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.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,574 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.

2010 Volkswagen Passat drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2010 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #17

Aug 242016


  • 102,650 miles


ProblÉM with a separated rear main seal at 100000miles. After doing some research I found that if VW would properly install the sealat the of production, it would never separate. Comparing to my old VW that had 250000miles and never had this problem is seam as a design flaw. VW has to step up and pay for their own mistake!

- The Villages, FL, USA

problem #16

Jul 092016


  • 45 miles
While driving home (approx 50 mile trip) I heard a loud screeching noise from the engine area. I was traveling on a highway at about 60mpg. I pulled over, turned off the car and saw smoke and smelled burning from under the hood. I opened the hood and smoke billowed out of the back of the engine bay. I looked under the car to see if it was leaking anything and found a large amount of what seemed to be oil dripping from the car. I then noticed a trail of oil from before I stopped the car. I left the car in place for a tow to not damage the vehicle anymore than it already was. It was towed to the VW dealership in town where they diagnosed the problem is that the PCV valve stopped working correctly, which caused the rear main seal to fail and become completely destroyed. They said that the entire engine needs to be taken out to replace the seal and is going to cost $1700. Vehicle did not have any indication of problems before the screeching noise and did not have any check engine light come on during the problem. Vehicle has just over 100,000 miles and VW of America denied to help out in anyway when contacting customer service. Another incident with exact same issue was found when I looked at open claims on NHTSA and many other claims are easily found with a simple google search. I have had all maintenance performed on time and at VW dealerships and was never advised to get the PCV replaced as normal maintenance.

- Mankato, MN, USA

problem #15

Mar 082016


  • 40,000 miles
Jerking and lurching at idle and low speeds. Matches description of mechatronics failure of the dsg transmission. Similar to the same failure on other models of the same year, with VW extended warranty to 10 year /100,000 miles. Passat not included in this extension despite same failure and VW will not warranty the repair.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #14

Aug 202015


  • 178,000 miles


PCV valve went out; and in turn, the rear main seal ruptured a major oil leak between engine and transmission. Dealership concluded the PCV position crank valve cause back pressure into the crank resulting in damaging the rear main seal. VW has issued an extended warranty on PCV on certain models causing this issue, but the tsi 2009 and up have not been included in this recall. This issue could result in a catastrophic engine failure due to all oil leaking out of car while on road. This occurs when pressure builds up to PCV fails when car is being operated.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #13

Apr 092015


  • 58,000 miles
Car was parked. Shifting transmission from P to D or R or any gear would result in that indicator flashing and engine revving when accelerating. Car behaved like it was in neutral this car has a dsg transmission but the VIN number doesn't fall into the ones that VW has acknowledged have issues and have extended repair warranty. Turning off the car and restarting cleared the problem..this happened again on another occasion. Dsg was properly maintained and documented at 40K miles as per service manual....updated 10-20/15

- Miami, FL, USA

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problem #12

Dec 122014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
While accelerating from a toll plaza I felt the car shutter and heard/felt it bang. Than the car dropped into second gear and the "D" indicator of the transmission started to flash. I was forced to pull over to the side of the road (through a lot of traffic). Once on the side of the road I was able to shut off the car and restart it. The car worked fine after that. This is the third time this has been an issue. It was repaired the first 2 times by the dealer.

- Bethany, CT, USA

problem #11

Jul 012012

Passat 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


Driving and went to put car into reverse and the transmission gear indicator started blinking and car would not go into gear. Car had to be turned off and restarted to get car to select gear and move again. This has happened on several occasions where not being able to move the car in a timely manner put me and my passengers in imminent danger. I had a transmission service done at 60,000 miles and the transmission was "better", but the problem still cropped up occasionally. Now, at 75,000 miles, the problem seems occur more often. After research, it appears there are issues with the dsg unit in this car, but VW has ignored it on Passats while extending warranty service on other cars that use this same transmission. The "mechatronic" unit is the problem part. See: VW recall no. 37E3/S7 & Audi recall no. 37E5/J7, service bulletin no.: TB-35-11-01, service bulletin no.: TB-30-14-01, service bulletin no.: csc-37E6/S8. A copy of the extended warranty that seems to cover most cars except mine can be found here:

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #10

Sep 182013


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the vehicle began to jerk and would not accelerate. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer where it was advised that the mechatronic box for the transmission had malfunctioned. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #9

Oct 232013


  • 63,000 miles
Car equipped with dsg transmission (automatic manual) prnds light started flashing, car would not go into reverse and was stranded blocking roadway with oncoming cars. Tried selecting any gear, putting into park, back into gears and the car would not move. Finally went into drive and pulled out of traffic by driving up curb. Car would not shift to 2nd. Pulled out of traffic, turned of car and restarted. Problem disappeared. Happened again 7 days later, restart somehow fixed problem. Now fearful that car may be stranded somewhere or fail to engage while driving as others have listed.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #8

Oct 212013

Passat 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Prnds lights flushing and dsg shifting problems. Car stopped on red light with dsg in D position. On green light, car moved and accelerated but, RPM raised above 4000 and gear does not shifted to the next stage. Speed control was difficult. Additionally, car had a blinking shifter "D" light. I stopped the car and attempted to change dsg to S, N, P but, shifter lights continue to blink. Only after turning my car completely off and restart, dsg malfunction had been fixed. Fortunately, it happened at low speed and did not lead to lost of control.

- Douglaston, NY, USA

problem #7

Jul 122013

Passat 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


Dsg transmission - failure to properly downshift from a complete stop. This is a frequent, recurring problem with this transmission. When pulling away from a complete stop, first gear does not and will not engage until the car has been stopped for a few seconds. If I am moving at any speed over 4 mph the car will shift into 2nd gear and stay. I have had to floor the gas pedal to get the car to down shift back to first at very low single digit speeds. This delay results in uncertain acceleration, which can be dangerous when attempting to pull into moving traffic or merge onto a roadway. In many instances, the delay of reengagement of first gear is violent enough spin the front tires, and put the driver back against the seat and the traction control light comes on. The dangerous part is not knowing when this problem will occur. This vehicle has been into the local dealership on multiple occasions to address this complaint and has yet to be resolved. The regional VW field engineer and rep have been made aware of the situation and have failed to make the car right by throwing parts at what they think the problem is, instead of trying to find an actual solution. The car hs been in the dealer for about a month's worth of time during my 5 months of ownership. This problem is so bad, that I have had many near miss accidents because the car could not get out of its own way due to the transmissions refusal to downshift into a lower gear for more power. Once in 4th and above, the car drives just fine and downshifts without issue. The problem lies primarily with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. In another 500 miles the car is to return to the dealer for the clutchpack to be replaced. This is the 4th repair for this issue and another part being thrown at this problem, instead of finding out why this problem exist. I refuse to believe that the car drives like this as per VW design.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #6

Oct 012012


  • 68,000 miles
Car's transmission disengaged while wife was driving it. Car has dsg transmission that is same as the recall transmission from 2009 and 2010. Since then car's transmission has disengaged and then reengaged after restarting it a total of approximately 10 times some at low speeds and some at hi. Car always had lurch when driving. A google search shows over 6000 complaints at least regarding 2010 dsg transmission for VW Passat.

- Rockwall, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 042010


  • 500 miles
Car shutters and jerks in its accelerating and decelerating to and from first gear. If car is on a slight incline when starting it will roll before it in gauges into drive or reverse. This roll occurs during the time between when the gas pedal is pressed and the car in gauges; many times rolling over a foot before either the car's wheels respond to the engine or we step on the brake to stop the rolling. Parking is extremely hard when car jerks as you are pulling into a parking spot and or while you try to adjust cars position in parking space. At first, with much pressure we were able to get the clutch pack replaced; but since then we are told what we are experiencing is normal for this car's automatic transmission. We are doing our best not to rear-end another car but are truly concerned about the safety of this vehicle.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #4

Nov 302010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 2,500 miles
Dsg transmission - failure to properly engage from a complete stop. This is a frequent, recurring problem with this transmission. When pulling away from a complete stop, first gear is not/will not engage until the car has been in motion for a few seconds. This delay results in uncertain acceleration, which can be dangerous when attempting to pull into moving traffic or merge onto a roadway. In many instances, the delayed engagement of first gear is violent enough spin the front tires, slap the drivers head back against the head rest and engage the traction control. The danger is never knowing when this problem will occur, how long the delay will be and how harsh the engagement into first gear will be. This vehicle has been into the local dealerships on mulitple occasions to address this complaint and has yet to be resolved. VW North America has been made aware of the situation since its first occurence, and has failed to make the car right or buy it back. This problem is so prevalent that one VW service manager has indicated to me that he is returning his personal car with the same transmission because he fears for his children's safety while driving with them in it.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #3

Mar 302012

Passat 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
The car was in on mild slope (up-hill). I was holding my foot on the brake pedal while waiting for the traffic light. When I took my foot off from the brake pedal the car started moving backwards. I quickly pressed the accelerator and avoided the collision with the car behind me in the last moment. I was able to replicate the issue several times on the mild slope.

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #2

Aug 242011

Passat 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
While driving on the highway, we switched lanes and pressed the accelerator to the floor while attempting to pass another vehicle. There was no response from the throttle. After 15 seconds or more the car finally responded. Upon reaching our destination, the transmission was put into park, whereupon the engine RPM's began to climb past 4000. The accelerator was not pushed down. The concern is that the electronic throttle is not responding to the driver's input and could lead to an unintended acceleration. The incident has been reported to the dealer and we are awaiting a response.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #1

May 262010


  • 69 miles
Bought 2010 Passat new on 05/25/10. On 05/26 with less than 100 miles, the transmission suddenly would not go past 1st gear after accelerating from stop sign. Was close to home so drove around the block trying to get it to upshift. Attempted to reverse and when gear shifter was moved transmission would not move from drive. Called dealer and they said they would tow in. Next day I drove to work and have not had a single problem since. It does leap forward when foot removed from brake, but I don't know there is much that can be done about that. Keep foot on brake. We'll see.

- St Louis, MO, USA

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