Sedans & Coupes

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta’s Loud Problem Is Incredibly Annoying

Nothing like that first day of a brand-new car. You breathe deeply that new car smell. You survey the pristine, crumbless peaks and valleys from in-between the seats to the door pockets. The cup holders are yet to be ringed by a sticky circle of soft drink. The key still fits into the ignition with a crisp *click*. You fire it up only to hear a horrible grinding sound? Wait, that’s not right. For some owners of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta, that’s exactly what happened. 

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta, much like the majority of its predecessors, is a modestly priced, decently appointed sedan. It has front-wheel drive and is powered by a turbocharged in-line four-cylinder motor making 147 hp, as reported by Car and Driver. Believe it or not, the base model still comes in a six-speed manual, but the eight-speed automatic is optional.  

Volkswagen presents the new VW Jetta at the Detroit Auto Show 2018
Volkswagen Jetta | Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images

What is that sound?

Car Complaints is a site that allows motorists to compile and air out their troubles with their cars. There is a surprisingly high number of people complaining that they hear a loud, metallic grinding sound coming from under the hood, within a shockingly low milage. 

On average, most 2019 Volkswagen Jetta owners notice the harsh metallic grinding noise somewhere around 10,700 miles. That mileage is extremely low to begin with, but some owners have heard the grinding within the first 100 miles.

The explanation

Having problems with a brand-new car is bad enough as it is. Still, to really twist the knife, many Volkswagon Jetta owners are reporting that in some cases, the mechanics at the dealership are telling them it’s either “normal transmission noise” or just the “turbo spooling up.” As could be expected, the people posting on Car Complaints are not buying it. According to some who posted, there seems to be a flaw in the torque converter.

Consumer Reports did a study to rate the reliability of different car manufactures by region. Asian-based manufacturers had cars ranked the highest, with only 12 reported problems out of 100 vehicles sampled. American vehicles came in a close second with 18 out of 100. Lastly, European cars (like the Volkswagen Jetta) came in with 21 problems per 100 vehicles. 

Related: The Most Complained About Volkswagen Cars

Consumer Reports went on to say that the average life expectancy for a new car these days is roughly eight years or 150,000 miles. If we take into consideration that some of these Volkswagen Jetta owners are having problems around 10,000 miles, it may be fair to expect that they may not see that 150,000-mile mark. 

I think one poster on Car Complaints summed it up nicely. “Any speed up to more than 25 is bad, Dealers said the problem is normal, can’t accept it.”