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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,650 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.

2012 Volkswagen Passat body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2012 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 032016


  • 43,000 miles


My 13 Passat SE 2.5 started having an issue with the rear passenger door lock about three weeks ago. The normal operation of the locks is that when the vehicle hits 10mph the door will automatically lock. After this has happened and I come to a stop light or slow down below 10mph and then speed up again, the rear passenger lock tries to lock itself again.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #9

Aug 222013


  • 45,000 miles
I was in a car accident. I was not at fault, but I was T-boned with almost over $11,000 in damage. The case was settled but the vehicle is still not in good shape. The air bags did not go off in the accident and I just received a recall for a steering wheel electronic clock issue that could prevent the air bags from going off. I accrued over $7,000 in medical bills, and I owe over $15,000 on the vehicle. I am not sure what to do because I feel I am driving a vehicle that isn't safe

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #8

Jan 092016


  • 35,000 miles
The passenger side front door latch fails while I'm driving the car. The door has opened on its own numerous times as I am driving the car at speed. The latch fails at rest while the car is on or off, and as the car is moving down the road. The door quite literally flies open while the car is in motion and will not latch unless the car is shut off and restarted several times.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #7

Sep 192015


  • 66,000 miles


When my car reaches 10 mph, it auto-locks them door by default. The issue is it tries to lock the doors whenever it slows down to 10 mph and accelerates up above 10 mph. The downside is, the child lock fails whenever this scenario happens. Based on online research, this is a "common" issue.

- Land O Lakes, FL, USA

problem #6

Jan 202015

Passat 5-cyl

  • 27,500 miles
2012 VW Passat with no previous signs of problems begins sputtering/flashing engine light. Car was driven apx. 1/4 mile back home, where it began smoking and caught fire. Entire engine burnt out. Car was under warranty. NHTSA investigated Passat's faulty ignition coils yet did not issue a safety recall because there was no safety issue...but if the engine catches on fire...with all the combustibles in a would think that was a little unsafe. Glad my 4 year old was not with me.

- Orlando, FL, USA

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problem #5

Dec 182013


  • 36,502 miles
The driver door latch froze several times again this year after doing it three times last year. The latch froze every time there was moisture (fog, snow, rain, etc.) and the temperature fell below 32 F. the latch was finally replaced. In addition, the sensor for the airbags failed and had to be replaced.

- Plainville, CT, USA

problem #4

Jan 222014


  • 35,500 miles


Sunroof exploded while driving down freeway at night. No cars in front of me to kick up a rock, no overpasses for something to be thrown from. Completely random explosion. I heard a loud gunshot sound, then small glass pieces rained down on my head and face and all over my three children in the back seat. Looked up and heard the sound of wind and saw the hole in my sunroof. So far the dealership has said they won't replace it under warranty and I have reached out to VW directly and they are denying the claim as well. This is absolutely a manufacturing defect and they are not standing by their product. They are lucky nobody was injured or killed in an accident. Hopefully that doesn't have to happen for them to take responsibility.

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #3

Dec 162013

Passat 5-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
I live in the northeast us where it tends to get colder than 0 degrees celsius constantly during winter. Everytime it is below freezing my driver side door latch gets stuck. This is definitely a known problem for VW Passats, but VW response to fixing it is completely unacceptable. I reported the problem to the dealership prior to December 16th and explained that I normally warm up the car for over 20 minutes(while I walk my dog). The initial response was that its not an issue and I should either park the car in a garage where it won't freeze or warm up the car longer (I find that absolutely ridiculous). So I scheduled an appointment with the garage for December 16th. Luckily the weather forcast for temperatures below -4 celsius all week. Had the temperature been above 0 celsius the latch would have worked fine and your garage would have said there is no issue. The reason why I highlight the temperature here is because that is the main issue, and your garages troubleshooting and diagnostic methods are my biggest concern. I guarantee that there are even more cases of this issue that are being dismissed. The fact that there is NHTSA id number: 10559530, filed by someone else proves it. I'm sure the fact that I can find this on NHTSA (NHTSA id number: 10559530) means there are hundreds of others who are just not reporting it or do not know where to go. I will also be filing a complaint with the NHTSA, as well. It has been over a month, and the service garage tells me there is no parts available. I do not believe this and if its true I think this is unacceptable. I also hope that during the wintry weather the northeast has experienced the last couple of weeks no one was injured in a Passat where emergency workers were not able reach the victim (possibly due to a stuck door latch). This is a huge safety concern and the lack of response is concerning.

- Congers, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 012014


  • 40,000 miles
Every time it is cold outside my door latch stops functioning so I cant open it from the outside or inside. I sprayed lubricant in it which helps sometimes but I think a new car shouldn't have a issue like that. Also when I can get it open sometimes it wont close. The issue is the actual latch which of course isn't covered. Pretty embarrassing climbing through a passenger door to get in the driver seat. What happens if im in a wreck and my door wont open" will I own a part of Volkswagen"

- Williamsport, MD, USA

problem #1

Dec 312011


  • miles
The contact rented a 2012 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that there was a sharp object located near a handle, which was attached to the roof on the interior, that cut his finger. The contact sustained the cut on his left index finger. The rental facility was notified and removed the vehicle from its facility. A report about the incident was also filed. The contact had not spoken with the rental facility since the incident and did not know whether the failure was diagnosed or repaired. The failure and current mileages were unknown.

- Danbury, CT, USA

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