Last post on May 10, 2013 at 4:52 AM
You are in the Volkswagen Beetle
What is this discussion about?
Volkswagen New Beetle, Transmission, Convertible, Hatchback
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
#279 of 777 2004 New Beetle convertible needs a new transmission
Aug 25, 2010 (6:32 am)
My 2004 VW New Beetle Convertible with Triptonic transmission, with only 53,800 miles, lurches in the lower gears after the car warms up in about 10 minutes. The car will not shift smoothly between the lower gears and often revs up to 5000 rpm before it "clunks" into higher gear. The VW Dealer mechanic would like to replace the transmission, at a cost to me of $6800.
An alternative would be to go to someplace like Aamco or a local shop and have the transmission rebuilt. Does anyone have any experience with a rebuilt transmissions reliability? It would be way cheaper than a new one.
My research has learned that the first generation of VW’s double clutch transmissions had a chronic weak point. They combine a wet clutch (as in traditional automatic) and a gear part (as in traditional manual transmission), however both are lubricated out of same oil sump. The gear part causes the oil to be more contaminated with wear particles (vs. traditional automatic transmission). This contaminated oil is used also in the valve body and the wet clutch, and these wear particles can deteriorate the performance of the wet clutch (clutch material, resulting in slippage, or clutch and gear change hydraulic controls, resulting in defective shift strategies). Once that happens, damage is usually irreversible. VW changed the oil service recommendation recommend from (fill for life) or 100,000 miles to 40,000 miles. Even at this reduced amount, they clearly still had a problem. They probably modified the design since but have not admitted it. VW has not been ethical in their handling of the defective transmission design.
I am planning a letter writing campaign to flood VW with complaints. Has anyone had any success?
In addition, I have filed my complaint, along with many others, on the NHTSA website:
If you haven't filed a claim on this website, please do so, it may be our best hope of a recall or at least reimbursement for the repairs.
#280 of 777 Re: 2004 New Beetle convertible needs a new transmission [orangebug]
Aug 25, 2010 (6:43 am)
Yes, I also have the 04 convertible bettle..I brought it to Aamco about 15,000 miles ago..and they worked wonders! It is amazing how other mechanics see design problems that VW didnt'! VW said they never heard of the problem - very insulting! They needed to rebuild a few things...works great now. I also registered a complaint with NHTSA and also the consumer website that someone earlier in the week suggested. I let all those people who think the car is cute that I would never buy another VW and tell them of the need for a new transmission at 80,000 miles...absolutely not acceptable to me. Please let me know of any organized letter writing campaign; also thinking of writing to the Wall Street Journal for their "auto" advice. Save all your receipts for any work done.
#281 of 777 Re: 2004 New Beetle convertible needs a new transmission [orangebug]
Aug 25, 2010 (6:49 am)
My car still sits in my driveway as I cannot bring myself to spend between 5500 and 7500 for a transmission when the car is bluebook at 7500. The re-built by volkswagen is only guaranteed up to 12,000. I would check your warranty re the transmission, I thought it was up to 65,000. Even if it is only 50,000 I would contact VW of America to discuss, only 3,000 outside of warranty, they should just pick it up but don't wait any longer. Good that you filed a complaint! I wish others would do it! I've been trying to find an attorney who would take a class action lawsuit but no luck so far. The more complaints the better!! Let me know how it goes with VW of America and good luck! Cathy
#282 of 777 Re: 2004 New Beetle convertible needs a new transmission [buggedout1]
Aug 25, 2010 (7:06 am)
Thanks, I will let my car limp to Aamco and get an estimate.
I will continue to post as I make progress in my fight with VW. I am going to send them a book with 56 pages of printouts from this forum, 14 pages of NHTSA complaints on 2004 convertible, and copies of what the mechanics tell me.
Wall Street Journal is a great idea. Also, what about somebody calling the "Car Talk" guys on NPR? I wonder what they would think? At least we'd get a good laugh.
#283 of 777 Re: 2004 New Beetle convertible needs a new transmission [vwbugssuck]
Aug 25, 2010 (7:16 am)
My car hasn't been fixed yet, it is out of warranty (5 years) and VW was not receptive on the first call. My husband called, the woman listened politely and offered nothing.
I am going to send VW of America a book with 56 pages of posts from this forum, 14 pages of complaints on NHTSA website, and repair estimate from the VW mechanic.
There was a post sometime last year on potential class action, nothing ever became of it. Was that you? How many people are required for class action? For my model alone there are 36 complaints on NHTSA, I'm sure there are many more who haven't filed a claim. Too bad, such a cute little car!
#284 of 777 Re: 2004 New Beetle convertible needs a new transmission [orangebug]
Aug 25, 2010 (11:12 am)
I've got a 2003 Beetle, and I got the same story from the dealer. And their apologies that I was 100 miles out of warranty. The warranty apparently expired at 65,000. I had had trouble with it clunking and shifting hard for months, and had taken it to the dealer four times complaining of the problems and each time they claimed they couldn't find any problem.
Then at 65,100 miles, the transmission just completely froze up on a busy Los Angeles freeway. Thank god I was able to get to the side without causing a major accident. I had the tow truck take my car to the dealer and they said new transmission for $6,800 and refused to do anything for me about the warranty even though they had previously checked the car out four times.
I got a tow truck to take the car to an old-time transmission shop in business and under the same owner since the 1960's! Seriously. They were able to rebuild the transmission. I'm over 100K miles now and the car's been fine. I also had to replace a Valve Body and a Transmission Control Unit, I think it was called.
#285 of 777 Re: 2004 New Beetle convertible needs a new transmission [nataliemac]
Aug 25, 2010 (11:34 am)
Thanks. The part of your story about VW warranty is pretty sad, but thanks for the advice on going to another shop, I will try that next and keep posting on my journey to get my peppy little car back!
#286 of 777 VW Beetle Transmission
Aug 26, 2010 (3:35 pm)
I have a 2004 VW Beetle Convertible that I have been told needs a new transmission for $6000. I've owned it 2 years and already have replaced an 0-2 sensor, water-pump, as well as, took it to the dealer to fix an airbag recall, that stayed fixed for a whole 5 days. Now my rear windows are sticking and my driver window falls into the door. It is parked in my driveway because it is too dangerous to drive, jumping, jerking, getting stuck in 3rd gear, shifting at strange times, etc. I have filed complaints with Office of Defects Investigation - www.odi.nhtsa.dot.gov and with consumersaffairs.com. If you are having problems with your transmission you should too. Maybe we can get some resolution together.
#287 of 777 Re: VW TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS- DO THIS!!!! [shaunnal]
Aug 26, 2010 (3:43 pm)
I did it, your right we need more complaints!!!!
#288 of 777 Re: VW TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS- DO THIS!!!! [rayal]
Aug 27, 2010 (12:44 pm)
Same problem here. I have a 2006 Beetle convertable. It has been "clunking" for about 2 months. It currently has 82,000 miles on it. I called AAMCO and they will be looking at it on Monday. They said they have had to repair the tranny already on several other beetles. What has worked in the meantime is letting up on the gas as it is shifting. I will start registering my complaint today.