• Aug 31st 2010 at 9:27AM
  • 41
2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI – Cick above for high-res image gallery

It's only taken seven filed complaints out of 37,889 vehicles sold, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is taking a close look at the 2009 VW Jetta TDi regarding sudden stalling. Although only a handful of complaints have come into the NHTSA, a greater number of owners in various forums like VW Vortex, TDIclub.com, and VWDiesel.net have reported the same thing: a loss of power and then the engine cuts out.

Suspicions seem to center on the fuel delivery system or the type of diesel used at the moment. Tales of $10,000 repair estimates have been related, but it's too early to say where the gremlins truly reside, so if you've experienced the issue yourself, get on the horn to NHTSA.



Photos Copyright ©2008 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Detroit News]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Look up the HFRR test on ULSD diesel and you'll understand the reason why the US diesel is so inferior. Additives for lubricity must be added to ULSD to bring it to spec, and that those additives need be applied at the fuel terminal, when the fuel goes into a tanker truck.

      BioDiesel is the best option currently, although got a bad rap and pulled from many stations due to the fact that it 'loosens' older matter in the underground tanks and could do the same in older vehicles' gas tanks. Obtaining the fuel from a trusted supplier and in a newer vehicle circumvents the issue.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Look up the HFRR test on ULSD diesel and you'll understand the reason why the US diesel is so inferior. Additives for lubricity must be added to ULSD to bring it to spec, and that those additives need be applied at the fuel terminal, when the fuel goes into a tanker truck.

      BioDiesel is the best option currently, although got a bad rap and pulled from many stations due to the fact that it 'loosens' older matter in the underground tanks and could do the same in older vehicles' gas tanks. Obtaining the fuel from a trusted supplier and in a newer vehicle circumvents the issue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The problem is, the emissions control equipment in these cars isn't very tolerant of biodiesel. VW says 5% max bio, I'd run as close to 1% as possible. (1% will fix the lubricity problem that's likely causing the pumps grenading.)

        Me, I'll stick with older cars. If I get another VW diesel (I'm still liking my Miata too much, even though it's not a very good example of one,) it'll have a good ol' reliable VE pump, like VW used from 1977 to 2003.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The US has a different diesel than Europe...even though it has low sulfur now it's still not as refined. VW jurry rigged it for US grade crappier Diesel that the motor was NOT originally designed for. My best friend's brother won't buy any new diesel trucks for this reason and own's about 10 trucks for his business as a heavy equipment repo man. He said the newer fuel eats the motors and you have to add fuel additives every time you fill up or it makes the newer motors atrophy...he uses gas problem solved and he saves about 7-9 grand per truck he buys and doesn't care if he uses more gas.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wouldn't let the bad fuel excuse for this... VW tried to pull that excuse on me with my 2009 2.5 Jetta (in which uses regular octane). The gas excuse is just a cover up for engine failure in the 2009 VWs. My 09' Jetta numerously stalled out to the point that the engine wouldn't even crank over and I had to call and get it towed twice. Than I was told that I was using bad fuel even though all the other cars on the road were running just fine! This issues is finally rising and VW just needs to realize that their 2009 models are just not working properly.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My wife's 09 TDI suffered from a total loss of power, but that was from the entire clutch "system" failing. They basically had to do an entire clutch/pressure plate replacement. This was at about 10k miles. It was no cost to us, but still disconcerting that the parts literally broke apart inside at only 10k miles.

      The local VW place was very nice and took care of it within a week. She had a loaner car while it was being fixed. I just assumed her car was made on Friday afternoon :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        With that, the trick is to replace the flywheel with one from a Corrado G60, and the clutch with one from a Corrado VR6. (Scary, using Corrado parts to make a VW MORE reliable.)

        Won't grenade again unless you do massive tuning AND are incredibly stupid. The stock setup on all Mk4 (1998 New Beetle, 1999.5 Jetta/Golf) and newer TDIs is well known for having grenading problems.
      • 5 Years Ago
      NHTSA seems to be having a busy year.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Toyota's example has driven home how, no matter what the truth of the matter is, you'll lose in the court of public opinion. That Congress and the NHTSA don't want to look like patsies again only adds to the fervour.

        Every marque is airing their dirty laundry in hopes that a) it'll blow over soon and the media, Congress and the NHTSA will get over themselves and b) the media won't find a non-Toyota story interesting.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Type of diesel? Could it be that some people were running pure biodiesel and the fuel system broke?

      Although that would not explain a $10k repair bill. Anything that high would be basically a motor replacement.
        • 5 Years Ago
        $10,000 repair estimates make no sense, 2009 Jettas would still be covered under VW's bumper to bumper warranty.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've been following this on TDIClub.com, as I recently purchased an Audi A3 TDI. The common-rail diesels used by VW/Audi have a high-pressure fuel pump; this pump has failed on a number of TDIs, spreading tiny bits of metal shrapnel throughout the fuel system, requiring total replacement of the fuel system (tank, pump, hoses, injectors, etc.), hence the high price tag.

        Interestingly the HPFP failures seem to be confined to North America, leading some to speculate it's due to the lower lubricity of NA diesel fuel. Many point out that the US spec for minimum lubricity is lower than the minimum spec given by Bosch (the manufacturer of the failing HPFP units). VW isn't admitting to anything yet, but they do seem to be quietly picking up the tab for most of the repairs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My thoughts exactly. Makes you wonder what the average Joe was putting in the tank to begin with...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm a little confused by the $10,000 repair estimate thing as well but perhaps this also affects other TDI's. I suppose there's also the possibility that someone who drives a *LOT* bought a TDI for it's highway mileage and actually managed to go over the mileage to be covered.
        What's with German cars and HPFP issues anyways? I know BMW had some issues with HPFPs on regular gas cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well I looked it up, apparently VW denied some claims saying that the failures are because of gasoline being put into the fuel tank so some people got stuck with pretty hilarious bills.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mis-fueling by the operator is one possible cause. Even dealerships manage to get this wrong, sometimes.
      Bad fuel in the station tanks is another. Saving your fuel receipts is the only remedy here.

      Combine that with either a bad batch of high pressure fuel pumps (HPFP) or an under-lubricated HPFP due to poor fuel. These pumps operate at a much, much higher pressure than those of 5 years ago.

      What is certainly true is that our diesel fuel quality is lower/variable than in VWs home market.

      The huge repair bills are likely a result of VWoA's techs not being trained to repair the new fuel/exhaust system components, so they are replacing whole fuel & exhaust systems. The fact that some of these huge bills are NOT being covered under warranty is quite troubling - it shows some failure on VWoA's part to adequately test with our lesser fuel, and engineer a way around its potential to damage their system.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am sure VW sells diesel cars in places with worse fuel than the US. If they want to sell a car in a particular market, they need to build it to fit local conditions. MG added oil coolers to cars sold in the US so that the engines would not cook the oil on the extended freeway runs we make here but folks in Britain did not. There are other examples I am sure.

        This is the BMW NiCoSil fiasco all over again. Failure to build to a market's needs, then blame it on the owner.
      • 5 Years Ago
      German engineering is not what it used to be.
      scarecrow5348
      • 5 Years Ago
      It' seems funny how othe car manufacturers get investigated on possibilities, while chryslers 2.7l engine is garbage ( 1000's of catastrophic failures) and chrysler does not iven acknowledge this. How come NHTSA does not investigate them
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ooops...they

      SHOULDA - BOUGHTA - HONDA

      -

      • 5 Years Ago
      Seven complaints?? How about the issue with the Mini Cooper power steering that shuts off while you're driving,then it takes Herculean effort to turn the steering wheel, THEN it comes back on in the middle of the turn, THEN you turn right up the curb because you're pulling on the wheel as hard as you can.......I reported my "occasional" issue to the NTSB and they said that they only had 2 other reports of "THIS" issue. I've read hundreds of blog entries of this same problem, yet only 2 reports to the NTSB. Everybody i've talked to with a Mini relates the same problem to me. I asked the dealer about, they said there was no problem??We're not talking a door knob falling off here. We're talking a dangerous situation and the dealer just keeps stonewalling.
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