yeah that car was most likely made in mexico.
it's a pile of shit, one that is the cherry on top of the list of shitty cars in the world. jettas are the worst.
here's some examples, some emails that went back and forth in regard to vw quality on the bmw list i'm on:
What can I say? I have always *wanted* to love VWs. I've tried 2, no, 3 times. Alas, it just isn't meant to be. I bought an '84 Quantum GL5 wagon. Nice looking, in its day, for a station wagon. It had the well-reputed VW/Audi 5-cylinder engine and a slushbox. The car was, and I stole this from another former VW owner, a "symphony of warning lights." My favorite failure on that car was the reversed polarity on the electric cooling fan switch/sensor, whereby every time the car cooled down, the fan came on. And stayed on - until the battery died. It also leaked a rainbow of fluids..... (Built in Germany)
Then I bought a Cabriolet for the wife in a weak attempt to replce a Miata. Sitting still, great chick car. Not a bad car in the generic sense, but never quite right. It had what I can best describe as a terminal "wheeze" - Neither I nor any shop I could find could fix it. Basically, the car had bad asthma. When we bought the new Jetta, to which Jonathan refers in his post, the Cabriolet became mine. And then it went away. (Built in Germany)
Now the Jetta. Long story short, take a fundamentally bad car and build it in Mexico. 'nuff said. >From a design perspective, it was exactly what I expected. It was the box it came in, and had an underpowered 2.0 litre 4. On the highway it was not bad. I wanted a VR6 but couldn't swing the payments at the time. That's probably just as well. The problems this car had start in the engine bay, but by no means end there - 1) Oil leaks. From Day ONE. It wasn't a matter of tightening, or gasket replacement, or anything else logical. Maybe it was a warped..um.. engine. Regardless, they couldn't totally make it stop permanently. 2) Fit and finish. I had a Fiat 850 that was put together better than this. The upholstery came from the factory fit improperly. The dealers couldn't make it right, despite numerous attempts. 3) Electricals - This car went through headlights like they were going out of style. Maybe it was because of the DRLs that you couldn't trun off. Who cares. It sucked. The foglight lenses also randomly fell off, but I'm sure that's just because I actually drove the car from time to time, despite what the service managers would have liked. Granted, all of my issues were covered under warranty, but the hassle factor was through the roof on this car. We sold it while it could still be VWs problem. Buying one out of warranty, in my experience, would be a colossal mistake.
Just ask me.
----- Original Message -----
From: Jonathan Bush
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2003 10:40 AM
Subject: Re: WTB: Interesting Daily driver
No flame war intended, but I think VWs have bad idea written all over them. My buddy Mike had a 98 GTI VR6 new. As I recall, it wasn't built in Germany but in Mexico (like all Golfs, Jettas, Beetles). Nice car, black on black leather, fully optioned, tight... It was a fast car, but the tires as supplied by the factory were not up to the task.
This is not why the car is a bad idea. This is:
At about the 2200 miles mark, Mike was driving rather quickly down a nice stretch of empty highway. All of a sudden, blue smoke started pouring out of the dash vents. He pulled over and popped open the hood. No fire there. Nope, there was some sort of short deep in the dashboard that melted the main harness.
So before the car even had its first oil change, the entire interior as well as the exterior aft of the A-pillars was removed to replace the wiring harness. To the day he sold the car (~8k miles when Mike moved to England), every time he'd try to use the rear wiper, it would pop the fuse.
And that doesn't take into account a brand new 1999 Jetta Wolfsburg that was the poster child for Bad Quality Control. Reed, You want to take a shot?
Project Junkyard Turbohund - '75 BMW 3.0 CS; M30 3.4L Straight Six; Turbonetics T3/T04E Hybrid Turbo, Custom Intake w/ Integrated Water to Air Intercooler; Haltech E6K; EBC