Reverse gear failures and noise in the manual transmission models are common.Google+
Car Problem Reports
Volkswagen GTI Reverse Gear Failures and Noise in Manual Transmission Models are Common
Volkswagen GTI Problem
Average Mileage: 141,715 mi (86,000 mi - 221,100 mi)
Visitor, 2004 Volkswagen GTI, 137,000 mi
The car works perfectly fine. I recently had the water pump and timing belt replaced. A month later, my car would not go into reverse. No transmission light or sound occurred. I took it to my regular tech who said I should replace my transmission. I've been driving it for a month without reversing. It picks up speed and drops as needed on the highway. I think there's just something wrong with the shifter, its a dual transmission. Trying to decide what to do with the car :(
Visitor, 1998 Volkswagen GTI, 135,000 mi
everything works great except the revese, makes a god awful noise and is jumpy. what should i do?
Visitor, 2006 Volkswagen GTI, 96,890 mi
The entire manual transmission collapsed.
Visitor, 1996 Volkswagen GTI, 174,305 mi
car does not go in reverse we recently bought the vehicle and everything worked fine when we test drove it but when we got it home the reverse stopped working and so did the speedometer.