I had to rebuild entire transmission at 52, 00 miles!!! All gears went progressively, on a 2005 Bug with minimal use. 52 k miles at 2013. I was told that the valve body was defective... but I have not seen any recalls... cost me a fortune!!! Wouldn't buy another VW, after being VW owner since, 1976.
Mine is almost 12 years old. It's a salvage that looked and felt brand new when I bought it. It did sit for 3 months between being fixed and me buying it. Besides the smell coming out of the vents I do have issues getting it into reverse, but only after I've been driving around for a while. Starting it first thing in the morning or after work there are no issues. I am going to have it looked at.
Mine did that when I first got her in 2010. Took her to Autobahn in Memphis, TN. They fixed it, but I can't remember what the heck they did. No problems since, but VW manuals are "slippery." So WARNING: Do NOT let anybody who's not a VW person drive your VW manual!!