Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Volkswagen Golf hatchback?
Volkswagen had largely sorted out the most expensive of its DSG automatic gearbox problems before this generation of Golf was launched, but there are still some early cars with which problems have been reported, so make sure the gearbox changes smoothly and there are no signs of temperamental behaviour.
What are the most common problems with a used Volkswagen Golf hatchback?
Lights may fail without warning
An issue with the programming of the on-board supply control unit means the driver may not be warned of a light bulb blowing. It’s also possible for a message to pop up suggesting there’s a fault when there isn’t. Speak to a VW dealer for further information because new software will need to be installed to fix the problem.
Passenger air bag
Due to a faulty weld in the gas generator used in the air bag assembly, there’s a potential for parts of the assembly to break off and cause injury to occupants. Affected vehicles will need to have any faulty items replaced, so find out from your VW dealer if your car is affected by this.
Air bag and seat belt tensioner
Some examples may have an issue with either the air bags, seat belt tensioners, or both. Due to an error in the manufacturing process, these may not trigger correctly in a collision, affecting passenger safety. Find out if your car is affected by this because it'll need to have all faulty air bags and seat belt tensioners replaced.
Rear hub carrier
On certain Golfs there was an issue with the rear hub carrier not being manufactured to the correct standard, so in extreme circumstances, the car could lose a rear wheel. A recall was issued to replace the carriers on affected cars, so find out if your car is one of those affected by speaking with your local VW dealer.
A small number of Golfs may have been fitted with seats where the welds on the backrest head restraint mounting could fail in an accident. You Volkswagen dealer should be able to tell you if your car requires a replacement seat to solve the problem.