VW Recalls Nearly 800,000 Vehicles for Faulty Brake Lights

February 26, 2007 – 5:22 pm by Dan Volkens
Filed under Recalls

We came across this little goodie over at CNN.com where they state Volkswagen is recalling just about every MkIV generation vehicle.

Going out to Golf, GTI, Jetta, New Beetle and R32 owners, the recall states that brake light switches can either fail to come on or remain stuck on. They estimate about 800,000 vehicles are affected. I’d estimate that’s about every MkIV model

out there. lol

Volkswagen is prepaaring for the deluge of service appointments to make the repair at no cost to the owner, however notifications about the recall aren’t scheduled to go out until April.

Model Specifics:
- 1999-2005 Jetta sedans
- 2001-2005 Jetta wagons
- 1998-2007 New Beetle
- 2003-2007 New Beetle Convertibles,
- 1999-2006 Golfs and GTIs
- 2004 R32

All of these are U.S. spec models.

Dan Volkens

VW Recalls Nearly 800,000 Vehicles for Faulty Brake Lights
February 26, 2007 – 5:22 pm by Dan Volkens

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170 Responses to “VW Recalls Nearly 800,000 Vehicles for Faulty Brake Lights”

  1. Ouuuchhhh…….guess I’ll be back at my dealer sooner than I’d hoped.

    By Mrad on Feb 26, 2007 | Reply
  2. ya, odd. theres been like 3 of these since 2003.. reminder notice for those that didnt get it done? not till april?

  3. Dan Volkens

    Yeah, I’m not sure. I haven’t found any more details on it yet from VW. I assume we could get it done immediately at the dealer without waiting for the notice. I’ll have to give ‘em a call. :]

  4. I can remember a recall on these in the past, but when I took my ’02 Jetta in they told me it wasn’t covered, even though I had previously experienced the issue with the brake lights coming on and not turning off. It sounds like they finally realized that there was a bigger problem than they originally thought. Now if I could just get the money back I spent on the brake light switches to fix the problem…

  5. Ed: Actually, as long as you have the receipt for the brake light switches that you’ve had to pay for in the past, you should get reimbursed for those repairs.

    Brake light switches were commonly failing (poor supplier choice…VW does not manufacture brake light switches) and VW has just made it an official recall now.

    By David on Feb 26, 2007 | Reply
  6. Dan Volkens

    David, thanks for popping on and providing that info. Good deal that VW will at least reimburse for those repairs.

  7. Thanks David. I found one of my receipts, so I’ll have to take that in with me. I’ve read that VW has completely redesigned the switch as part of the recall. Finally!

  8. Does this have anything at all to do with the faulty software program for my 2004 Passat that I was informed about in 2006 where the check engine light keeps coming on? I was told that a new software program was coming out to fix the problem. I’m still waiting & have all of my receipts for what VW swore was not covered by their extended warranty. My fuel injectors were cleaned 4 times within a 3 month period (at my expense), I use only premium gasoline & put STP fuel injector cleaner in monthly. Any help out there?

    By Pat on Feb 27, 2007 | Reply
  9. Dan Volkens

    Hey Pat, I doubt that VW would relate your check engine light problem to this recall, as this specifically addresses the breake light problem. I can’t recall a, heh, recall about a check engine light for Passats.

    Be sure to hang on to those receipts. Anyone else out there have more info for Pat?

  10. Do you know anything about the headlights? I have a 2001 VW Beetle and my headlights go out quite often….please let me know. Thanks in advance.

    By Tracey on Mar 7, 2007 | Reply
  11. Dan Volkens

    Hmm, interesting Tracey. And that’s gotta be annoying at least, dangerous at best. I don’t know of any headlight recalls off the top of my head. I would give a local dealer a call and ask them about it.

    Anyone else know of headlight recalls, or have a similar problem?

  12. So, my neighbor just informed me that my driver’s side tail light is out. Should I change it myself or wait to see if my Jetta is on the recall list? It does seem a bit early for my ’03 Jetta to have a tail light go out. BTW – also thanks for the photo blog instructions for changing out the brake light. :)

    By David on Mar 16, 2007 | Reply
  13. Dan Volkens

    Hmm, given your situation and the potential for it to be replaced under warranty, I’d try to get the dealer to replace it first. :] Although now that I’m thinking about it, this specific problem would cause all of the brake lights to either stick on or not come on at all, so they may not replace the bulbs while doing the repair, since the repair itself isn’t for the bulbs.

    The bulbs are pretty cheap, so you could go the DIY route and then still take your Jetta in for the recall, or try to get it all done at once.

  14. I have a 2002 Cabrio that has a problem with the passenger side brake light. I’ve had it in to the dealer last spring, and they said it is fine, but I get home and it doesn’t work. I’ve replaced the bulb and it still doesn’t work. Do you think the Cario’s are covered on this recall?

    By sue r on Mar 18, 2007 | Reply
  15. Dan Volkens

    Hi Sue. The Cabrio is on the same MkIV platform as the Jettas and Golf/GTI’s, so I see no reason why they would deny you. But you know how dealers can be. ;) Hey, it’s worth a shot, get on over there and see if they’ll do the recall for ya.

  16. It’s the brake light switch (not the actual lights). The light works just fine once the switch is replaced (in my case it wouldn’t turn off so I had to pull the fuse everytime I wanted to park it so my battery wouldn’t run out). They won’t replace the lights themselves since they’re not effected. I’ve since gotten mine fixed (almost a year ago) and will wait for my refund. It also effected the cruise control (which wouldn’t operate during this time) but now opperates properly since the switch was replaced.

    By AmberC on Mar 21, 2007 | Reply
  17. This is also happening on our 2004 Passat with 49K miles. Disappointed it’s not on the recall list.

    By Marie Novello on Mar 22, 2007 | Reply
  18. I’ve got a 2000 Beetle. I just spent the past hour on the phone with VW customer service about the brake lights. Living on an island I can’t get to the dealership that’s open M-F / 8-5. I get my service done a block away from work at foreign car mechanic. Customer service told me that they might pay for the repair after I get it fixed. (evidently they have to research the submission – go figure!) I had to replace the MassAirFlow filter awhile back and they had no problem paying for that work that was done. They said it had to be a VW part (understandable) but that they would have to be sure that it was done right (ok?). I don’t want to rant here, but am I the only one fed up with VW? Oh yes, I’ve replaced about 5 headlamps so far!

    By cheryl on Apr 6, 2007 | Reply
  19. my 2003 passat brake light switch was defective, but not on recall list, other passat owners with same problem to notify vw and get these recalled too

    By peggy on Apr 13, 2007 | Reply
  20. Brake light switch has been replaced twice in less than 2 yrs on my 2003 VW Passat. In order to begin the process of a recall for the Passats, there needs to be enough complaints to begin an investigation. I have started one with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Association) by calling 1-888-327-4236. I am also writing a letter to VW of America, Inc. with copies of over $6000 in dealer repairs and diagnostics – still unable to find out why my ABS control module ($1100) suddenly broke, my radio is not working, my climate control is set on 90 degrees AT ALL TIMES and I cannot change it, my HomeLink is not working (and there is no short in it), fuses keep shorting out, my heated seats are not working (even after VW repaired it through a recall), and my horn is not working (very dangerous). I bought this car new in 2002, have taken great care of my vehicle and have had regular maintenance on it. Just don’t understand why VW dealerships cannot diagnose the problems $6000 later! If nothing is resolved in time, I may seek the help of the Bureau of Automotive Repair and the Office of the Attorney General.

    By Gina on Apr 13, 2007 | Reply
  21. I had my brake light switch replaced this week; when I next turned to car on it wouldn’t start. I had it jumped and tried drove 30 mins…. that didn’t recharge my battery so I brought it back. They said they didn’t do it- I’m sure they did. Any ideas on how the battery issue might relate to the brake light switch? I had never even had a problem with the switch in the past…..

    By Erin on May 3, 2007 | Reply
  22. Dan Volkens

    Hmmm, sounds like strange coincidence Erin. I don’t know of any way that the switch problem would drain you battery, unless it had been stuck on for a very long time (which was the problem with the switch, either sticking on or not coming on at all). But since this happened after the switch was replaced, I would imagine that they’re unrelated, just bad timing. Did the dealer offer any help at all with the battery?

  23. We just purchased a used 2003 diesel new beetle, so i don’t expect to receive any warrantee notices on the car. Sounds like we need to request this fix along with a good once-over. We knew the horn didnt work when we bought it, but since it works when the security button is clicked, it sounded like an electrical problem… however it worries us because we are not sure the driver’s air bag is working either since that is also on the steering wheel. has anyone else had a horn behave that way?

    By WinonaDeb on May 23, 2007 | Reply
  24. I own a Passat 05 and that issue is happing to me why am I not getting a free replacement can I have an update please????????????

    By Tre Louis on May 25, 2007 | Reply
  25. Dan Volkens

    HI Tre, if you haven’t received a recall letter from Volkswagen yet, I would just call up one of your local dealers and ask them about the recall, and whether you can schedule to have it done. The recall letter isn’t necessarily required to perform the service since they have the recalls in their system. Call one up and give it a shot!

  26. Hey Dax: I have a 2002 Jetta TDI and I had the brake light replaced under the recall last week and ever since, I have had the same problem as Erin: Something is draining the battery overnight. Going back to the dealership tomorrow so they can check it out, although they deny that anything they did would cause the problem. Never had a problem starting the car before now.

    By Carmen on May 27, 2007 | Reply
  27. Dan Volkens

    Hmm, very interesting Carmen. If this is related to the recall fix, we should start seeing a lot more complaints like this. (And I hope so, so that VW owns up to it and makes yet another fix). I hope they figure it out for ya!

  28. My 2004 Passat just experienced the brake lights not turning off syndrome and its not covered by the recall. This disrespect for their customers by VW
    will yield to complaints to every State Agency where you live. They must act on complaints and many publish a number list of complaints by Manufacturers. VW doesn’t want to see it self on this list. Most of these complaints can be made online and CC VW of America!


    By Joe Viola on May 27, 2007 | Reply
  29. we are having the same problem with our 2003 passat wagon! the brake intermittently lights come on and won’t turn off, draining the battery. i can’t believe the recall isn’t applying to this car. we will definitely make the complaints!

    in the meantime, we bought an extended warranty from GM for the car, do you think it will cover this?

    By shamini on May 29, 2007 | Reply
  30. Dan Volkens

    Hey Shamini, hmm the only thing I can suggest is to look very close at the details of that extended warranty. If it provides “bumper-to-bumper” like coverage, then you may be set.

    I agree, with the influx of Passat owners stating the same problem, Volkswagen has to come out with a new recall or add the B5 and B5.5 platforms to the existing one.

  31. I have a 3-month-old Beetle convertible and driving down the interstate this A.M., the left front headlight (ALL OF IT) exploded out of the housing and damaged the left front fender before it hit the pavement and was smashed by a semi. The dealer said that this was impossible, that I must have hit something. But I had a passenger who verifies that there was nothing on the road. Has anyone had a similar problem?

    By Bobbie on May 30, 2007 | Reply
  32. Yes, I have been having headlight problems with my 2001 TDI Beetle? In the last nine months I have replaced the left front headlight 3 times and need to have replaced AGAIN after replacement 2 months ago!!!!!! I bought this car brand new off the lot! However, have had problems with fuel cover not closing ( took to dealer three times to fix), interior components breaking or falling apart, passenger air bag defaulted, engine light coming on, and now head light problems. Great care to drive but just not well made!!

    By joy on May 31, 2007 | Reply
  33. Dax, Problem!
    I have a 2002 passat with non functioning brake lights?
    One day they just both went out? Any ideas?
    Also my gas gauge stop working shortly after that.

    By antonio on Jun 5, 2007 | Reply
  34. Thanks Dax

    By antonio on Jun 5, 2007 | Reply
  35. Dan Volkens

    Hi Antonio, once again it sounds like the Passats have the exact same problem as the Jetta, golf, etc. in the recall noted above but aren’t included on that recall. Your best option is to go to your dealer and talk to them about having the brake light problem repaired under the recall.

    As far as the gas gauge, you definitely don’t want to let that linger for long, especially with today’s gas prices. ;) Have them check that out while you’re there.

  36. Do NOT ever buy a car or have your car serviced at Joe Heidt in Paramus, NJ. Those guys will rip you off. Other dealerships in the area have heard of horror stories as well.

    By Lisa on Jun 7, 2007 | Reply
  37. Thank goodness I found your website. I own a 2003 Passat Wagon, and today all of a sudden the all 3 brake lights are not working. I have also had problems with the cruise control. Does this sound like the brake swithch recall problem?

    Everyone needs to file a complaint with VW to get this covered under a recall. Thanks,

    By jason autobarn on Jun 8, 2007 | Reply
  38. Dan Volkens

    It sure sounds like it to me Jason. With so many people commenting on having the same problem with their passats, I’m just waiting to hear that Volkswagen of America has issued the same recall for Passats or extended the existing one.

  39. Hey…just had the brake light switch problem 5/1/07 on my 2003 VW Passat. Repaired it at my own expense, of course, this model not covered under recall. Four days ago, got in my car, and it will not start. Makes all the start-up sounds, just won’t turn over. I’m thinking fuel pump since it did the exact same thing and had it repaired in Oct. ’05. I had it towed to dealer, and they are telling me that the ECU is dead (main computer?), and they can’t run a diagnostic…$1300!!!! And, this may not even be the problem since they can’t run a diagnostic. #1 How can the computer just suddenly die? #2 Since they were messing with the electrical stuff just a month ago caused this new problem?


    By Denise on Jun 8, 2007 | Reply
  40. Dan Volkens

    Hey Denise, others have commented that their cars wouldn’t start after repairing the brake light switch so I would assume it has to have something to do with that, though it’s not been confirmed yet. Volkswagen better get on the ball with this thing. We have one Passat owner after the other posting up now with the exact same problems.

    As far as the ECU dying, I have never heard of that in any car, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Very weird (and mucho expensive) situation. Is it possible for you to get another opinion at a different dealer before going ahead with the repair? Or now that I think about it, you probably can’t move the car now that’s it at that dealer’s shop. Let us know how it goes!

  41. Dan Volkens

    For everyone reading this thread, I would strongly suggest that you give Volkswagen of America a call about each of your situations. Be polite, but forceful about your situation and who knows, maybe you’ll get them to cover your repairs, or issue a new recall.

    Here’s the info:
    Volkswagen of America
    Toll free: 800-DRIVE VW
    Toll free: 800-822-8987
    Fax: 248-340-4660
    Website: http://www.vw.com

  42. My 2003 Passat, has the same brake light problem, all 3 lights remain on. I disconnect each one every night, This is a saftey issue, VW should add Passat’s to the recall, I am calling them Monday. My car is in the shop right now and the service department doesn’t think it currently under recall. PASSAT OWNERS MUST CALL VW AND COMPLAIN!!!!

    By Tom McGrath on Jun 9, 2007 | Reply
  43. My 2003 Passat has been had the same brake light problem for the past year. Normally, I can pump the brakes to un-stick the switch, as the service manager has suggested. However, that is not working today. I found removing fuse #13 at least saves the battery until Monday, when I can get it in the service dept and make my call to VW of America. Thanks for the info.

  44. BTW, like Pat and Joy, my check engine light came on a few days before the brake light issue.

  45. How to pull fuse on 2003 VW Passat to turn off rear tail lights. Can’t get them to turn off…thank you. Any other ideas as to why lights suddenly won’t turn off.

    By Dale on Jun 9, 2007 | Reply
  46. I complained to both VW and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Association). I think other Passat owners should do the same, and get the recall expanded. It’s not so much the cost of the repair(

    By Tom McGrath on Jun 11, 2007 | Reply
  47. So glad I stumbled on to your website. Yes, I own a 2003 Passat with a failed brake light switch at 50,231 miles. Must put on my “activist” hat.

    By Bernie Couris on Jun 12, 2007 | Reply
  48. Can anyone help me? I just replaced the brake switch on my 05 TDI Passat and it was working fine. I just went out to lunch, and when I got into the parking lot, the car would not turn off (I only drove about 2-3 miles). Instead of “Engine Workshop” on the dash, I now have “Emissions Workshop”. Any ideas?

    By Andy on Jun 14, 2007 | Reply
  49. Yesterday, my local VW dealer acknowledged that VW is soon going to add the Passat to the recall list for brake light switches. They replaced mine free of charge.

    By Bernie Couris on Jun 14, 2007 | Reply
  50. Dan Volkens

    Rock on Bernie. Passat owners rejoice. lol

  51. Dan Volkens

    Hey Andy, I’m not sure that those two problems are related, but I could be completely wrong. Were you able to get the engine to shut off? If so, I’d run it by your service shop to find out what codes were thrown in the car computer. That should divulge what is going on.

  52. thanks for all your posts. my cruise control stopped working and the brake lights are stuck on. i’ll bring it in tomorrow. i called the 800 number and it suggests they’ll also reimburse if you bring it to an independent rather than the dealer. has any one else tested that — do they reimburse non-dealer repairs for this issues?

    By robert on Jun 14, 2007 | Reply
  53. Thanks Dax. I was able to get the engine to shut off, but all of light were on on the dash. After I took the key out, the car “thought” that it should be running. One of the people I work with has some good freinds at the VW dealer’s shop down the road and she called and asked one of them. They told me that they thought that it was part of the ignition switch. SO- I went to the dealer to bought the part, and the engine shut off there with no problem. However, I went ahead and bought the part and am going to replace it this weekend (have to pull the airbag).

    -On a side note, after I replaced the brake switch, we took it apart. The switch is repairable, all I need to do is sand down the contacts, and it will be good as new. The part is very simple inside. When you step on the brake, the brake lever pushes down on a plastic post (inside the brake switch) that closes the contact and truns on the brake light. Mine looked like it had arced, and therefore built up a layer of “stuff” that was preventing the contact from closing. I am going to repair it and just keep it in the car just incase I need to replace it later down the road.

    By Andy on Jun 15, 2007 | Reply
  54. Dan Volkens

    Rock on Andy. Sucks about the ignition module, but good call finding out how simple the repair would be for the brake like switch. :]

  55. I have a 1998 New Beetle and the Passenger headlight keeps going out. Any suggestions??

    By Dee on Jun 25, 2007 | Reply
  56. Dan Volkens

    Hi Dee, when the headlight goes out, is the bulb actually burning out continually, or is the bulb still ok but doesn’t function? If the bulb is still good, there is most likely some type of wiring problem or otherwise in the headlight assembly.

  57. i took my 2003 new beetle into the volkswagon dealer to buy a new radio. we bought this car used. while i was there to purchase the radio, they said there was a recall to replace the brake light switch and that it could affect other things in the car. so, we had the recall performed and they installed our new vw cd, am fm radio. now our battery goes dead about once or twice a week. they replaced my alternator and when it continued to drain the battery, they told me that it needed a new battery. i replaced the battery and it continues to drain the battery down. it is now in the shop and they tell me that the computer in the shop says that the drain on the battery is within limits. they have it over the weekend and as of friday afternoon still had no idea what to do to fix it. could it have something to do with the new vw radio or the brake light recall repair? just dont know what to think about this

    By jim grayson on Jun 30, 2007 | Reply
  58. Dan Volkens

    Hi Jim, others are reporting a battery drain before and/or after this recall, so it looks like it has something to do with it. I hope they work it out.

  59. Have had the brake problem on a 2003 passat since June 28 ’07 and was searching for a fix when I found this site. Will call the dealership tomorrow about the hopefully expanded recall and see what happens.
    Great site!

    By Jerry Hoyle on Jul 2, 2007 | Reply
  60. When my 03 Passat brake lights went out (just noticed today), I semi-diagnosed the problem as the switch. So, I called Fladeboe VW in Irvine. I was told that the Passat did have a recall on the switch and there was an immediate opening in their service department. Good news so far right?
    I drive to the dealer and am told at the service counter that the Passat does not have a recall and it will cost >$100 to do the work. The person who gave me the false info over the phone was corrected in front of me, and even with my protests to the manager, they would not back down on the bait and switch. I’m still simmering over this. I’ll do some protesting to VWofA in hopes that others will be spared an expense that is obviously due to poor QC and subsequent follow through on VW’s part. VW should remember that word of mouth advertising and repeat customers help pay their bills. Thanks for the forum.

    By Chuck Miller on Jul 3, 2007 | Reply
  61. I have a 2002 Passat. My battery keeps draining overnight. The brake lights turn off. But the next morning the car won’t start and I have to recharge the battery. Dealer thought it was the battery. Replaced and same thing happened. Any suggestions?

    By Barry on Jul 8, 2007 | Reply
  62. I have a 2002 passat and my battery drains overnight. brake light turns off. Dealer thought it was the battery, replaced and still does not turn over in the morning. Interior lights do not work and automatic door locking until battery if fully charged again. Car will run all day, but just not the next morning.

    By Barry on Jul 8, 2007 | Reply
  63. Dan Volkens

    Hey Barry, I’m not sure what’s going on there. Have you had the battery checked at any local auto parts shop to see if the battery itself is bad maybe?

  64. Glad to find this forum. My 2004 New Beetle has fallen ill with the “Brake Lights Won’t Switch Off” Syndrome. I live in American Samoa, about 2500 miles from the nearest VW dealership. Any advice on getting a replacement part, installing the part (I am good enough to change a light bulb, but not much better) and what to do in the meantime so that I don’t drain my battery? Please respond to my email address if you please. [email protected]

    By Joey Cummings on Jul 14, 2007 | Reply
  65. my wife just called me at work and said that the brake lights on our ’04 passat wagon are stuck on!

    i had her call the dealership and they can’t take it for a couple of days. i don’t want to deal with a dead battery. what can we do right now?

  66. Dan Volkens

    Hi Spencer and Joey, best thing to do for the time being is remove the fuse for the brake lights while your Passat is not in use. Be sure to put the fuse back if you need to drive anywhere. It should be located in position #13 on the fuse panel. You can see a schematic of it here.

  67. I have been an avid VDub fan for years. I drive a leased 2003 Passat– my lease is up in two weeks. About two weeks ago, cruise control stopped working. This morning, someone behind me in traffic informed me (rather dramatically) that my brakelights were out. I really wonder if my brake lights have been out for two weeks and I never knew about it!!!! I came home and checked every fuse in that ridiculously coded fuse panel to no avail. Then, found this site. Based on what I’m seeing here, this is a common problem with this car. I did some research and found that there is a very generous, kind soul out there who feels our pain. He has posted pictures and instructions on fixing the brake switch issue yourself (if you’d like to save yourself from the deal/service department attitudes). I wanted to share my new found information with all of you. Copy and paste this link into your browser. http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=967146
    Happy Repairs! VW lost a fan today!

    By nicole on Sep 12, 2007 | Reply
  68. Lost cruise control today … Googled this latest problem on a 2003 Passat fraught with issues … read the above stories … when the sun went down and it got dark, looked out to see brake lights had not gone off. Fumbled in dark looking for fuse to pull. Came inside, consulted this site, found the schematic for fuses, successfully pulled fuse. Not looking forward to another round of arguing with dealership about all this … but thank Dax from the bottom of my teenyweeny heart for helping me find the right fuse.

    Along with this latest issue, have also had heated seat catch fire whilst I was seated upon it; the vehicle absolutely consumes brakes and when it gets hot and if the fuel level drops to a quarter of a tank, car sputters, shudders and stops.

    Dealer scratches head at all this and says … ain’t had that happen before. After reading this thread I am comforted to know that I am not alone.

    I wish I could say I have enjoyed the VW experience. But frankly, it has sucked from the moment I drove off the lot.

    By MIss Understood on Sep 20, 2007 | Reply
  69. So.. I just started having this issue on my jetta yesterday. The brake light comes on randomly, which is very dangerous because with the brake light on my lights do not work, nor do my windshield wipers. The problem? My jetta is a 1997 GL. This year is not covered in the recall! I am going to call VW tomorrow and see what the deal is. Any advice?

    By Heather on Oct 3, 2007 | Reply
  70. Dan Volkens

    Hey Heather, try everything in your power to see if they’ll cover the repair under the recall… that is if it’s related to the part that’s noted in the recall. That’s a serious problem to have, and I hope they take care of it quickly and reasonably for you. Let us know how it goes!

  71. hello-
    I own a 99 vw new style jetta and bought it at a vw certifed used dealership with 36k miles on it back in 2003. Since then I have had so many porblems with my car with it being one thing or another. In the past year my car started to act up and the automatic gear shit would completely lock up and i couldnt move it into park drive reverse or etc. I find out that it was due to the brake light switch and so they replaced it as a part of the recall campaign. Well since then i have had to replace it twice which is a total of 3 times in the last year. the last time was this past week and they actually had the nerve to charge me 800.00 to replace it. needless to say im having an investigation done with vw corporate and requesting to be reimbursed. i just got my car back from the dealer a few days ago and once again my car is locking up not like before but sometimes it locks up and sometimes it doesnt. I heard that after you have your car fixed 4 or more times with the same issue it becomes categorized as a lemon but i dont know if that is true. so the people at the vw dealership are being assholes and not really helping me with this. i dont know what to do or where to go from here but i would be glad to hear suggestions. thanks

    By Ria on Oct 14, 2007 | Reply
  72. Dan Volkens

    Hey Ria, I suggest you keep going with your investigation with VW Corporate, and maybe try another dealer in your area if you have one. Other than that, it sucks to have so many problems. Hopefully VW Corp will reimburse you for that last repair at least.

  73. I bought a 2003 certified used WV new Beetle. I had to have the emergency brake handle replaced. Since that repair, a lot of electrical issues have started. The brake light beeps 3 times when I start out & then just blinks a few more times. The ABS light comes on, the air bag light comes on, the radio fades in and out (losing all sound & lcd writing on the radio screen). The passenger side door does not open electronically, inside or out, we have to pull the inside handle to open the door. This is all off and on, I took it to the dealer and things worked fine when I got there, they quoted me $83 for each thing I mentioned and told me if when they checked it & it was working I would have to pay all the diagnostic fees (over $400). I left, one morning it was acting up big time, so I went right to the dealer, showed the service department all the stuff that was haywire, I shut it off and the battery went dead. They kept my car & called and told me that my battery was causing ALL the problems, it was defective or low voltage and got hot and melted the fuse box ontop of it. None of the repairs are covered because the “battery” has caused all the problems. Something seems amiss here! Any ideas? ANy help on getting this repair under my certified warranty. Oh, the passenger door they said because it was “unlubricated” and stressing the unlock button not to work…here’s a shocker…no lubrication issues are covered under warranty….

    By Lilly on Oct 20, 2007 | Reply
  74. I have a 2003 V6TDI variant. I experienced ABS & ESP lights on yesterday when crawling around a McD drive through. I’ve been advised the brake light switch is on the fritz, or ABS module.
    Now living in the UK, VW are tight to say the least with freebies outta warranty.
    I’ve had 2 turbos soot up, 1 replaced, now this, plus I’ve been told I need a heated seat mod!?

    VW are rubbish now, harsh words, but I’ve owned vw’s from the 80′s, early 90′s and my daily driver is an Audi 90 from 1991:- these are good. WHAT HAPPENED VOLKSWAGEN? SORT YOURSELVES OUT!!

    I feel better now for the rant.

  75. I own a 2003 Passat
    At approx 95ooo kms I have experienced these intermittant faults.
    1.The esd light comes on during driving and also a front brake grabs.
    2.I have also noticed the cruise control dropping off when going over a bump in the road.
    The dealer believes I have a fauly abs unit or a yan sensor.
    Can anyone help
    The car is a 2003 v6

    By Wesley on Nov 15, 2007 | Reply
  76. Dan Volkens

    Hi Wesley, the symptoms do sound like a faulty ABS sensor. I would have it checked out at your dealer. Have them scan any codes in the computer if they don’t already plan to do that.

  77. Hi. I have a 2004 Passat and I got the brake light switch replaced under the recall about a week ago. Now the battery is dead in the morning. I thought maybe the recall work they did in the trunk was causing the trunk light to stay on (it wasn’t). As an aside, I noticed the dealer tech did not reattach the carpet around the light so the rear light is exposed. I haven’t noticed the brake lights staying on after the car is off, and I’m wondering if my battery is actually dead (I expect it to last longer than 3 years), or if my problem is somehow related to the brake switch work. Thanks.

    By Stef on Dec 11, 2007 | Reply
  78. Dan Volkens

    Hi Stef, others who have commented here have reported similar problems, but no one has found out for sure whether a dead battery is related to the switch problem. (unless of course your brake lights are on constantly)

    If your brake lights were staying on repeatedly instead of not working because of the bad switch, it could have put extra strain on your battery.

  79. Hello I have a 2000 Pasat GLX V6 4motion wagon. It has 220,000 miles on it. I drove it from Winston Salem, NC to Florida his past weekend and was doing fine. On the return trip it started to like stall and lose speed while on the hwy. I turned back around and left it at my parents house and rented a vehicle. The EPC light keeps coming on and also the Engine workshop light comes on. Don’t what is wrong, but did not want to take the chance with the vehicle on the hwy and it just stalling like it did at 75mph with a tractor trailer on my tail. Any ideas??????

    By Eddie on Feb 19, 2008 | Reply
  80. Dan Volkens

    Hey Eddie, there’s some kind of major problem in the engine. You were right to leave it and not continue driving. I recommend that you get it to a good Volkswagen dealer, or if you don’t want to go the dealer route, a reputable mechanic and have the codes scanned first to see what problem was registered in the computer. Then repairs can be made from there.

  81. Today I deceided to take my 2003 VW Beetle in for the brake light switch recall. After I left the dealer I had the tires rotated. 1 mile down the road the front brakes locked up on me as I got onto I-95. I turned around and went back to the tire place thinking they may have did something. The rotors are now shot, the pads are gone! The VW dealer says the must have put the tires on wrong on the bolts?? I asked them if it had something to do with the recall switch. They said no. After an hour wait for the tow truck, the brakes weren’t locked up on the front anymore and the car rolled?? Any suggestions on what the heck is going on? I left it at the dealer and can’t imagine how the car was fine before I brought it in. Why did the brakes lock up? Have you ever heard that tires could be put on wrong and mess up the bolt and cause the breaks to lock up? Help?

    By Karen on Feb 23, 2008 | Reply
  82. Dan Volkens

    Hey Karen, the only thing I can think of that would cause something like this is if they torqued down the wheel lugnuts so tightly that it warped the rotors. This in turn would cause your pads to drag on the rotors while moving and coul caue a lockup.

    The dealer should cover this completely as this is a screw-up that even relatively non-competent mechanics wouldn’t make. They could have caused an accident.

  83. Wow, if they did over tighten the lug on 1 wheel, do you think both would lock up? Have you heard any compaints about the master cylinder locking breaks up? Apparently after sitting for an hour the pressure released and the wheels wern’t locked up anymore.

    By Karen on Feb 23, 2008 | Reply
  84. Dan Volkens

    I can’t be sure as I’m not a mechanic. :D I wouldn’t expect both wheels to have that same problem. It could just be coincidence that this happened right after your previous service.

  85. I have a 2002 Automatic 6 cyl. Volkswagon Passat. About 3 months ago, I noticed that the car kept JUMPING while I was driving it, and At the same time, all the gears would light up and the car would not go very fast at all…Almost like it was trying to drive in all gears or something (?). Also, the front head lights are very dim, so much that I have to put on the brights to drive at night.
    Well, last month, while on a trip, the car did the SAME thing except it died while driving — the radio turned off, air and I couldn’t roll the windows down. So, we went and bought a GOOD battery. After we bought the battery, I noticed all of my gauges were lit (air bag, battery, check engine and brakes). After 30 miles down the road, the exact same thing happened and the car died. So, we bought an alternator. Even after the alterator was put in all of the gauges listed above still stayed on, but I just ignored it and thought my car needed to be reset or something (?)(?) It’s been 3-4 weeks since I bought the alternator and battery and today SAME EXACT THING HAPPENED WHILE driving down the road. HAD the battery checked and they said it was a dud……there has to be a much worse problem. Any suggestions or recalls you know about?!! HELP!!!

    By Erin on Mar 5, 2008 | Reply
  86. Dan Volkens

    Hi Erin, the first you should do when encountering problems like this with your vehicle is to go to a local auto parts shop, or a Volkswagen dealer, and have them scan the car’s computer for any codes that have been thrown when the problem occurs. It’s usually free at the auto parts store and the dealer, however the dealer’s will only be free if they don’t find any problems.

    This will tell whoever is going to make the repairs what is actually wrong with the car, and what to repair. I would have this done first, and then go from there.

  87. I have a ’98 passat. I get the oil changed regularly and I keep up with scheduled maintenance. I have been having a problem with my car since the summer, spent thousands of dollars and the problem still exist. The car will start to sputter and lose speed. Sometimes I can rev the accelerator and it picks back up. Ninety percent of the time, the car runs fine and then it starts to lose speed. I typically can’t get the car to misperform when I take it for service, so I don’t think the mechanics are taking it seriously and looking for the real problem. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Did you find a solution?

    By toni on Mar 10, 2008 | Reply
  88. Hi, I have a 2003 VW beetle. Today I was driving my car when I noticed the EPC light turned on. I decided that when I got home I would take out the owner’s manuel and read on what EPC meant. I then noticed when I got home that my rear lights would not turn off when the car was already turned off. The light’s will not turn off. Does anyone know what’s going on with my car?

    By vflores on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply
  89. Dan Volkens

    Hi vflores, sounds like you need to have this recall done on your Beetle. I would take it in to your dealer to find out if that’s the case.

  90. Before i read all the posts releated with “DRAIN BATTERY” we still without solution, i have a 99′ VR6 golf (new body) and i have performance the brake light change recall 4 months ago on it without any problems but a couple week ago my battery simply drain overnight…so i take the follow steps “WITHOUT RESULT”
    2-MY 2 YEARS BATTERY BAD AND REPLACE WITH A YELLOW TOP OPTIMA (at leat this battery stay longer that a regular one)
    3-take of fuse 44 (heater seat just in case)
    4-take of fuse radio system
    5-take of bulb glovebox compatment (just in case)
    6-check charge status: show 12.60v to 13.40 at 1.5RPM with all turn on light, ac fulll, hazards light and brake on.


    so now after trow a lot of $$$$ performing unnecesary changes i feel completely exausted and i can live charging my battery everynight

    Also i can live with the tipycal dealer answer every time when they cannot find a solution get all the reponsabilty to the ECU computer bad and they cant read the diagnosis

    if somene find the solution to this problem please HELP US

    best regards

    By EMANUEL on Jun 2, 2008 | Reply
  91. I own a 2000 Jetta and I realized that my bake lights would stayed on even when the car was off. Sadly complaining about the money that it would cost me to fix the problem, I googled the problem and thank to this website I found out that there’s a recall. I already set up an appointment w/ the dealership. yaaaay Viva google!!

    Thank you!!

    By Liz on Jun 11, 2008 | Reply
  92. Dan Volkens

    Nice, Liz. Glad you found it! :D

  93. well guess Im not alone. My 2003 passat started with airbag warning lights coming on out of nowhere. Followed by studdered performance and alas the dreaded brake lights stayingh on. Please join together to create a voice to let VW know we wont take this abuse any longer. If anyone has any updated feedback from these issues please post them or send me an email Good luck in trying to get them to stand behind anything.

  94. Any recall problems with 2001 passat/manual transmission for the following issues:
    (1) ignition coils
    (2) brakes/pads/calipers
    (3) catalytic converters

    By UJWAL on Jul 10, 2008 | Reply
  95. Dan Volkens

    Hey UJWAL, the only items I was able to find revolved around fuel delivery, exhaust and emissions.

  96. I have a totally off the wall question but not sure where to go. My car turns over but then dies, I towed it to an independent shop 5 days ago and today they came back saying the ECU is dead! This is very expensive to replace but after talking to one person they said it shouldnt have gone out on a car that as not that old….any feedback??? I have a 2002 New Beetle with 96k miles and have NEVER had an issue with my car before.

    By Nadine on Jul 22, 2008 | Reply
  97. Dan Volkens

    Hey Nadine, that is totally off the wall. I haven’t heard of anything like that happening. Could you get a second look at it somewhere else?

  98. I have a 1997 volkswagen jetta gti. When you turn off the ignition, thehead lights, fan air, all dash buttons are still operational. The only way to get them to turn off is by engaging the emergency brake then releasing it. Could the switch on the emergency brake , if faulty, cause this?

    By mike carey on Aug 20, 2008 | Reply
  99. Going nuts. need advice/direction with electrical problem 1997 jetta.

    By mike carey on Aug 20, 2008 | Reply
  100. Dan Volkens

    Hey Mike, since yours is a ’97, obviously it’s not included in the recall. That sucks. But it sounds like it’s the same or very similar problem. Very strange that the ebrake fixes everything, but that could be the culprit. If you have a manual, there may be a switch in there that says “ok, if you haven’t engaged me, than you must not be turning the car off, otherwise I’ll switch off all the other stuff.”

  101. I have a 2003 VW Beetle and my rear left brake light will not go off sometimes. This happens when I lock and unlock my car. Last night it wouldn’t go off all at-I just kept trying to lock and unlock my car which usually works after a while. Also when this happens my left turn signal won’t work. I had the brake switch problem looked at twice, but still having problems. Any ideas?

    By Dawn Darling on Sep 19, 2008 | Reply
  102. Dan Volkens

    Hey Dawn, sounds like the problem is still related to the brake switch recall. Shouldn’t be happening anymore though if they replaced it. Did they actually replace the switch when you had them take a look? Also possible they may have disconnected or broken something while working in there. Either way, very strange.

  103. What are the specific recalls you found re: 2001 1.8T manual transmission?
    (Hey UJWAL, the only items I was able to find revolved around fuel delivery, exhaust and emissions.
    By Dan Volkens on Jul 14, 2008 )

    Where is the best place to get this info on the web?


    By sepponik on Oct 2, 2008 | Reply
  104. Dan Volkens

    Hey sepponik, the best options are to just search on Google for 1.8T recalls. I did find the following site that seems to do a good job of compiling news and recalls from other sites: LemonAuto.com. I’d give that a shot as well.

    Unfortunately I haven’t come across a specific Volkswagen recall website. There’s an opportunity waiting to happen. :)

  105. Hi,
    I have a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta and the ABS light and airbag light keeps popping on and the radio completely dies. Today, when the car did this it also stop accelerating when I was driving! I’ve had to have the car serviced for a clockspring (the horn kept going off without me pushing it), fuses kept blowing (heat and wipers would not work), and a fuel injection relay (sp?) recently. What could be the problem? Please help!

    By Ivy Green on Oct 8, 2008 | Reply
  106. Dan Volkens

    Hey Ivy, that sounds like a whole barrel full of electrical problems. I’m sorry I can’t tell you exactly what would be causing all of those problems. I would get it to a mechanic to check out as soon as you can. Do you still have warranty left on the Jetta? If so, take it to a dealer and have them go over the car with a fine tooth comb checking everything. :)

  107. I do have the extended warranty and I have an apt. at 9:30am tomorrow for them to check it out. Just hoping that whatever the problem may be that it is covered by the extended warranty! The mechanic said he may not be able to determine the problem if the car isnt (acting up) when he checks it but is hoping that the system recorded whatever happened today to help determine a diagnostic. So, I guess i’ll just keep my fingers crossed! Thanks :)

    By Ivy Green on Oct 8, 2008 | Reply
  108. Dan Volkens

    Excellent, good thing you had that extended warranty. Let’s hope it’s covered. And that’s the stubborn nature of electrical problems. They can be so intermittent that the mechanic often doesn’t experience them when they test the vehicle. As you said, hopefully some codes are registered in the computer for clues. Good luck!

  109. I am having a problem with my 2007 New Beetle convertible headlights – they have decided not to turn on! I’ve suspected that I have an electrical problem but the dealership doesn’t seem to think so (Occasionally the wipers will stop working in the biggest rain storm; headlights dim if I roll the windows down). Have you heard anything lately with a recall for the New Beetle?

    By Daniela on Nov 9, 2008 | Reply
  110. Dan Volkens

    Hey Daniela, the problems sound like a possible problem with the alternator. Unfortunately I haven’t been up on any recalls on the Beetles, but I suggest for a first step you get any computer codes scanned first to see if a problem has been registered. You can get codes scanned for free at any parts shop, but most times the code can’t be deciphered right there, so the dealer… or a local mechanic should get you in the right direction. Let’s hope!

  111. My husband has replaced the high beam bulb on the passenger side of our 01 New Beetle twice, however, it still doesn’t work. Low beam works, and the bulbs don’t blow. The high beam indicator on the dash doesn’t work either. Any ideas? Thanks!

    By Glenda on Nov 13, 2008 | Reply
  112. Dan Volkens

    Hey Glenda, sounds like a wiring or socket problem in the headlight.

  113. How much did it cost to get it repaired?

    By Dee Dee on Nov 22, 2008 | Reply
  114. Dan Volkens

    Hey Dee Dee, if you’re referring to the brake light problem, this is a recall and should be replaced free of charge.

  115. Is there a recall on the air bags for the 2005 vw bettle

    By Joan on Dec 12, 2008 | Reply
  116. Dan Volkens

    Hi Joan, as a matter of fact it appears there is a recall out. Check it out at this link for more details. It’s the first recall in the list on that page. Hope that helps!

  117. Is anyone aware of an issue with 03 Jetta taillights? My passenger side tail light is out. I’ve replaced the bulb, but it still doesn’t work. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I’ve had so many issues with my car. I bought it brand new and the warranty is now expired.

    By lauren on Feb 12, 2009 | Reply
  118. Dan Volkens

    Hey Lauren, this post is about exactly that. There is a recall out on the “Brake Light Switch”. This repair will be done free of charge at your local dealer, and should patch up your problem! :)

  119. my local dealer completed that repair shortly after the recall was issued. The problem I am experiencing just justarted at the end of January. Do you think I could’ve gotten another faulty brake light switch? It’s just the taillight that doesn’t work. My brake lights are fine.

    By lauren on Feb 13, 2009 | Reply
  120. Dan Volkens

    Ah, I misread your question thinking it was the brake light. Sorry. It’s very strange because two other people on another post have stated having just about the same problem. I’m not sure what would be causing it, but be sure to doublecheck the fuses and make sure the bulb is seated well in the socket. Also make sure the bulb assembly is secured back into the tail light well. I hope you get it worked out!

  121. I have a VW polo probably the last VW i will ever get, even VW in UK dont know their parts ordered and reserved the goods a friend of mine picked up the part only to find they have supplied incorrect part – no confidence in this company after reading all the complaints will get rid quick. seems get the caar in just to fix it up for another job shortly, at least VW US had the decency to issue recall they deny it here in the UK>

    By SUKI on Feb 16, 2009 | Reply
  122. My car dies when it is really cold out at night (<10 degress F) because the brake lights get stuck on all night and of course it kills the battery. I think it is the brake light sensor or perhaps the cold causes the pressure in the braking hydrolic system to decrease causing the pedale to compress slightly

    By Annie on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply
  123. I have a 2000 New Beetle 1.8T. 5 speed. The EPC light has come on. I have read comments ranging from a switch connected to a brake pedal., wiring to the EPC and the throttle, a replacement of the Electronic Control Module, etc. My mechanic erased the codes the last time it popped up about 2 months ago. Any ideas of how to troubleshoot the problem . This seems to be a little demon that kicks a fuss once and awhile. I did not notice any power loss to the car, but then I am a gentle driver. I don’t punch into turbo unless I am getting on the freeway with a short on ramp.

    #2. Mobil 1 Oil has just come up with a new oil 0-30w synthetic which is suppose to go 15,000 miles and get better gas mileage. I have changed my oil every 5,000 miles with Mobil 1 or Castrol. Is it wise to run the car 10,000 miles inbetween oil changes with the Turbo? I appreciate your advice. Thanks.

    By Tom Seesing on Mar 31, 2009 | Reply
  124. Dan Volkens

    Hey Tom, sounds like you’ve nailed what the problem may be, but that one is a quirky one. Your mechanic will need to do some troubleshooting with the throttle system and electronics.

    As far as oil, I use Mobile 1 0.40 in my VR6 as well, outstanding oil. It can go for 10,000 too, but I still change it every 5k or so. You should feel safe in going 10k, but it won’t hurt to change earlier as well.

  125. I own a 2006 VW beetle which I purchased new for my daughter. My daughter had the same problem with the entire headlight bucket (passenger side) flying out of the socket, hitting the windshield and lost somewhere along the interstate. My daughter and her friend did not even realize what hit the windshield (they thought it was a bird) until they stopped at a service station and saw the gaping hole where the headlight assembly use to be. It cost me $750 to put a new headlight assembly in. This sounds like a real safety hazard and should be reviewed for recall.

    By Randy on Apr 14, 2009 | Reply
  126. Is there a recall on seat heaters for an 03 Passat? my seat heater burned a hole in my rump as well as the leather seat. Thanks

    By Lowell on May 16, 2009 | Reply
  127. Dan Volkens

    Randy, wow, never heard of that happening with any car, let alone a VW. Do you know if the headlight assembly was serviced recently and where? I’d give someone a piece of my mind over that.

    Lowell, there was a lot of talk over this problem a few years ago, and a lot of people experienced it in golfs and Jettas. However there’s no reason something like that could be system-wide. I haven’t heard about a recall, but I suggest asking the good folks over at VWVortex.com Passat Forums to see if they’ve heard anything.

  128. I have a 2002 VW Passat 4Motion Diesel. It comes directly from Germany (the guy before me bought it from Germany) and I have it here in France. Yesterday, the ESP light came on for no reason (it was while I was using the cruise control) and then when I turned off the car for a small visit to the store, I came back and the little symbol of a coil is blinking on the dashboard. I searched the manual, but as it was in German and I have only a basic knowledge, I didn’t quite understand what it meant, but I guessed it was a warning about diesel preheat?!

    Then, as I tried to engage the cruise control once more, it didn’t work anymore.

    I checked break lights (based on comments here) and they seem to work fine. No other obvious problems. Do you think it could be that Break Light Switch or do you think just a fuse, or something worse?

    By Jason B on May 18, 2009 | Reply
  129. Update on my note above, I did find out that indeed my break lights are not working, but the center light above the trunk does work. So, I have a feeling that it’s the same problem… now I need to find out if there is a similar recall in France!

    By Jason on May 28, 2009 | Reply
  130. Final update:
    Replaced my two tail brake light bulbs and that fixed everything. No need to change the brake light sensor, but just changed the two bulbs and everything back to normal! Try that before changing anything else!!

    By Jason on May 30, 2009 | Reply
  131. Dan Volkens

    Jason, I apologize for my delay in replaying to you. I’m glad you got everything patched up! :) As a final check, I recommend that you have your computer codes scanned as well. If you know someone with a VAG-COM and related software, they can do it for you, or you can have it done at an autoparts shop or dealer.

  132. Is there a recall on the New Bettle 2001 1.8 Turbo’s check engine light?
    The mechanics are coming up with solutions but none that has resolved the problem but has increased their pocket books?

    By Rose Vallie on Sep 5, 2009 | Reply
  133. Dan Volkens

    Hey Rose, I don’t think there would be a recall on the light itself, but rather whatever is causing the light to turn on. Have your mechanics scanned the computer codes to find out what’s triggering the light? That should tell them what to do. If they haven’t, I’d try a different shop. Depending on what the codes say, the problem could be covered under warranty or recall. Good luck!

  134. just replaced the brake switch on my 2006 mexican jetta wich in usa is a 2004, still no brake lights changed the bulbs and the fuse, everityme i change the fuse it gets burn. now the speedometer stop working

    By gina on Sep 22, 2009 | Reply
  135. My 2002 Jetta 1.8 has not rear running lights, l already checked the fuses, (good), about ready to change the bulbs. Is it possible that both rear running light bulbs could burn out at the same time, or is there another fuse or switch I am missing.


    By Bob Davis on Sep 25, 2009 | Reply
  136. Dan Volkens

    Hey Gina, if the fuse blows continually when replacing with a new one, you could have a short somewhere in the wiring, especially if you’re having other electrical problems.

    Hey Bob, there is a recall out for the brake light switch, which will either cause both lights to stay out or remain on. I’d take it to your dealer to have that done for free and see how it goes!

  137. Is there a recall on the airbag sensor light or the window regulators on the 05 VW Beetle convertible? I’m getting a repair quote for the window regulator of $800 which seems extremely high, should it be that expensive?

    By Teresa Buschmann on Oct 28, 2009 | Reply
  138. Dan Volkens

    Hey Teresa, that sounds outrageously high, and there should definitely still be a recall out on the window regulator repair. I’m not sure about the airbag sensor, but I do remember reading something about a problem with the airbag module going bad. There may be some kind of recall out for that, maybe not.

    Anywho, I suggest trying a different dealer. Let me know how it goes!

  139. Hey Dan,

    Anything I should be aware of before replacing the battery on my 2006 VW Passat 2.0T? I’m trying to avoid the cost of bringing it in to the dealership but I am wondering if I need to worry about having to reset the alarm or radio….bought the vehicle used and I do not have the reset code. Do I need to worry about the vehicle not starting at all unless I have the reset code or will it just affect the radio/stereo?

    The root of my problem is more serious then just the battery, I have some kind of electrical problem….when I turn the car off something continues to drain power from the battery. I would have to jump start it every 1-2 weeks….now the battery is so dead that I have to jump it everytime I turn it off and have to restart it. I thought it may be related to the brake light switch because a couple of times the right front brake light would go out but eventually would come back on….no recalls on the 2006 Passat break light switch huh? Any advice? Going to replace battery, check alternator and have someone check the electrical system……sucks big time!

    By Julian on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply
  140. Dan,

    One more thing….the other day when I was driving there was a strong sulpher smell coming from the front of the car…..any idea what that could be? Maybe the catalytic converter???

    By Julian on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply
  141. Dan Volkens

    Hmmmm, strange one there Julian. I would recommend tracking down the source of that problem before installing the new batery, if you can help it. If you have to drive the car, then you’ll need to put the new one in. I don’t think you’ll need to reset anything with the battery out except for general things like the clock, saved radio stations etc.

    The sulpher smell usually indicates a bad catalytic converter. How many miles do you have on the Passat?

  142. Thanks for your response. I put a new battery in and haven’t had any problems so far. I guess the battery was just really dead. I thought the sulpher smell might be from the catalytic converter as well but not sure. I’ve got about 84,000 miles on it. Could that odor have come from the battery? I haven’t smelled it again since I changed it out.

    By Julian on Nov 23, 2009 | Reply
  143. Dan Volkens

    Hey Julian, that smell shouldn’t be coming from the battery. The first thing I’d check out is the cat. But interesting you haven’t noticed it since the change. Who knows. :D

  144. I have a 2005 beetle, and in the last few months Ive had to replace the head lights 4 times and the tail lights twice. bulbs work for maybe a week, and then burn out. any suggestions.

    By Dan Jelinek on Dec 25, 2009 | Reply
  145. sum of the things people were saying about there vw beetle i exsperienced samething now im having more problems changed thermostate and a bracket that holds most of the hoses for fluids but my car is still overheating could it be the waterpump and do u half to get timing belt changed to and how much is this gonna cost on 2004 vw beetle

    By babbette carr on Dec 26, 2009 | Reply
  146. Dan Volkens

    Dan, that’s definitely not normal. It could be some type of wiring problem, the bulbs are being overloaded or something, etc. I suggest having your alternator checked out.

    Babbette, the water pump and related parts like timing belt should be replaced together for convenience’s sake, if anything, since the mechanics will be in the same area. It usually can cost a bit more than a typical repair since they’re doing some extensive engine work. For an exact price I couldn’t tell ya. It varies a lot from region to region. Try to get some quotes if possible from various shops in your area. Good luck!

  147. I just got a new battery last week in my 04 Beetle diesel. It has been around 10 above 0 every morning and it did not have enough power to turn the engine over. The new battery has worked fine, but tonight on the way home from work, a caution symbol lit up on the dash along with the ABS light. It was on for a few minutes, then went off. Within another mile or two, it came back on along with the emergency brake light. I tapped the brakes. They worked, but did not affect the dash kights. I checked the emergency brake and it was completely released. I thought something must be frozen and when I looked at the clock/temperature indicator it was 14 degrees, but the lights were so dim I could barely read it. I noticed my headlights seemed dim, so I fliped them to hi beam. As I continued and was almost home, the dash lights became dim and completely went out. I parked the car and there were no brake lights on when I left it. Also, the check engine light comes on regularly, but my mechanic has checked it on the computer and says there is nothing that should casue it to come on. Also the left turn signal flashes much faster than it should, but the actual signal light flashes normally. Help. I think my car is possessed!

    By Janice on Jan 8, 2010 | Reply
  148. Dan Volkens

    Hey Janice, one thing to check is that the correct model battery was put into your Beetle. Your alternator could also be going out, which will cause a whole lot of weirdo electrical problems like you described.

  149. i have a 2001 vw jetta 1.8T
    when i drive at night my lights dim while im driving. and when i turn my car off sometimes and my dash lights are still on they buzz and die out before i can turn them out.
    also my car randomly stalls out while im driving. then the time and mileage on my car dissappears and it doesnt start back up again for a few minutes.

    By lisa on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply
  150. Dan Volkens

    Hey lisa, those are some very odd symptoms. One thing that comes to mind is a bad alternator, which can cause some odd electrical problems like dimming lights. Other than that, I’m not sure. Maybe start there and see how it goes? Good luck!

  151. I’m now on my 3rd brake light switch in 3 weeks! I’ve got a MkIV Golf (2002) and it is slowly driving me mad. The first time it went my mechanic said it was no big deal and replaced it. The 2nd time (a week later) it went, they put it down to a faulty part (replaced free under warranty) but 3 days later its gone again! Coincidentally, the radio cut out after the warning light came on this time so I’m wondering if the electrics are screwed too and this is causing of the brake light switch to fuse?

    By Stu V. on Mar 11, 2010 | Reply
  152. Dan Volkens

    Hey Stu, ugh. Not good. Yeah, check out the fuses next. And there may be a short in the wiring somewhere as another culprit.

  153. Hello, I have a 1998 VW Beetle and recently had the brake light switch replaced. I was pulled over the other day for not having brake lights and was baffled. The fuse was ok but I replaced it anyway. I inspected the brake ligh sockets. They looked dirty but I replaced both of those just to be on the safe side, and added new bulbs. After all that trouble shooting this is whats happening:

    I will refer to the 3 lights on the rear of the car: the 2 large round lights and the strip light on the hatch door.

    During daytime driving all lights are off. When i press in the brake, the only light to illuminate is the strip light on the hatch door. Left and right round lights remain off when brake is depressed.

    During night driving when I turn the headlights on, and the interior controls illuminate. When driving the 2 round lights are illuminated and the hatch door light is off. When brakes are pressed the 2 round lights remain on and the hatch door light illuminates as well.

    Special note: When I remove the brake light switch and press in the brake, the hatch door light DOES NOT illuminate. When I install the brake light switch again and press the brakes, the hatch door light DOES illuminate.

    I had the original brake light switch replaced a month ago due to the recall. They replaced it with a “green” colored switch. Reading other blogs I heard theres a purple one out there? Is there a recall on the replacement brake light switch? Oh, and to add to this, I have to literally replace the driver side headlight bulb once every other month!

    Is anybody else having this problem? If I wasn’t unemployed I would never have time to figure this out…and i’m sure taking it to the dealer would cost me somewhere around $1,000 alone. $80 labor just to replace a headlight lamp?

    Thank you!

    By PaulP on Apr 5, 2010 | Reply
  154. hi. this doesnt exactly have to have anything to do with the brake lights. but I recently changed the fuse behind the radio in my 2001 vw and now the EPC indicator light is on constantly as well as the battery one. did i do something wrong? what is causing this? :/ please help

    By Sheri on May 3, 2010 | Reply
  155. I have 2005 Volkswagen Convertible Turbo. I have had this car in the shop more than any other car I have owned. I have had it in mostly for the check engine light, a control module that has to do with jerking, a taillight, the epc light, window parts for the automatic windows (inards, what makes the window go up) three of them were broken and would not roll up. After taking the car in for the control module my stereo cd quit working, it wouldn’t take the disc, in order to have them look at they were going to charge me the $150..even though it worked before I took it in… I am beginning to think I have a lemon.. I have owned it for two years and have on 50,000 miles on it. No more warranty and it costs about $800 everytime I take it in. HELP… is there a recall out there for the EPC Light and the Check engine light. I can drive for a while and tthen the light will go out, then it will be out for a while then come back on…

    By Jodie Slaughter on Jun 7, 2010 | Reply
  156. Heather, what was the problem with your car when the brake light came on and headlights, windshield wipers didn’t work? I have this problem now

    By Kristy on Jul 27, 2010 | Reply
  157. I have a 2004 Jetta Wagon TDI. The brake lights do not go on and I think it should be covered by the recall but I called VW and they said no. Has anyone else had this issue?

    By jetta owner on Jul 30, 2010 | Reply
  158. hi, I recently purchased a 95 VW Passat and the brake lights do not go on when I put the brrakes on. I was wondering if it is a fuse or brake relay switch or? Any help would be great
    Thanks Suzy

    By Suzy on Jul 18, 2011 | Reply
  159. my tail lights and brake light bulbs seem to be fine. but neither light up at all. the tunr signals work fine.
    i asked about this recall the dealership said that the brake light switch recall proboble won’t fix this, he said that it usually just makes the brake lights on all the time.

    So do you think that the brake light switch may fix this problem or was this guy correct????


    By Cody on Aug 19, 2011 | Reply
  160. i just bought a 2002 vw golf when i hit the brake pedel the park lights come on and when the park lights are on i have no brake lights got a ticket and cant figure it out yet

    By randy peters on Aug 20, 2011 | Reply
  161. i have a 2001 vw golf tdi manual with cruise control that is not working and had it looked at and they said it could be a broken wire and they charge 80 bucks an hour in case its not a wire then they would discount me toward parts as i had them do the repairs do you know of any particular wires that this happened to and i had the brake switch replaced with a new cc switch as well any help is welcomed thanx rocky

    By rocky on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply
  162. Hi, I have a 2005 VW Beetle. I drove to my sisters house, left car running, went inside, came back out, put it in drive and the warning light came on for brakes. Then alarm sounded. I drove further and the EPC light came on, lost air conditioner and cruise control. Researched the problem online and found brake switch recall. Replaced it myself. Lights still on. Took vehicle to import mechanic as VW couldn’t get me in for a week. He changed some connections, replaced battery (as I already knew it was on it’s last leg) and changed a fuse. 200 miles later, the lights come back on. I return the car. Fuse is blown and two bulbs in the brake lights. HMMM. He replaced them but admits there is a larger problem. 50 miles later, lights are on again. I make appointment with VW. They had the car for 3.5 hours trying to diagnose the problem. The guy comes to me and says, “Well, we found the problem but had to “kinda” fix it to find it. You had a loose connection causing the EPC light to come on and you need an emergency brake sensor replaced which is $221.00″. They had to order the part. I explained to him that they didn’t fix anything with the EPC light because the brake light is what caused the EPC light to come on. They charged .5 hour of labor to fix that “loose connection”. I returned the car to my mechanic and explained to him VW findings. He disagrees with them. He checked the fuses again and the same one was blown. He said he was going to do some more checking with his hotlines and see what he can figure out. I get in my car to leave and the thing won’t go out of park. It wasn’t sensing that I had my foot on the brake. So mechanic removed the brake switch and kept the car. I got the car back last night after mechanic threw in the towel (understandable) and lights have not come on after 60 miles of driving. I am thinking get another brake switch, first. Maybe the new one was faulty? And go from there. Any suggestions?

    By Jackie on Sep 17, 2011 | Reply
  163. So, we replaced the brake switch, stayed off for 200 miles. Decided to take it into VW (Lithia of DM) and have emergency brake sensor replaced per diagnosis. My car went 400 miles before the lights came back on. It is scheduled to go back into VW on Wednesday. I really don’t know what to do…

    By Jackie on Sep 26, 2011 | Reply
  164. Actually they continue to search for high dollar, high failure rate automotive electronic controllers. Autoecu research and locate the highest quality, longest lasting components to replace the identified failed components.

  165. I have an 02 vw beetle and my driving head light went out yesterday, both of them so I had to drive home at night in the fog with my high beams on…..is there anyone who knows whats up with this?

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