I'm putting this in Anything Auto, because this question is specifically about a Jetta, but I suppose could relate to the Passat as well...
A friend of mine has a 1.8T Jetta (2003). While he was away on a trip, his battery died. The battery was analyzed, and it could no longer hold a charge. So, he picks up a new battery and I help him install it. When we start the car up, the ABS light is lit and the Brake light is flashing and beeping continuously. I have read enough on this board to know that the problem was most likely computer related and not an actual brake fault, but I went through the checklist anyway... brake fluid looked good, ABS fuse not blown, visual inspection of brakes etc. He decided to drive it over to the dealer since we can't figure it out. Here is where it gets interesting. They tell him that any time the battery is disconnected the "computer" must be reprogrammed. They charged him for one hour of labor.
I can't believe this is true. He called VWOA and they said it's up to the dealer to decide on technical issues with the car, and they wouldn't comment on the requirement of having the computer reset with a battey change.
Can we really not change the batteries on our cars without a trip to the dealer?