Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,157 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2006 Volkswagen Passat brakes problems

brakes problem

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2006 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #16

Jan 122014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 110,600 miles


I was traveling southbound on the Maine turnpike at 55-60 mph due to some black ice in areas. Temp was 35, conditions were clear, visibility good. After passing exit 75, without warning my VW Passat electronic parking brake engaging, causing my brakes to lock up and causing me to loose control of the vehicle, swerving side to side for approximately 50 yards. During this time, the parking brake light was flashing as well as a parking brake fault message on the dash was displayed. I was able to regain control of the vehicle and pull off to the shoulder. I put the vehicle in park, referred to my manual, which was no help. I got out of the vehicle, looked around it and then called a few people to discuss the problem. No one had ever heard of this issue before and I saw no obvious sign of error. This vehicle is equipped with an electronic parking brake button on the dash. I believe its electronic malfunction and a huge safety issue. If there would have been vehicles near mine, we would of collided. I had my daughter and her friend in the rear of the vehicle and we were all very scared during this entire incident. After 10 min of shut off, I restarted, the dash still display parking brake fault. I was able to manually disengage the braking brake. But the "fault" error on dash would not go away. I then operated the vehicle at 30-35 mph with hazards on to exit gray. I parked the vehicle at a local restaurant and turned off the vehicle for over 30 minutes. When I turned the vehicle back on the "fault" light had gone off and the vehicle seemed to be running ok. But I was unsure if I should Venture further and took route 100 back to my home in lew. The next day I did not use the vehicle and called VW on mon after noting numerous VW forums with complaints of the same safety issue. Case #[xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lewiston, ME, USA

problem #15

Mar 302012

Passat 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
At the morning of 3/30/2012 while was driving to work brakes feel funny( sometimes like hard, sometimes soft) started that morning. While I was barking my car brakes failed, hardly stopped and crashed to electric pol. Broke front grill and emblem put a dent on chrome piece on the front.I took the vehicle to dealer. Found brake booster neprene hose had multiple cracks.. that replacement should be free but they charge me some$200. I would like to complain Volkswagen of America. Good think did not happened on highway 70 mph.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #14

Feb 032012

Passat 4-cyl

  • 92,670 miles
I began to have problems with the engine light. Every time I had it checked, it coded something different (PO455, PO171, PO441) with these results: Fuel cap light came on, high pressure fuel pump, evaporative emission control system, and lean bank 02 censor before the catalytic converter. It became hard to crank, and once shook when it did crank. The steering wheel module and comfort control module were replaced in 2008 under warranty after I took Volkswagen to small claims court. I took the car to a dealership in atlanta (there isn't one close to where I live) and they completed the following repairs: Code PO444, the evaporative emission system purge control valve circuit; code PO193, fuel measuring system 2 abnk 1; and P2187 system too lean at idle. Total= $884.84 ($619.95 labor; $204.31 parts; $43.25 waste disposal charge; and $17.33 tax). At no charge, they checked the passenger headlight which I had to replace @ twice a year and inspected high pressure pump, gff guided functions and a courtesy visual service inspection.

- Alexandria, AL, USA

problem #13

Feb 062010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


Antilock brake system failed causing the brakes to automatically come on. Led to rapid deceleration while driving. Ongoing problem.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #12

Sep 012010

Passat 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Service brakes, hydraulic:power assist:vacuum 2006 VW Passat 3.6L VR6 model. The problem occurred in late 2010 at first a few months after the car was purchased. The problem occurs when the vehicle is at a set of lights, the RPM are normally around 650-700 RPM, when the problem occurs the RPM go to 1250-1300 while the vehicle is stopped, this makes so the driver has to apply much more foot strength to hold the car. Raising the risks of a car crash. This happens randomly, if I drive a day it might not happen, then I drive the next day at the second set of lights it happens. I have attempted to repair this at VW in nh but they did not solve the problem and claimed the car "is not really an automatic, but a manual" and changed gear boot connectors or some something, and the same week the problem resumed. I feel I cannot go to VW to repair this as this will give me excuses, please look into this, I feel this is detrimental to my and my family's safety. Thank you.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #11

Dec 042010

Passat 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
I own a 2006 VW Passat 3.6, engine died suddenly after pulling out across a 45mph state route, after engine failed, there was no steering or brakes, had to push car out of traffic with my 2 young sons inside. Young VW, easton pa. Stated the failure as a oil pump bolt that had backed out and sheared off, causing the catastrophic engine failure. After some research I found 58 failure of this type of this same year and engine, at:, - this is clearly an issue VW was aware of several years ago, as evidenced by the replacement or repair of so many, 58+ engines that I can document, and chooses not to recognize the issue, I believe due to financial reasons as this fix is $3,000 in labor alone. I contacted vwoa, (ref. # [xxx]) and VW ag, (,ref. No.: [xxx]) with this issue and neither had recognized this as a known issue, my vehicle is out of warranty, and VW estimated the repair at $12,800 for a rebuilt engine. Aside from being abusively expensive, this failure should not be allowed to occur randomly, in traffic or anywhere creating a very unsafe and life threatening situation, vwoa should be well aware of these potential problems with this year engine, by the many they have replaced or fixed and should make the public aware and effect a fix to prevent a loss of life due to this known engine defect. My VIN # [xxx], 2006 VW Passat 3.6L 4motion. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Walnutport, PA, USA

problem #10

May 092009


  • 47,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Volkswagen Passat. The contact was attempting to pull into a parking space when the brakes failed. A local mechanic stated that the heat shields on the turbo failed, causing the brake failure. The vehicle was repaired under the contact's factory warranty. The failure and current mileages were approximately 47,000.

- Del Ray Beach , FL, USA

problem #9

May 112009

Passat 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that the steering column locks up on her vehicle and prevents it from being driven. She attempted to start the engine and an indicator illuminated, which stated that the steering column was locked. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the steering column was defective and needed a module. The repair would cost $1,300. The failure mileage was 63,000. Updated 05/27/09 updated 06/08/09 updated 6/16/09 the left rear caliper needed to be replaced, the check engine light illuminated, the transmission was making a loud noise, the tire pressure light illuminated, the left turn signal did not work, the left wheel bearing needed to be replaced, the hood release lever inside the vehicle was inoperative. Updated 06/17/09.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #8

Jan 172009


  • 30,000 miles
Power brake assist failure in low ambient temperatures (wi winters). Occurs whenever temperatures are in the 30's or lower. Vacuum hose has been replaced twice, with no improvement. Apparently condensation is building inside the hose (reported by dealership service dept.)

- New Glarus , WI, USA

problem #7

Feb 152009


  • 47,500 miles
I have two problems with this car: 1. emergency brake failure continues to give me parking brake fault message & periodically will not engage or disengage. 2. on several occasions during braking my car is slipping and takes longer to brake. I see this problem is already a recall on other VW Passats but not on my model Passat but this recall should be extended to my model as well. Brake vacuum problem. I will be making an appointed to get this looked at with dealer but wanted you to have a record of this and investigate these issues.

- Jackson, NJ, USA

problem #6

Nov 052008


  • 54,900 miles


Driving down snow and ice covered mountain pass in Colorado when I suddenly experienced heavy resistance of brake pedal and loss of braking. Brake light also came on. Fortunately, I made it home safely. Subsequently brought car to dealer and found out that the vacuum line for the brake had cracked causing loss of vacuum pressure and decreased braking.

- Evergreen, CO, USA

problem #5

Aug 142007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,100 miles
I own a 2006 VW Passat 2.0T. Two days ago, as my wife was parking with the baby in the back seat, the brakes suddenly failed completely and she smacked into the car in front of her and it into the car in front of it. Luckily no one was in those cars and my wife and baby are okay. She then filed a police report and had the roadside assistance pick it up and take it to the service center. Now I know about the late 2006 recall and we had that fixed but geez, it's a good thing she wasn't on the highway! as of yesterday, VW mechanics could not duplicate the problem and could not find a mechanical or computer error. The service representative said that they road tested it and it was fine. However, my car model was recalled by VW in 12/06 and supposedly fixed a power brake issue. Of course yesterday they told me that it was also recalled just yesterday for a software update. Means nothing I guess...and they've road tested it again. By the way, had my wife floored the gas, with the 2.0T engine, it would have been far worse. Witnesses saw her screaming and looking down before the accident, trying to figure out what was happening. VW Consumer Affairs, is also investigating the issue and the dealers service levels. Now today, something surprising happened. My lojack early warning system called an emailed me because as it turns out they were road testing it. Funny, they said they road tested it yesterday as well but I had no early warning from lojack. Sounds like I caught the service center in a lie.

- Astoria, NY, USA

problem #4

Dec 042006

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,400 miles
- the contact stated that while driving a 2006 Volkswagen Passat it stalled in a turn. He had been driving along steadily for 2 hours with out incident prior to the vehicle losing power. The contact took the vehicle to be serviced, and was informed that they could not find the cause of the problem. The passenger side headlight was inoperable, the work was completed, however 2 hours later the headlight failed again. The vehicle exhibits a one to three second lag in the accelerator, most noticeable when the consumer is truing to accelerator. There was a rattle coming from the headliner/sunroof assembly. There was a rubbing noise coming from the brakes. There was a rattling noise coming from the rear view mirror trim pieces. The windshield wipers were inoperative. The fog lights were inoperative. Updated 01/31/07.

- Roseville, MN, USA

problem #3

Nov 062006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,811 miles
I have had recurrent issues with my 2006 Passat. I just got the car back from the dealer after being at the dealer for repairs for 25 days, and I was trying to brake at the end of my street and the car did not brake. The pedal was very hard -- I could barely push it in with two feet. I activated the parking brake, and the car stopped -- thank god, I was only going 10 mph, but if I rolled into the intersection I could have been killed. When the car stopped, the check engine light came on, the engine began revving up and down and the headlights were flickering or surging and getting brighter and dimmer and brighter very rapidly. I turned on the interior lights to better view my dash, and the interior lights were surging/flickering as well. In one of my previous visits for dealer repairs, they told me they put in a brand new electrical system. How can this be happening again? this car is beyond repair. I believe I have a lemon and it is dangerous to continue driving this car. I cannot believe that after a 25-day stint in the dealer repair center it's still not working. This is the last of many trips to the dealer for repairs. Incidentally, while I bought the car new, I bought it after using it as a loaner when my 2006 jetta tdi was in the shop more than I drove it during my period of ownership. That car had some issues as well, so when I liked the Passat I decided to trade it in. I've only driven this Passat for less than 5,000 miles and it is terrible. My wife drives a 2006 jetta tdi (a different one) which runs great. How can only one of three cars purchased in less than a six month period function properly. This is seriously impacting my views of VW quality. I have trouble writing VW and the word quality in the same sentence. Thank god I didn't die tonight.

- Northampton, PA, USA

problem #2

Jul 252006

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Shaking issue while braking and after releasing brake. The entire car vibrates. Dealer contacted and said there was no way to repair at the current time.

- Hartsville, SC, USA

problem #1

Mar 042006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 21,526 miles
: the contact stated while driving 10mph and attempting to come to a stop, the RPM gauge needle gave sporadic readings. While the RPM readings were inaccurate, the brake pedal was depressed; however, the brake pedal went to the floor and the vehicle did not stop. The contact was forced to down shift and use the emergency brake in order to get the vehicle stopped. After the vehicle was restarted, the engine revved. The vehicle was shifted into gear and suddenly accelerated. The vehicle engine was quickly shut off. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and currently is under going additional testing.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

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