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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,643 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 3 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #63

Oct 202009

Passat 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles


2006 VW Passat steering column lock defective due, evidently to computer module malfunction inside steering column which prevents the car from starting reliably. Not covered by recall or warranty. Dealer want $2,000 for new steering column, new steering column, lock, new steering column module and then the convenience module has to be replaced to sync them. With 8-10 hours over labor over 2 days estimate is $2,000. All because their crappy design put the defective computer module inside the steering column and they won't update the software or replace the module. They replace the entire steering column!

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #62

May 182010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 63,500 miles
My 2006 VW Passat 2.0T sedan refuses to start giving a "defective steering column defect" error. The first error was on the 18th of may, 2010. It happens at least 3-5 times per week. After repeated attempts to start it finally starts. 3-15 attempts starts the car. Dealer has quoted me $1800 to repair, car is out of warranty is their response. After searching the internet, apparently it's a known issue and VW hasn't done much about it.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #61

Apr 092009

Passat 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
In April 2009, while driving, the "steering column lock defect" message appeared. As directed, took it immediately to dealership. After service, they indicated no problem could be found. After this, I would have this same error message appear when trying to start the car. Many times, it would take 5-10 minutes of trying before the vehicle would start. Had it in for other service over the past year & each time relayed the problem. They never could diagnose it & said it was probably just an issue with the computer. In April of 2010, the problem started occurring more & more frequently. In late May 2010, could not get the vehicle to start after same steering column lock message. Then could not remove the key. Finally got the key out; however, the dash and internal lights stayed on and ran down the battery. Was able to get a charge to the battery but then the anti-theft system immobilizer engaged rendering the vehicle unusable. After a year of repeatedly taking the car to the dealership, it is now back there but it had to be towed. Doing research I have found that this seems to be a very common occurrence with this make and model of car; however, no recalls, etc. Have been issued and obviously the local dealership was unable to diagnose/fix the problem before it came to the point of the car being totally unusable.

- Pawleys Island, SC, USA

problem #60

Jun 172010


  • 57,000 miles


2006 VW Passat experiencing "steering wheel column lock" failure. The light comes on and the car will not start. Sometimes the car will simply turn off when driving down the road. My online research found that this is a common problem with 2006, 2007, 2008 models. This is also a safety issue because the car will sometimes continue running after the key is pulled out of the ignition. Dealership service departments all over the country are replacing the steering column and control module for $1500 and this normally happens outside of factory warranty so we the consumers are stuck with the bill. Please look into this as this should be a safety recall! and not the financial responsibility of the owners.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #59

Jun 012010


  • 56,000 miles
The 2006 -2009 VW Passat is having massive problems with the ( defective steering column lock ). there is a problem with the anti theft module at the base of the steering column. This is happening to Passat owners all over the country and there should be a recall. I am giving you ammunition to get the recall done.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #58

Jun 122010


  • 58,000 miles
Symptom #1) car will not start or if it does start it will immediately stall and steering column will lock. After moving the steering wheel back and forth repeatedly, reopening the door several times and attempting to start the push ignition 5-10 times it will eventually start and run. Symptom #2) major safety issue! car will lose all power without warning at highway speeds. This defect causes the engine to stall immediately, the loss of power steering and the loss of all power controls at speeds at least up to 70 mph. There is no warning from the car itself. There is no stuttering or noise. Suddenly the car is just dead and rolling along at extreme speeds. The fix is to shift the car into neutral and attempt to restart by removing and reinserting the key until it starts again. The dashboard will light up "steering column defect" and prompt a warning light for the steering column as if it were locked from a car alarm prompt. Occasionally, I have been unable to restart the car while in motion and have had to pull off to the side of the road. This is done without the aid of power steering and can be very dangerous in traffic and at high speeds as there is no way of "knowing" when the defect will occur. This defect is occurring daily. I took the car into the dealer for diagnosis. Was told it was a defect in the steering column requiring a complete replacement. Estimated cost to myself was $1,000-2,000. Car is now out of warranty (58,000 miles). I believe this defect is not a result of any habit of myself as the driver but rather a defect in the workmanship of the vehicle and the dealer should be subject to a recall. A search on google about this issue revealed thousands of other drivers with the exact same problem (stall at highway speeds, loss of power steering, difficulty starting and restarting, possible stranding of the driver). I urge a recall to move forward immediately!

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #57

Jun 062010


  • 51,898 miles


2006 Volkswagen Passat. Car will not start and the steering column locks up. Then at times the car will not shut off and key gets stuck in the ignition. This happens at least once a day.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #56

Apr 102010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
My 2006 VW Passat 2.0 turbo has steering column issues. The car will not start without moving the steering wheel, and then waiting and keep on trying. The car will start then immediately stall, with an error in the message board that the steering column is defective. This happens 9 times out of 10 when going to start the car. The car has died while driving on the highway, and then restarts. I have seen this issue reported by many other consumers on various forums and complaint sites, but VW refuses to recall for the issue.

- Cliffside Park, NJ, USA

problem #55

Apr 032010


  • 67,500 miles
VW Passat 2006 2.0T steering wheel lock failure light. Comes on and does not allow you to start the car.

- Elk River, MN, USA

problem #54

May 102010


  • 53,000 miles
When trying to start 2006 Passat 2.0T, I get error messages about steering column lock being defective or there are no dash lights and car won't turn over. Problem is getting worse. Located online forum with 6 pages of complaints like mine. See the following website:

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #53

Nov 212009


  • 90,000 miles


2006 Passat starts and stall immediately. "steering column lock defect". dealer wants $2000 to replace it along with comfort sensor.

- Mt. Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #52

May 052010


  • 68,856 miles
Steering wheel column lock error on computer of 2006 VW Passat. Car stalls anytime this light warning comes on. It has come on while driving causing it to stall at high speeds making it hard to steer to the right shoulder safely. This issue has caused two incidents while in highway traffic and was a near miss accident each time. It occurs on a daily basis now and was intermittent at first. I was told that the fix is to replace the entire steering column which is about $2K. To get the car started again, you have to move the steering column back and forth and after about 4-10 attempts to start, the car will start. There is no warning, it just stalls when this issue arises. It has stalled at a rail road crossing which has a stopping point before you cross. Very unsafe situation, I work for the United States air force as a safety investigator and if this existed in our air force we would have an immediate recall. This matter needs to be pushed forward and investigated. After researching this issue I have noticed multiple forums stating the same issues and same complaints.

- Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #51

Feb 032010


  • 36,000 miles
My wife's car 2006 Passat has been starting and then stalling immediately. A warning light comes on indicating "steering column lock defect". it was fine for a week or two, then it started occurring several times a week. I took car to repair shop and was told that problem would need a dealership repair shop to correct. After doing some online searches for problems of this nature I noticed many owners were having same problem and were told that the steering column and comfort sensor would both have to be replaced, estimates from $1200 to $2000 dollars for repair. Our car is out of warranty as of Feb, 2010 but has less than 50,000 miles on it. Reports from mechanics say a person can get stranded at any time, but if car starts it will not fail while driving. This replacement should not be at the cost of the owner. Please investigate occurrences and request a recall for defective new vehicle electrical equipment/ steering column.

- Freeport, IL, USA

problem #50

May 012010


  • 79,400 miles
06 VW Passat steering column lock indicator light on. Message reads" steering column locked take to workshop. We have had the message a couple times before. Wondering about a recall to have this very common problem fixed.

- Ft Meade, MD, USA

problem #49

Mar 052010


  • 60,000 miles
1A. I inserted the key fod and the "steering wheel" light on the instrument panel flashed yellow and the mfd on the instrument panel said, "steering column lock malfunction. Go to VW dealer immediately" 1B. Other times, it's the same, but the "steering wheel" light flashes with red light. 1C. other times, I must insert the key fod anywhere from 5-20 times before the car even starts. The car won't start and I must repeat the process until it does. 2. it occurs at least 5-9 times per week with the yellow light flashing, 3-5 times a week with red light flashing, and 1-3 times per week when I must repeat the inserting of key fod to turn on. 3A. the VW dealer says they have seen this problem and it usually runs $1500-$2200 to fix. They said they usually replace the steering column module (computer board stuff) and the steering column as well. They say the problem is cause by the module going bad and not responding and telling the computer to turn the car on. 3B. the VW corporate customer care said they cannot help because warranty has expired. I have about 60K miles and warranty expired at 50K miles. Please go to this thread to see how common this problem is:

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #48

Mar 162010


  • 69,500 miles
Steering wheel column lock error on computer of 2006 VW Passat. I did research on the internet regarding this and its an known issue among many owners of this troublesome car. Its not fair to have to pay of $ 1500 for something the mfg built defectively.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #47

Mar 232010


  • 76,000 miles
My car keeps getting the message, "steering column defective" message in the mfd. The car will not start on more than six times now. Whenever, the message "steering column defective" comes on, the car will not start. I did a google search regarding this problem, and many people online expressed the same problem with their vehicles.

- Novato, CA, USA

problem #46

Apr 022010


  • 38,000 miles
My 2006 VW Passat has a "steering column lock" error and the dealership said that there has been lots of the 2006 VW Passats with the same problem but no recall yet. If I don't get it fix it will stop while driving, and this is a huge safety issue.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #45

Mar 012010


  • 40,000 miles
I am very disappointed with the fact that VW has failed to offer a recall for 2006 Passat steering column and comfort module malfunction. Thousands have been replaced, safety issue is a potentially stranded driver.

- West Linn, OR, USA

problem #44

Dec 202008


  • 10,000 miles
Brand new vehicle, 06 VW Passat, drove it for about 9 months--then, car starting dying suddenly after being stopped (at a red light) then accelerating once light turned green. Wouldn't sputter or choke--just die. Took it to VW to check into it--they tried to convince me it was the gas I was putting into my car--but it wasn't. finally, after 34 consecutive days in the shop, the dealership admitted there was a problem, but didn't know how to fix it. I talked with VW headquarters. They offered me $300. I explained that the car was dying--completely quitting on me--in the middle of intersections--and how many near miss accidents I had avoided--so $300 wasn't going to cut it--but VW claimed it was not a "safety issue". I explained further that because the car was intermittently doing this, I would lose all steering, all control of the vehicle--still, VW would not admit to there being an issue. Out of sheer panic, I called the dealership and convinced them to get me a new car. I believe the dealership re-sold my old car, the one they didn't know how to fix. A year later, a friend of mine had the exact same issue happen with her 92 jetta. Her mechanic said it was the ignition coils and replaced them. Now, a year later, VW sent a notice to me in the mail saying it is "not a recall" but they wanted us to replace the ignition coils "only if a certain light indicator" goes on in the car. I never had such a light go on in my old car, so I thought this was ridiculous and took my current VW vehicle in to replace the ignition coils anyway. Thankfully, the dealership did it for me, because they knew my history. The notice from VW clearly states that they only want you to replace them if the light goes on in your car and you only had until a certain date (Feb. 28th) to do it. Still seems to be no acknowledgement from VW that there is a serious safety issue at hand.

- Seattle, WA, USA

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