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VW Golf Strange Tail Light Issue?

Okay, so here is the deal. I have a 2008 mkV GTI that I have owned since it was new. I have had this problem going on for a while now, and I have not been able to solve it.

My left tail light function completely normal. The running lights, blinker, and brake lights all work as they should. However, my right tail light is where the issue starts. Each tail light has two hemispheres to it, both of which go on a dim setting for the running lights, and both which go on bright for brake lights, but only the outer hemisphere blinks for the blinker (two bulbs, same negative terminal). Upon first impression, it will seem that everything is working normal. If I hit the brakes, both the hemispheres light up properly. If I turn on the running lights, then both hemispheres also light up. However, if I leave the lights on for anywhere from 10-40 seconds, or I turn the right blinker on, after a few blinks and or that time, the outer light goes out. I have tried new bulbs in the tail light, switching bulbs, and cleaning connectors. I also do NOT get a bulb out warning when it goes out, however if I unplug the assembly, I do get the bulb out warning. I did think it was maybe a heat issue, so I got out a later thermometer and measured the bases of the inner bulb (which has no issues) and the outer bulb (the one with the problem), and before the outside one went off, the base on the inner bulb would be around 180 deg F, while the base of the other bulb would be around 110 deg F. I don't know if this temperature difference signifies anything, but it might be related.

Is there a board I can look for that might have missed that controls light function? I don't think it's a fuse, because then the light should be out the whole time. The light will come back on when I brake again if the running lights are OFF, but if they are on, I have to turn running lights off then on to get that bulb to briefly come back on. The front blinker also does not flash quicker when that rear bulb is out (so I think the circuit is still complete). I can get a voltmeter to check that the bulb is receiving the correct voltage, but I think it still is. One thing to note, when the bulb goes out, I can hear a high pitched humming noise coming from it.

I tried to do research on this topic, but there seems to be nobody else who has posted an issue like this. I have found other things where the turn signal or outer bulb will go off instantly when brakes are pressed or hazards are turned on, but mine seems to have a delay, like something is building up and tripping.

Any help with this problem would be appreciated. I want to avoid the dealer on this one before they try to replace 100 parts.


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Hi am fedy

Am driving golf1 velocity .the only problem I discover lately is that when i turn on my brightlights my music turnoff .

Please anyone who can help on this he/she s welocome


Yes I am having the same problems with my 2012 Jetta. Just found out that to replace that module is somewhere between 800 and $1,300. I will definitely rethink my future purchases of Volkswagen products if it cost me $1,000 to give a taillight working.


thanks so much for sharing Owen. I have a 2012 beetle turbo similar issue NOT solved as of yet. Left rear lights all function. Right rear no tail only, (the larger wedge base bulb). sockets, grounds, plugs, all good, no blown fuse. when grounding test light to light quadrant ground , no power to the tail light wire on plug that shows power on the left working tail (obviously).... any thoughts appreciated!



I'm having same problem with right side as well if u ever found out the problem please let me know


(2018 beetle s turbo) I have the same issue. I replaced all bulbs with led and left tail works as it should with normal running and brake brightnesses. However the right tail light appears to get less power than it should when in running mode so you can just barely see it if at all. Brake brightness is normal.

I tested and changed bulbs (right and left, new and old) same result.

I think it maybe a CECM prob like Owen had. ?????

Any advice??? Help???

Regular stock bulbs are not bright enough.


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2 solutions

Solution retenue

Problem was resolved. Looks like it was actually the car's Central Electronics Control Module (CECM) that was defective. Luckily I have a very good local repair shop that fixed it in no time. All lights work perfectly now.

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Were would the "CECM"

Be located

I have a 2002 gti 1.8 {¿golf?}

Best way to check it?


What number relay is it??


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An ordinary 1157 bulb does not work . But that is on a2007 volkswagon beetle . Get original bulb .

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my is a 20016 jetta rear right tail light not work. im desconnet the battery for ten minutes and plug back all work bery good. good luck


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Owen Cunneely sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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