The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta has received plenty of criticism. It makes a horrible grinding sound that many owners began hearing when the car reached around 10,000 miles. And it earned an abysmal 57/100 overall rating from Consumer Reports, largely attributed to lackluster driving dynamics. But an annoying sound and a boring ride are small potatoes compared to the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta’s dangerous engine problems.
What is the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta’s hazardous engine issue?
According to many complaints owners reported to the NHTSA, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta‘s engine stalls without warning, typically when slowing to a stop or turning a corner. But there have been reports of it stalling at speeds around 20 mph. Suddenly coming to a stop is dangerous, particularly because the Jetta’s brake lights wouldn’t give drivers following any warning the car was stopping. And stalling on the freeway, even in stop-and-go traffic, can be even more dangerous, particularly if you can’t get the car restarted right away.
CarComplaints.com compiles complaints from the NHTSA and driver complaints posted on its own site. It also provides a severity rating, the average mileage at which the problem happens, and whether the issue has caused any crashes, fires, injuries, or deaths.
The 2019 Jetta’s engine problem received a 10 for severity, pretty much the worst rating. CarComplaints.com appropriately classifies the issue as “really awful.” Also, the problem usually occurs around 4,444 miles. There have been two crashes, one fire, and three injuries. Thankfully, no deaths have been reported.
How owners are highlighting the severity of the problem
There are many complaints about the engine problem, 427 to be exact. Some comments talk about the previously mentioned grinding noise, jerking and shaking with acceleration, and leaking oil and coolant. But the comments about the stalling in particular really illustrate how dangerous the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta’s problem is and how scary it is for drivers.
One owner from Athens, Texas, wrote, “Under low acceleration, it stalls and makes a grinding, whirring sound below 20-30 mph. It makes me timid to drive it because it has almost caused people to rear-end me due to the stall. It falls on its face when you need it to move. I’m concerned as the noise has gotten louder the last few months.”
One of the scarier comments came from an owner in Las Vegas. Their Jetta “began stalling after 6 months of ownership. Car was purchased brand-new with 62 miles. Brought vehicle to dealer 09/27/2019, and they stated it was fine — no issues could be found. On 05/18/2020, the car stalled again — it had 15452 miles on it. It was towed to the dealer, where they kept the car until 07/25/2020 to fix the problem. They stated it was fixed,” the owner wrote.
“On 07/30/2020, the vehicle stalled again, and this time the brakes failed and the steering wheel locked, and I lost control and crashed into a center median with large boulders in it,” the owner continued. “If they were not there, I would have continued into oncoming traffic. I was traveling at 45 mph when the impact occurred. The vehicle safety systems did not deploy because the car’s engine was not running at the time of impact.”
Overview of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta has a 1.4-liter turbo engine producing 147 hp, with either an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. It’s worth noting the stalling appears to occur only in Jetta models with a manual transmission.
The base trim has a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard. It also received a five-star overall safety rating. However, many driver-assist safety features, such as forward collision warning, are not standard on the base model.
If you have a 2019 Volkswagen Jetta with a manual transmission and you haven’t already had the software update as recommended by VW, contact your dealership right away. And if you’re looking to purchase a used 2019 Jetta, you might decide to check out a car with better reliability and less annoying and dangerous problems.