable and had to be towed. The third time she was able to continue driving after stopping for about an hour and a half. The vehicle had only about 393 miles on the clock and, while the manufacturer was informed of the failure, it hadn’t been repaired.

What to do if your 2023 VW ID.4 is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

If you own a 2023 VW ID.4 and have concerns that you might have bought a lemon, you can do something about it. Every year automakers like Volkswagen buy back, replace, or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners. Additionally, the law makes Volkswagen pay the legal fees for lemon-related legal fees.

If you would like Lemberg Law to assess your 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 problems free of charge, call our Helpline or fill out a contact form.

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
  • David L

    Slip off brake pedal and must of hit accelerator but not sure. Wet shoes and did not do emergency stop lurched into a park truck destroyed !D.4 front end and truck not too damaged pushed over curb had big back bumper. Minor injury to right arm three cuts.

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