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

Brake and engine issues are the main causes of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

Described by the automaker as the “torchbearer” for the Volkswagen brand, the Jetta is a Golf-sized VW with a trunk. The 2023 Volkswagen Jetta has been “refreshed” with, amongst other things, a “revised” engine. But ironically, engine problems feature at the top of the list of consumer complaints along with brake-related issues.    

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019    2020    2021

Most Common Problems with the 2023 Jetta

While the Jetta is generally regarded as a reliable sedan, complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) about the 2023 model relate to several faulty components and systems. These include the brakes, engine, forward collision avoidance, fuel/propulsion system, and vehicle speed control.

However, most complaints relate to the brakes and/or engine of the vehicle. One recurring complaint relates to a defective hill-hold or hill assist feature that is designed to prevent the sedan from rolling back when you release the brakes on an upward slope. Along with other random issues, there are also complaints that the engine stalls.

2023 Volkswagen Jetta Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Fuel/propulsion System
Lane Departure: Warning
Power Train

Problems with Hill Assist

A complaint from an owner of a 2023 VW Jetta with standard transmission is filed in the NHTSA Service Brakes category. It states that the Jetta “has a hill hold feature that clamps the brakes on for approximately three seconds after you remove your foot from the brake pedal, if you are on a hill.” But, the complaint says, “three seconds is way too long.”

What happens is that when the driver spots an opening in the traffic, moves their foot to the accelerator and starts letting the clutch out, the car stalls. This leaves the car and driver “in the middle of the road with the electronic parking brake now applied where it was not before. This is very dangerous.”

Having owned previous models that didn’t have “this safety defect,” the owner states, “The behavior of the 2023 Jetta was a shock to both of us. There are lots of comments online about this unacceptable behavior of hill hold. Please require VW to issue a recall to change the coding of its ABS module on these cars to release sooner.”

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Engine Problems

There is no one single engine issue, but those reports filed with the NHTSA indicate clear safety risks when there are engine problems.

Accelerator Malfunction Affects Hill Assist Causing Engine Stalling

An owner from Pennsylvania lists a similar complaint under Vehicle Speed Control, Engine, and Fuel/Propulsion System. The complaint states that the accelerator pedal does not always result in acceleration from a stopped position. “This causes the hill assist to hold and does not allow movement forward, resulting in an engine stall. The vehicle has also set the EPC light while traveling resulting in reduced engine power to the point of not enough power to move forward.” When the driver turns off the ignition, and then turns it on again, it resets the EPC and goes into limp mode.

Unexplained Stalling Blamed on Engine Problems

Another engine-related problem led to a 2023 Jetta with only 162 miles on clock leaving the driver stranded in the middle of a road. The driver had leased the vehicle for a 39-month period and had test driven the road. On delivery, the Jetta had only traveled 12 miles. Having driven a further 150 at night, the car simply stopped in the middle of the road.

“I called VW 36 month/36,000 roadside assistance for help. They asked if I was in a safe place. I told them, ‘No, I am in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night.’ They proceeded to tell me to call 911 and hung up on me. I then went to push the SOS button in my car, (and) to my disbelief, (discovered that) ‘this feature is not active in your vehicle’.” Then he called AAA. After a three-hour wait, he tried phoning multiple towing agencies, and was eventually picked up.

The complaint states that the emergency brake wasn’t on, but the tow truck driver had to manually disengage it with a tool before towing it back to the dealership. Three weeks later, the dealer said that the owner was “responsible for a burned out clutch because (the) warranty has been denied by VW because of ‘outside influences’. I talked with several mechanics and I am simply being told, I am being taken. There is NO WAY a clutch can be burned out in 150 miles.”

Stating that the situation was unacceptable, he states, “I am beyond furious and frustrated. I will keep fighting until someone helps me get through to VW about how ridiculous this claim is.”

Free Legal Help – What To Do If Your 2023 VW Jetta is a Lemon?

If you believe that your 2023 Volkswagen Jetta is a lemon, you are welcome to call Lemberg Law for a free evaluation of your problems. We’ve handled more than 40,000 consumer cases in 17 years and have helped many of our clients settle lemon disputes with manufacturers to their advantage. Every year vehicle manufacturers like Volkswagen end up buying back, replacing, or paying out substantial cash settlements to thousands of lemon vehicle owners who make claims. You could be one of them.

All you have to do is call our Helpline or fill out a contact form. Ultimately, VW will have to pay your legal lemon bills because the law says they must.

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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