10 Most Common Problems of a Volkswagen ID.4 Explained

10 Most Common Problems of a Volkswagen ID.4 Explained

We’re back again with our soft spot for vehicles that just quietly and comfortably cruise along and have ample room for both people and oodles of gizmos that represent modern German engineering. Yes, we’re talking about the Volkswagen ID.4.

But as you would know about German engineering and electric vehicles, having the latest tech doesn’t exactly make them flawless. It’s quite the opposite actually for this crossover EV.

Hence, we’re here to tell you all the annoying problems with owning the Volkswagen ID.4 so you wouldn’t have to go through a firsthand love-hate relationship with it as badly as we did.

What are the most common problems of a Volkswagen ID.4?

Common problems of the Volkswagen ID.4 include engine stalling, random stability control activation, aggressive auto brakes when reversing, infotainment issues, and user profile issues.

Other ID.4 problems relate to its headlights, soy-based wiring, seat belts, window controls, and electrical system.

As you can see above, we’ve only given a general overview of the problems that most commonly occur on the Volkswagen ID.4, so there is a lot more info to unpack for each specific problem.

One thing to note about common problems of a certain vehicle model is that not every model year exhibits the same issues (or at least exhibits them to the same degree).

While the Volkswagen ID.4 is still a fairly new car, some of its model years may be more prone to brake issues, for example, while other model years are more known for their faulty batteries that cause stalling.

So in addition to discussing the nature of these problems in more detail below, we’ll also be telling you which Volkswagen ID.4 model year is actually the worst, so be sure to read thoroughly until the end!

Engine Stalling

One of the most well-known problems of the Volkswagen ID.4 is that the vehicle can suddenly stall while you’re driving, which can potentially cause an accident to occur.

Now, there are two common reasons why the stalling happens, and whichever reason it may be depends on when your Volkswagen ID.4 was manufactured.

Stalling Due to Battery Management Software Glitch

Engine Stalling

As stated in a report by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 20,904 units of the Volkswagen ID.4 were recalled for a glitch in the battery management control circuit, making it the most prevalent stalling culprit of the two.

This battery software glitch affected ID.4 models manufactured from May 26, 2020, to January 20, 2022, and can cause the software to reset and deactivate the pulse inverter control unit, resulting in the electric motor shutting down.

Of course, without power from the electric motor, it can put you in a risky situation where you have to pull over to the side before you get stranded in the middle of the road.

Ever since then, the manufacturer has sent dashboard alert notifications to Volkswagen ID.4 owners at the end of March 2023, which advises them to have an appointment at the dealer to have the software fixed free of charge.

The manufacturer also states that vehicles made after January 20, 2022, already switched to an updated version of the software, thus the known software glitch will not be an issue for models produced after that point.

Stalling Due to Faulty Battery Connection

The second possible reason for the stalling issue in the Volkswagen ID.4 is that there is a faulty battery connection due to certain parts of the circuit assembly being incorrectly soldered.

This instance of bad soldering can result in inconsistencies in the flow of current within the circuit, which can spell bad news for a car that solely relies on electric power to keep it moving.

Compared to the first reason we’ve previously discussed, stalling due to faulty battery connections is a lot less common, as only 351 units of the 2021 model year were included in the recall concerning this specific issue.

But despite the more limited number of affected units, we have unfortunately yet to see an actual remedy program from the manufacturer, which means that any components affected by this recall will not be reimbursed.

The only action that was taken to prevent this issue from occurring in newer models was the amount of soldering flux material being corrected on the supplier’s side. 

Otherwise, the manufacturing defect itself is still present in the aforementioned 351 units with incorrectly soldered circuit assemblies. 

Volkswagen will be sending another notice to affected ID.4 owners whenever a remedy program becomes available. In the meantime, it’s worth having a second backup vehicle just to be on the safer side.

Random Activation of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) 

Stability control is a common safety feature in modern cars that is supposed to keep the car from losing control or sliding in wet or bad road conditions.

However, the Volkswagen ID.4’s electronic stability control (ESC) can be anything but “safe” when it malfunctions, as owners have reported the system suddenly activating even when going at low speeds and the road is dry.

When the stability control kicks in, the brakes will also be automatically activated by the ABS (anti-lock braking system), which means that you’ll also get a sudden unintended slowing down of the vehicle.

This unintended braking may put you at risk of being rear-ended by another vehicle behind you, making this quite a big safety hazard for the ID.4.

Aside from that, you’ll also see a warning light appear and flash on the gauge cluster whenever the ESC activates.

Random Activation of Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

Owners say that the random ESC activation problem mostly occurs in early AWD (all-wheel drive) variants of the ID.4, meaning that RWD (rear-wheel drive) models rarely run into this issue.

They also commonly observe and even expect it to happen in long sweeping corners with a slight incline at low speeds, such as banked turns and off-ramps.

But alas, Volkswagen has yet to issue a recall to remedy the ID.4’s faulty electronic stability control (ESC), though there’s already some speculation that it may just be a software-related issue that’s causing the ESC to activate under normal conditions.

While we wait for the manufacturer to resolve this problem, be on the lookout for ESC issues if you’re purchasing an ID.4 from the earlier model years (2020 and 2021). 

Otherwise, it’s still unclear at this time if the stability control problem also affects newer ID.4 models from 2022 and 2023.

Aggressive Automatic Braking When Reversing

Aggressive Automatic Braking When Reversing

Another annoying problem that involves the Volkswagen ID.4’s “automatic braking” is that it activates way too aggressively while in reverse.

This means that the automatic braking feature is very sensitive to its surroundings while reversing the vehicle, meaning that it’ll activate abruptly even when obstacles are still quite far away from the rear bumper.

The brakes may also activate automatically even when reversing up inclines and ramps or driving in between narrow pathways where the walls are close together, as the parking sensors think that you’re about to collide with something in the rear.

Furthermore, installing any kind of equipment of considerable size at the rear of the ID.4, such as a bike rack, can also trigger the sensors and slam on the brakes to one’s annoyance.

Volkswagen did not come up with a solution to permanently address the issue just yet, so owners have had to reverse the vehicle even slower than before to avoid the brakes from coming on automatically.

However, dealers have also advised owners to try and disable both the “Maneuver Braking” and the “Rear Traffic Alert” features via the parking settings. 

The downside to doing this is that the vehicle may turn on one of these features again every time you turn the car off and on.

Infotainment System Issues

Infotainment System Issues

Over at the interior cabin of the Volkswagen ID.4, there are all sorts of issues worth talking about in the electric crossover SUV’s infotainment system.

For starters, the ID.4’s infotainment system sometimes takes quite a while to boot up, and by the time it manages to do so, you may also experience several other issues that affect its functionality thrown your way.

Apart from the initial slow booting, the infotainment system may even randomly reboot or restart by itself. The screen can also suddenly freeze or stop working completely, meaning that you will receive no response to any of your inputs.

Let’s not forget that the infotainment also controls the radio, and many owners found it annoying that it automatically turns on and blasts whatever audio or station it was set to.

Some people have even experienced the radio randomly coming on with very loud and distorted audio while driving down the highway, and they were unable to turn it off right away as the screen froze or was unresponsive.

You’ll have to either switch the infotainment system’s power button off immediately as you start the car, or if the screen is still functioning, at least turn the “startup volume” down via the settings menu.

Others have also resorted to either Apple Carplay or Android Auto to control their radio for them so the infotainment doesn’t turn on the radio automatically.

When it comes to rebooting the entire infotainment system, you’ll need to hold down the same power button for 10 seconds and wait for the screen display to turn off.

Depending on the specific glitch that you experience, the reboot may or may not work. In this case, you can also try and shut off the car to completely turn off the electronics to see if the infotainment starts working again.

User Profile Setup Problems

User Profile Setup Problems

Another common issue that can also involve the 2022 to 2023 Volkswagen ID.4’s infotainment system is the difficulty in setting up your own customized user profile.

The Volkswagen ID.4’s user profile (user-ID) allows you to set your own preferences for things such as climate control, seat settings, ambient lighting, radio stations and saved music, contact data settings, and more.

Unable to Set Up User Profile

Some owners have complained that they were unable to set up their user profile (primary user) from the get-go, meaning that they were forced to be stuck on only a “guest profile” until the issue is resolved.

While logging into your user profile, the screen may get stuck with the message “Connecting to Volkswagen ID” yet it never manages to do so.

User Profile Randomly Resets

Others have also noticed that even when they’ve managed to create and finish setting up their profile, the system keeps randomly resetting all the settings that are already stored in the profile.

This can happen along with the system suddenly notifying you that new settings are available for your user profile. At that point, it will prompt you to choose between either “Ok” or “Cancel”.

However, regardless of which option you choose, the system will still reset every single saved setting that we’ve mentioned earlier back to default.

Unable to Link Car-Net Profiles 

In addition, owners with existing Car-Net profiles are not able to link them to their Volkswagen ID-4 user profile as well, meaning that you’ll have to contact VW Car-Net Support yourself to fix the issue.

The caveat to contacting Car-Net is that it can take a while for a technician to get back to you, as one owner experienced waiting for 10 days for this exact reason.

If you don’t want to wait that long, you can try one owner’s suggestion of logging out of the “myVW” app on your phone/device. This will enable you to remove your phone from the car and start over with fresh settings on your profile.

But of course, this is assuming that you’ve created your profile via the myVW app in the first place. 

For those that made their accounts using the infotainment system, Car-Net unfortunately still doesn’t have a permanent fix for this. Rather, they’ll only grant all “Primary User” controls to the “Guest User”.

Seat Belt Issues

Seat Belt Issues

As far as problems that relate to the Volkswagen ID.4’s interior go, the seat belts are known to become faulty and possibly fail at their job of properly securing occupants in place.

Depending on the model year that your Volkswagen ID.4 belongs to, the exact culprit of the seat belt problem itself may slightly vary, as evident when the manufacturer issued two separate recalls.

The first (21V606000) of the two recall campaigns affected 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 models along with other Audi models in the mix, in which the rear seat belt locking retractor can potentially get disabled too early.

The faulty retractor disabling early will leave the child restraint system unsecured, which increases the chances of injury to rear seat passengers and thus fails to conform to safety requirements on “Occupant Crash Protection” by the FMVSS.

Volkswagen went ahead and remedied this by replacing the defective center rear seat belt assembly on affected models at no cost.

The second recall (21V607000) is quite similar in nature to the first one, except that it now involves the installation of incorrect rear outboard seat belt assemblies that do not come with automatic locking retractors (ALR).

Again, this can also result in the child restraint system from being properly secured, and to no one’s surprise, another case of failing to comply with FMVSS safety requirements.

The manufacturer’s solution for the second recall is almost identical to that of the first one, albeit replacing the assemblies for the rear outboard seat belts instead of the middle ones this time around.

Headlight Problems

Headlight Problems

The Volkswagen ID.4 isn’t exactly known to have a lot of problems with its exterior, but when it does, you better take a look at its headlights.

About 3,231 Volkswagen ID.4 units made between December 15, 2020, and March 30, 2021, underwent a recall for headlights that may not have been installed with the required caps for properly disabling the horizontal aim of the headlights.

Without the necessary caps, the headlights may get readjusted horizontally past their originally intended limits or positions. 

At the same time, you’ll also lose vertical adjustment for the headlights, which was solely the originally intended means of adjusting the headlights.

Subsequently, this issue may reduce the visibility for the driver and possibly even glare and blind other motorists.

Because of the obvious safety concern that the headlight issue brings, the recall removes the caps that have been incorrectly placed on the vertical aim adjustment and places caps to block the horizontal one instead, free of charge.

Rodent Infestation in “Soy-Based” Wiring

Rodent Infestation in “Soy-Based” Wiring

One peculiar-sounding fact about the Volkswagen ID.4 is that uses soy-based coatings for its wirings, and even other brands have also utilized this approach for the purpose of renewability and eco-friendliness.

However, it’s a very popular claim that such soy-coated wiring is prone to attract rodents that’ll have you end up with wires that have been chewed on, raising concerns if any of your electronics would still function normally.

After many class-action lawsuits filed and several research studies on mice’s attraction to soy, the whole topic of soy-based wiring being more likely to attract rodents still remains a “myth” or at least up for debate.

The reason is that there have been many cases wherein rodents still chew on ordinary wiring not made of soy. Furthermore, rodents have been known to chew on more than just wiring, such as hoses and other plastic components.

Thus, this sort of issue happening specifically on the Volkswagen ID.4’s soy-based wiring can still be possibly due to other factors such as rodents’ attraction to warm environments, which is what underneath your car’s hood exactly can be.

But regardless of the material that your Volkswagen ID.4’s wiring is made of, it’s still a good idea regularly check your wiring as well as set up repellants for your car, as wild rodents aren’t exactly picky eaters (or chewers).

Malfunctioning Window Controls

Malfunctioning Window Controls

Continuing the trend of problems that concern the Volkswagen ID.4’s electronics, the electric crossover SUV’s window controls have proven to be problematic as well.

Several owners have reported that the window controls seem to be flipped, as the window responds by doing the exact opposite of the button that you pressed.

For instance, pressing the roll-up button, regardless if it’s with the auto or manual controls, suddenly rolls down the windows.

Others also complained that as they get the windows to roll up and close completely, it’ll immediately go back down halfway again. They would have to repeat this a few more times in order for the window to actually stay fully closed.

The opposite can also be true, in which the windows also don’t fully open and still leave some glass sticking out at the bottom. Some ID.4 owners have experienced dealers informing them that this is considered “within tolerances”.

At this point, owners have had to take matters into their own hands. They’ve discovered that rolling the windows up or down and keeping either button pressed until the window stops and you hear a clicking noise fixes the issue.

The click that you hear is the window’s motor disengaging, and you’ll have better chances of hearing it in a more quiet place.

If the problem still persists then it could either be a bad switch or there is something within the window’s mechanism that keeps binding up or preventing its movement, so you’ll have to get it looked into by a mechanic.

Electrical System Error Message

Electrical System Error Message

In an electric vehicle like the Volkswagen ID.4, it isn’t completely out of the ordinary to get a message that says there’s something wrong with your electrical system, though it can be quite confusing to find out the cause.

An electrical system error on the ID.4 can be due to software glitches or issues that involve the battery, the DC fast charger, or other hardware. The error message will also inform you that you need to service the vehicle.

Sometimes, the error message may disappear while you’re driving, while other times, it can also disappear once the vehicle has been shut off.

However, once the electrical system error is bad enough that it triggers the vehicle to go into “limp mode”, then that’s a sign that you really need to have it checked by a local dealership, as it can be pretty difficult to pinpoint the exact reason.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Volkswagen ID.4

Some pros of the Volkswagen ID.4 include competitive pricing, 175kW fast charging, great range, and a comfortable interior cabin.

Some cons of the Volkswagen ID.4 include many issues with its software and many electronics relying on the infotainment system.

Volkswagen ID.4 Pros

  • Relatively competitive pricing against other similar EVs
  • Comfortable interior cabin space
  • Capable of 175kW fast charging for 82kWh models
  • Up to 275 miles of range for RWD models
  • Tons of safety features that come as standard
  • Great suspension for a comfortable driving experience

Volkswagen ID.4 Cons

  • Too many electronics rely on the infotainment system
  • Riddled with software and electronic issues
  • Lacks extra cargo space like a frunk (front trunk)
  • Subpar performance specs compared to its rivals

Worst Year of the Volkswagen ID.4 That You Should Know

The worst years of the Volkswagen ID.4 are considered to be 2020 and 2021, as most of the reported problems and issued recalls relate to models produced between these two years.

However, keep in mind that the Volkswagen ID.4 is still fairly new and its worst model year may be subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)