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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4.9

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,418 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.

2013 Volkswagen Passat fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2013 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #17

Nov 012014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 25,599 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Our 2013 VW Passat tdi had the high pressure fuel pump fail at 25,599 miles. When we asked why the pump would be failing so soon and if it was common, the service representative said it usually happens after someone puts gasoline in the tank. I can assure 100% that gasoline was never put into this car's tank. The repairs were covered under warranty, but obviously the VW tdi high pressure fuel pump has a design flaw or it cannot work correctly with american diesel.

- Coronado, CA, USA

problem #16

Jul 082014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 21,345 miles
Engine lost power, glow plug light started blinking barely made it to the dealer. Dealer blamed bad fuel. Identical problem at 26,480 miles. Dealer replaced hpfp.

- Cleburne, TX, USA

problem #15

Aug 052014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 32,100 miles
This is my second entry about this incident; this car was a certified 2013 Passat tdi sel that I had owned for four days! I had never even refueled it once and the fuel pump exploded on I-95 in Maryland and the ensuing incident almost cost me my life. I was at the entry to the baltimore I-95 tunnel with nearly no where to pull over once the car stopped--cars and trucks were swerving around me to avoid hitting me. The tunnel moving crew came shortly after since my stopped car was an extreme hazard--I am handicapped and had no where to escape to. I eventually was towed back to my dealer and now the car is in the shop to be fixed for 1&1/2 weeks. VW claims that the reason for this failure is that owners are putting gasoline in with the diesel. This is not possible in my case as I only had the care for 4 days prior to the incident and the dealer had topped it off with their own fuel! VW is not beig honest about the severity of this problem and NHTSA needs to order a total recall. It is a near miracle that I was not killed. If I had been in the tunnel when this happened, and with no place to pull over at all, there would have been an accident and most likely a fatality (me!) please contact me if you need more info.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #14

Aug 052014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 32,100 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was driving my certified 2013 VW Passat tdi sel with only 32,100 miles at 60 mph on a major highway when I heard something "pop" and felt the car shudder. I thought I had a flat tire but noticed the I had no power. I cruised to a stop on the side of the highway and waited to be towed to a VW dealership. Found out later the fuel pump had "came apart" and it will take 1.5 weeks until it is fixed. Very troubling problem when the car has such few miles and was still under factory and dealer warranty.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #13

Jul 182014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 28,000 miles
While sitting still in a parking lot the vehicle suddenly knocked violently and stopped running. According to the dealer the vehicle experienced a sudden and catastrophic failure of the high pressure fuel system causing metal fragments to be spread through the fuel system. The vehicle had approximately 1/2 tank of fuel and had ran perfect before the incident. At no time have we ever accidentally filled it with gasoline instead of diesel and at no time had the engine ran rough as if it was having trouble combusting the fuel.

- Ocala, FL, USA

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problem #12

Apr 022014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 7,500 miles
Traveling on the highway at approximately 65 mph, the VW Passat tdi SE (the "vehicle") lost power, causing the glow plug warning light to illuminate. To prevent any additional damage, the vehicle entered into limp mode. While in limp mode, the automobile becomes unable to accelerate, forcing the driver to pull over and phone for assistance. The vehicle was towed to the dealership, at which time notification was given that the vehicle's turbo needed replacement and the repair would take approximately a week. During discussions with the service consultant, they stated that a service bulletin was issued recently by VW, on turbo failures and proper modifications of the installation to prevent future failure. Approximately 3-4 weeks after the initial failure, the vehicle experienced a second turbo failure. At which time, the turbo failed while crossing into traffic, jeopardizing lives of myself and my family. VW has once again replaced the turbo. I have lost confidence in the vehicle. There have been two other incidents of the vehicle losing power intermittently, but nothing sustained. If the turbo fails again, that would be a third occurrence. VW's response to the issue has been rather insignificant.

- Charlotte, VT, USA

problem #11

May 142014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 12,800 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2013 Volkswagen Passat stalled for no reason. Luckily this happened on slow speed city streets. This would be a very dangerous situation had it happened on the freeway at higher speeds. Diagnosis by dealer in the following days showed that the failure of the high pressure diesel fuel pump was the cause for this issue. The diagnosis and resolution of the above issue took 2 weeks to resolve. Hopefully it does not happen again.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #10

May 092014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 11,000 miles
Turbo failed for second time and after only 4,000 miles. Began as whining noise. Vehicle then showed check engine light and wouldn't accelerate above 1st gear.

- Richland, WA, USA

problem #9

Jan 282014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 7,000 miles
Turbo failed on vehicle. Began as whining noise. Vehicle then showed check engine light and wouldn't accelerate above 1st gear.

- Richland, WA, USA

problem #8

Apr 252014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 35,457 miles
Started hearing a whistling type of sound and noticing that the vehicle was not accelerating when I pushed on the pedal. As I tried to pull off the road the vehicle stalled and I could not get it started to get out of the road. Very scary. It finally started long enough to get to the side of the road and it stalled out again. There was smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe. The vehicle would not start again. The vehicle was towed to the dealership where I purchased it and have it serviced. The service department called to tell me it was the turbo and that the vehicle needed a new engine. I will be going to the dealership on Monday to pick up the vehicle but will have a list of questions on what exactly has been replaced and what type of warranty this new engine has.

- Wallace, NC, USA

problem #7

Apr 032014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 26,310 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Was driving 2013 Passat tdi sel just fine. Turned around in a parking lot and when I went to pull back into traffic, the car had no power. Stepping on the gas almost made the car stall, but it would idle fine. After trying everything and even shutting the car off and restarting, it did the same, would idle fine but you could not step on the fuel pedal, it would make the car stall out. Local mechanic drove to his nearby shop by just leaving it and drive and used idle power only to get it there (yes it took a while). There were no indicator lights on the dash so he hooked it up to his computer and it gave three errors for injector failures. Vehicle was towed by roadside assistance to dealer 100 miles away. The next day, I was told the turbo charger had failed and had to be replaced. Two weeks later, I was told they were still waiting for a gasket. Finally after almost 3 weeks to the day, they said my car was fixed. I am going to pick it up tomorrow but have very little faith in this car after reading the numerous threads out there about the turbo charger failure rate in this model vehicle. I think its time for a recall.

- Tupper Lake, NY, USA

problem #6

Feb 042014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 9,500 miles
Driving from on freeway at 60 mph suddenly lost any ability to accelerate and power started dropping rapidly and the engine warning light on the dash started flashing. It put me immediately into a very very dangerous situation in which it was very difficult to maneuver in rapidly-moving, heavy traffic. Fortunately I was able to exit the freeway and call the dealer's VW service. I was told that it was not safe to drive the car, and that I would have to have it towed to service. I was stranded just off the freeway in the next town, and after several hours was towed to the dealership. The turbo was bad (this part had already been replaced once, about 100 or so miles earlier). However, that was not diagnosed by VW properly, and when I picked up the car it failed again within 10 minutes. Fortunately this time I was not at high speed, and was able to maneuver the car to a safe location. This situation with the turbo could easily have resulted in an accident, potentially very serious or even deadly if at high speed.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #5

Dec 292013

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 48,000 miles
During my trip from city of Chicago to my home my car lost power and stalled in the middle of the street leaving me stuck among moving traffic. I attempted to start my car without any success and finally was able to push the car off the street and onto nearby parking lot. I had to stop the incoming traffic so I could accomplish that. I attempted to start my car couple more times and still had no success. At this time it was almost 9pm and the temperature was dropping dramatically. I contacted my wife who made arrangements for a sitter and started to drive towards me. I was freezing at that point inside my car as there were no venues open around me. After my wife arrived with tools and other equipment we still had no success and decided to have our car towed to our home of residence. The next day I tried to troubleshoot the car due to no avail. I contacted the nearest VW dealership and had it towed there. The VW dealership diagnosed the car and concluded a complete high pressure fuel pump failure. They replaced the fuel pump as well as the fuel lines, fuel filter and its housing, fuel injectors and they flushed the fuel tank from any meral shrapnel and debris. The VW od America covered the repair without any questions. They are completely aware of high pressure fuel pumps failing regularly on these vehicles but no recall is made and cars are dealt with case by case basis. I received great customer service from the dealer as well as the corporate. But due to how common this problem is among VW tdi cars it is alarming that such risk of car loosing power as such in a middle of the traffic exists. I am concerned for my safety and for others safety because no guarantee was made by VW that this problem wont happen again.

- Glen Ellyn, IL, USA

problem #4

Feb 222014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 15,000 miles
Turbo failed on a limited access highway. Total loss of power. Severe damage to engine, intake components and exhaust devices. While this failure didn't cause an accident it placed us in considerable danger.

- Horseheads, NY, USA

problem #3

Feb 112014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 22,000 miles
I have the turbo diesel version. I was driving on hwy 695 in baltimore, Maryland during rush hour (0800ish) when I began to accelerate only to lose power. The car had just enough power to get me off the road and become stranded on the side of this major highway for 80+ minutes. Dealership reported failed turbo. This was not a pleasant experience and one that I hope others do not have to experience.

- Mount Airy, MD, USA

problem #2

Oct 252013

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 1,015 miles
Road test with less than 1/4 tank of fuel. On October 25 2013, I had my radio volume down from the night before and I was pulling out of my driveway. I heard a sloshing sound and could feel a slight bump as if something was loose in trunk or under the car. From then I kept my radio down and every time I came to a stop I could hear the sound and feel the slight bump. It became very clear that it was fluid and it was centered in the back of the car. On 10/28/2013 I called ourisman of rockville and Volkswagen and I told them about the sound. I brought the car in on 10/29/13. The dealer inspected the car and said the car is operating as designed. I told Volkswagen and they told me to go to another dealer for a second opinion. I went to darcars Volkswagen on 11/1/13 the dealer checked the car out and said the technician thinks it was coming from the add blue tank so the added add blue I told them I could still hear the sloshing sound. I was advised to return the car another day because the roads were wet. I went back on 11/5/13 and the service manager was in the car with me when I backed the car up and stepped on the brakes to duplicate the sloshing sound. When the manager heard the sound he said "mine doesn't do that, it sounds like something is loose". I went on a road test with him because of two other concerns a had. I was given a loaner which was a 2013 Volkswagen Passat SE gasoline engine and at no time while driving this car I was able to hear the gas sloshing around in the tank. Darcars said they removed the fuel pump and make sure nothing was rolling around in the tank. They re-installed the fuel pump and confirmed it was the fuel in the tank that was making the noise and now the same manager who said it sound like soothing is loose is now saying it is a normal characteristic of the vehicle. They returned the car to me on 11/08/13. Still sloshing.

- New Carrollton, MD, USA

problem #1

Oct 212013

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 12,382 miles
Was out of town in rush hour traffic and experienced a near complete loss of power. The do not operate vehicle indicator light came on. Was able to pull vehicle off to shoulder of the busy freeway and shut down the vehicle. After a few moments I re-started the vehicle. It still would not accelerate and the light came back on so I shut it down again. Was able to call the VW service center with cell phone and a tow truck dispatched. Got it to the local dealer. They said they could not help me because the service center was closed. Luckily a motel was close by. The next morning the service center advised there may be a bad fuel problem. It was shell diesel from a fairly large city station. Supposedly the fuel was "murky." If it was fuel problem I told VW service advisor I wanted a sample of the fuel so I could recoup my repair expense from shell. Later I was told there were no metal shavings, and the parts and labor expense to drain the fuel, purge the lines, and replace the fuel filter was not charged to me per "good will" service. They did not save any fuel for me. I did incur motel and food expenses and am worried VW will not reimburs my trip interruption expenses because it is "bad fuel" and since I have no fuel I cannot prove to shell the fuel was bad. According to invoice the cause of my problem was a P0087 = fuel/system pressure too low. Seems VW vehicles are having this problem more than they should and the customer is kept in the dark. I am afraid this problem will happen again.

- Eureka, CA, USA

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