The Golf feels solid, handles well and can really stretch your fuel dollar. However, its superlative fuel economy must be balanced against modest acceleration numbers. Overall, we think it's a small price for the diesel's 41 mpg. A higher price to pay: increased emissions from the diesel engine.
Alerts
There are 9 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
The 2001 Volkswagen Golf has been recalled 9 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
00
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10*
11
12
13
14
15*
16
17
18
19
20
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Recalls
PROVIDED BY
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
Mar 07, 2014
A failure of the timing belt may cause the engine to shut down, potentially increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.
Summary:
The Gates Corporation (Gates) is recalling certain aftermarket Tru-Flow Water Pumps, part number TFW 41127, sold at certain NAPA Auto Parts and/or installed by automotive service technicians after November 1, 2013 (and manufactured August 2013 through October 2013) that have a black-colored pulley/sprocket or do not have 'US9377' stamped on the water pump housing. These service replacement parts were sold for use in model year 1999-2005 Audi A4, 2000-2006 Audi TT, 1998-2005 Volkswagen Beetle, 1999-2006 Golf, 1999-2008 and 2011-2013 Volkswagen Jetta, and 2000-2005 Volkswagen Passat. In the affected water pumps, the pulley or sprocket that turns the timing belt may develop microfractures causing the timing belt to fail.
What should you do:
Gates will notify owners, and dealers will replace the water pump, free of charge. The recall began during May 2014. Owners may contact The Gates Corporation at 1-303-744-1911.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14E007000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 50
EXTERIOR LIGHTING
May 11, 2009
DECREASED LIGHTING VISIBILITY MAY RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
DOPE, INC. IS RECALLING 42,540 COMBINATION CORNER AND BUMPER LAMP ASSEMBLIES OF VARIOUS PART NUMBERS SOLD FOR USE AS AFTERMARKET EQUIPMENT FOR VARIOUS PASSENGER VEHICLES. THESE HEADLAMPS FAIL TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 108, "LAMPS, REFLECTIVE DEVICES, AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT." THESE LAMPS DO NOT CONTAIN THE REQUIRED AMBER SIDE REFLECTORS.
What should you do:
DOPE, INC. WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND OFFER A FULL REFUND FOR THE NONCOMPLIANT COMBINATION LAMPS. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON JULY 28, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT DOPE, INC. AT 1-626-272-1798.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO AFTERMARKET REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON VEHICLES PRODUCED BY THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURER.IN ORDER TO DETERMINE IF YOUR AFTERMARKET LAMP ASSEMBLY IS AFFECTED BY THIS NONCOMPLIANCE, PLEASE REVIEW THE LIST OF MODEL NUMBERS PROVIDED TO US BY DOPE, INC.THE LIST CAN BE FOUND UNDER "DOCUMENT SEARCH" LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SCREEN. OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09E025000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 42540
EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Apr 07, 2009
DECREASED LIGHTING VISIBILITY MAY RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
SABERSPORT IS RECALLING 16,270 COMBINATION CORNER AND BUMPER LAMP ASSEMBLIES OF VARIOUS PART NUMBERS SOLD FOR USE AS AFTERMARKET EQUIPMENT FOR VARIOUS PASSENGER VEHICLES. THESE HEADLAMPS FAIL TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 108, "LAMPS, REFLECTIVE DEVICES, AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT." THESE LAMPS DO NOT CONTAIN THE REQUIRED AMBER SIDE REFLECTORS.
What should you do:
SABERSPORT WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND OFFER A FULL REFUND FOR THE NONCOMPLIANT COMBINATION LAMPS. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON MAY 11, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT SABERSPORT AT 1-909-598-7589.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO AFTERMARKET REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON VEHICLES PRODUCED BY THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURER.IN ORDER TO DETERMINE IF YOUR AFTERMARKET LAMP ASSEMBLY IS AFFECTED BY THIS NONCOMPLIANCE, PLEASE REVIEW THE LIST OF MODEL NUMBERS PROVIDED TO US BY SABERSPORT.THE LIST CAN BE FOUND UNDER "DOCUMENT SEARCH" LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SCREEN.OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09E012000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 16270
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
Mar 29, 2007
LOSS OF BRAKE FLUID CAN RESULT IN POOR BRAKING PERFORMANCE, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
CERTAIN CARDONE MASTER CYLINDERS WITH PART NUMBERS 10-2925, 10-2987, 10-2987MZA, 10-3083, 11-3015, 11-3042, 11-3044, 11-3045, 11-3047, 11-3064, AND 11-3156, AND WITH DATE CODES LOWER THAN DCA7078 SOLD AS REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT FOR USE ON THE VEHICLES LISTED ABOVE. THE SEAL ON MASTER CYLINDER CAN FAIL AND LEAK BRAKE FLUID.
What should you do:
CARDONE WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND OFFER TO REPURCHASE ANY DEFECTIVE MASTER CYLINDERS. THE RECALL BEGAN DURING APRIL 2007. OWNERS CAN CONTACT CARDONE AT 1-800-777-4780.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO AFTERMARKET CARDONE MASTER CYLINDERS AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON THE VEHICLES LISTED ABOVE.CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 07E023000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 13128
EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Feb 20, 2007
THE BRAKE LIGHTS COULD BECOME INOPERATIVE, OR REMAIN ON. FAILURE TO PROVIDE THE PROPER SIGNAL WHEN BRAKING COULD LEAD TO A CRASH WITHOUT WARNING.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER, WAGON, AND CONVERTIBLE VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH OR WITHOUT CRUISE CONTROL, A BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH MAY MALFUNCTION IF IT WAS INSTALLED INCORRECTLY.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSTALL THE NEWLY DESIGNED BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON APRIL 27, 2007, AND WILL BE CONDUCTED IN SEVERAL STAGGERED MAILINGS THROUGH SEPTEMBER 21, 2007. VEHICLES WITHIN THE MAKE, MODEL, AND MODEL YEAR OF THIS POPULATION MAY BE INVOLVED IN EITHER THIS RECALL OR 06V-183, BUT NOT BOTH. THE REMEDY IS THE SAME FOR EACH RECALL. VOLKSWAGEN DEALERS WILL APPLY THE REMEDY BASED ON THE VIN NUMBER OF THE VEHICLE. OWNERS MAY CONTACT VW AT 1-800-822-8987.
For more information:
VOLKSWAGEN RECALL NO. N4.CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 07V063000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1002000
EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Dec 16, 2004
THIS MAY RESULT IN INTERMITTENT OR INOPERATIVE TURN SIGNAL AND HAZARD FLASHER FUNCTION.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE HAZARD SWITCH AND FLASHER SYSTEM FUNCTION MAY DEGRADE OVER TIME BECAUSE OF DISTORTION AND MATERIAL TRANSFER OF THE CONTACTS OF CERTAIN HAZARD SWITCH RELAYS WHICH OCCURS DUE TO SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASED ELECTRICAL CURRENT LOAD FROM HIGHER WATTAGE TURN SIGNAL BULBS.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE HAZARD FLASHER SWITCH/RELAY KIT. THE RECALL BEGAN ON MARCH 31, 2005. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.
For more information:
VW RECALL NO.VX.CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION?S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 04V584000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 410000
EQUIPMENT
Sep 12, 2002
THESE VEHICLES WERE NOT MARKED OR DESCRIBED AS REQUIRED BY THE STANDARD.
Summary:
CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES FAIL TO COMPLY WITH REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 225, "CHILD RESTRAINT ANCHORAGE SYSTEMS." CHILD SEAT ANCHORAGES INSTALLED IN THE VEHICLE'S REAR SEATS MUST BE IDENTIFIED BY MARKINGS, AND THEIR LOCATION AND USE BE DESCRIBED IN THE OWNER'S MANUAL.
What should you do:
OWNERS WILL BE PROVIDED WITH A SUPPLEMENT FOR THE OWNER'S MANUAL AND ALSO ONE SET OF FOUR GUIDANCE FIXTURES INTENDED TO USE IN CONJUNCTION WITH CHILD SEATS EQUIPPED WITH RIGID OR SEMI-RIGID LOWER ANCHORAGE ATTACHMENTS. ALSO ENCLOSED WILL BE FOUR DECALS TOGETHER WITH INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS AND A TEMPLATE FOR ATTACHING THE DECALS TO THE LOWER SEAT BACKS. OWNER NOTIFICATION IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN SEPTEMBER 15, 2002. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT VWOA AT 1-800-822-8987.
For more information:
CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 02V244000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 332950
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
Jan 31, 2002
THIS CAN RESULT IN A FIRE.
Summary:
ON SOME PASSENGER VEHICLES, SHORT CIRCUITS CAN OCCUR WITHIN THE ELECTRONIC CONTROL UNIT OF THE ANTI-LOCK BRAKING SYSTEM (ABS).
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE ABS CONTROL UNIT. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN MARCH 8, 2002. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.
For more information:
ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 02V031000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 55000
SUSPENSION
Sep 20, 2000
THE CONTROL ARM COULD GRADUALLY LOOSEN AND ULTIMATELY SEPARATE FROM ITS BRACKET IN NORMAL DRIVING WHICH COULD CAUSE THE VEHICLE TO BE DIFFICULT TO CONTROL OR RESULT IN LOSS OF CONTROL. AS THE BRACKET LOOSENS, LOUD METALLIC KNOCKING SOUNDS IN FROM THE VEHICLE WILL BE HEARD.
Summary:
VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES. ONE OF TWO BRACKETS USED TO BOLT THE FRONT SUSPENSION CONTROL ARM IN FRONT OF THE VEHICLE TO THE BODY STRUCTURE MAY NOT HAVE BEEN WELDED SUFFICIENTLY.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE BRACKET AND IF THE WELDING IS INSUFFICIENT, WILL REPLACE THE CONTROL ARM.
For more information:
OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN SEPTEMBER 15, 2000. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 00V280000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 4218
Check Vehicle for Unrepaired Recalls
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Change Vehicle