2023 Volkswagen Golf Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system and backover prevention issues are the main causes of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

There is no doubt that the VW Golf hatchback is a well-established, successful brand. Originally launched in the U.S. in 1974, the 2023 Golf MK8 is available as the Golf R and Golf GTI. While there aren’t huge volumes of complaints in the first few months of the car’s release, there are owners who are citing safety issues and stating some of these warrant recalls.   

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Most Common Problems

The most common complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) about the 2023 VW Golf relate to the electrical system and backover prevention. Issues are varied, with some complaints citing both electrics and backover prevention as being problematic. Other components highlighted in NHTSA complaints are the engine and visibility/wiper.

An engine complaint surmises that the 2023 VW Golf “should be under an active recall for 2022/2023 Volkswagen GTI/R due to (the) insecurely installed radiator.” This is because the vehicle’s radiator was loose and caused a rupture in the coolant hose, which caused coolant to leak.

2023 Volkswagen Golf Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
Exterior Lighting
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Power Train
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System:adas:hill Start Assist:clutch Solenoid
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking

Problems with the Rear Camera

A complaint from an owner living in Connecticut states that the rear camera, cross traffic sensors, and parking sensors of a 2023 GTI aren’t functioning as they should. The assumption is that this is because the “infotainment system controls these systems, and is consistently blacking out and showing errors.” This vehicle has, according to the complaint, been serviced several times, and according to the dealer, “it’s a VW Software issue.”

This means, the complaint states, that the “issue is likely systemic. Considering it renders the backup camera intermittently non-functional I consider this a big safety problem. VW needs to address this issue immediately and issue a TSB or a fix.” The complaint goes on to say that many 2023 VW GTI owners are facing the same issue. Two dealers “have told me it is a Volkswagen technology issue and is unsolvable unless VW fixes the software.”

Another complaint that is filed as an electrical system and backover prevention problem states that the vehicle’s infotainment system doesn’t turn on at startup. There are several error messages for safety features, most importantly one that refers to the rear camera. Specifically, the “rear camera does not work when (the) infotainment system screen is down and requires the dealer to activate it.”

This owner states that the vehicle has been with VW three times and they can’t determine what the problem is. They say it’s a software issue, but it also shows “low voltage” warnings in their computer diagnostics. Audi, which is owned by VW, “just issued a recall for infotainment systems disabling rear cameras due to low voltage issues. The symptoms are identical to the VW issues.” Ultimately, the complaint states that “the components are possibly shared and the recall needs to extend to the GTI as well.”

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Other Electrical System Problems

A complaint about the electrical system in the 2023 Golf R states that issues relate to the “unintentional use of controls on the steering wheel while driving. Pressing the blue ‘R” button on the left-side of the steering wheel initiates an immediate change in the driving mode. Driving mode includes settings to the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, driver displays, and dynamic safety systems. There is an orange warning panel in the Owner’s Manual stating that this feature is active when driving. The ‘R’ button is covered by my hand when holding the steering wheel in the 9 o’clock position. I often engage this function by mistake while driving due to the flawed ergonomic design of the steering wheel. There is a similar issue with the View buttons on the other side of the steering wheel.”

Another electrical complaint that doesn’t specify which model is involved states that the problem is component protection. It states that when the car goes into component protection mode, “you lose A/C and defrost, (and) crash protection.

What to do if your 2023 VW Golf is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Do you think that the problems you have with your 2023 Volkswagen Golf could mean it’s a lemon. If you do, you are welcome to contact Lemberg Law. We are a lemon law firm that has helped many clients settle disputes with manufacturers. Every year automakers like Volkswagen end up buying back, replacing, or paying out substantial cash settlements to thousands of lemon vehicle owners who make claims. You could end up being one of these positive statistics.

All you have to do is call our Helpline or fill out a contact form. Ultimately, VW will be liable for all your legal bills because the law says that they are.

Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

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