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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,781 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2013 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Sep 222016


  • 87,000 miles


I was driving to work when the cel came on. I had it scanned a few days later and found that the issue was related to the adblue heater. Vehicle performance was not affected during driving. After some internet research it was found that this is a common problem in certain model years of this vehicle. As it is, if the fluid in this system gets too cold it could freeze and cause the emission system to not function properly and eventually disable the vehicle altogether.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #22

Sep 062016


  • 2 miles
Adblue heater element failure was covered until July now not part of emissions or switch failure NHTSA #16V171000 90degrees should not have been

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #21

Jun 012016


  • 40,000 miles
The A/C of this vehicle would not turn on until the engine heated up to 190 degrees. I only had 40K miles when the A/C system would not work to standard. An air conditioning system recover, evacuate and recharge needed to be completed, the expansion valve and drier needed to be replaced..

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #20

Aug 012016


  • 71,000 miles


Ad blue emissions sensor fault, part of the emissions problems with the VW diesels. As of now VW is saying this part of the emissions system will not be covered under the reimbursement. It is my understanding that VW emissions system has many faults including this one. Cost is over $1500 for this fix!

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #19

Aug 032016


  • 42,262 miles
Check engine light is activated on 8/1/16. Scheduled to diagnose on 8/3/16. Adblue heater has quit and quote to repair is $1165. Why is this not covered under emissions warranty" the point of adblue is reduced emissions. Now, if it gets too cold, my car won't start because it detects that it cannot effectively control emissions" air quality, at last check of confined space entry permits, is a safety issue.

- Florence, KY, USA

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problem #18

Jul 122016


  • 39,000 miles
The A/C does not work during the first five minutes in the morning. After that works correctly during the day.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #17

Jul 132016


  • 49,700 miles


I received a recall letter warning of serious injury of death in April 2016 and no action has been taken 3 months later.

- Falmouth, ME, USA

problem #16

Jul 052016


  • miles
Diesel exhaust fluid system failed causing no start situation. Cars less than three years old and is already being recalled for emissions cheating. Don't have the 1100$ to spend on a car that is being bought back in a couple months. Stuck at the house luckly or a tow would have been needed. Also the dealer most often can use a vag-com scanner to reset this and the car will work, but there just telling people they "need" the heater and sometimes I've heard the whole tank which of course is a lie. The heater isn't what goes bad it's a thermistor type sensor that tells the car the temp of the fluid. When this fails it gives the computer bad info and results in a shutdown of the system. Which can be reset, and often works. I can't afford a vag-com software setup at 800$ either so we are stuck and very upset! VW slapped us in the face twice now with faulty emmision components.

- Frostproof, FL, USA

problem #15

Apr 292016


  • 41,000 miles
Check engine light came on 2013 tdi Passat. Car just out of warranty @ 41000miles. Took to dealer. Adblue heater element "burned up." Caused damage to adblue control module. Common problem with this car (all over web). $1200 to repair. Called VW advocate. They covered entire cost of repair

- Ofallon, IL, USA

problem #14

Nov 012015


  • miles
In cold weather, when depressed, the clutch pedal makes a loud clicking sound. Annoying, but doesn't seem to be safety-threatening.

- Chagrin Falls, OH, USA

problem #13

Jan 012016


  • 40,000 miles


In low temperatures, doors often will not unlock. It has happened a few times while being inside the car. Possible serious hazard after an accident.

- Chagrin Falls, OH, USA

problem #12

Aug 012013


  • 10 miles
"510" nav system back up camera is useless. Put car in reverse, back out of garage -still no camera, it turns on when already down driveway. This is a commom complaint (see internet) the company will do nothing to address this expensive but useless toy as the nav system is also useless because of complexity. Cell phone is my Navigator of choice. Knowing now what I know I would not have bought this model. This system is basically a useless add on and an embarrassment to VW.

- Moraga, CA, USA

problem #11

Feb 272016


  • miles
On February 27th, 2016 night, after getting into the car, I could not open the door from inside on the driver's side. If there was an accident or fire in the car, I would not be able to get out. I bought the car in 2013, and it is only 24,000 miles now. The company should investigate this safety issue seriously.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #10

Feb 032016


  • 38,000 miles
Something is causing the heater core to clog and that reduces the defrosters ability to work and therefore reduces visibility under certain scenarios. Such as rain or high cabin humidity. The tsb to replace the heater core does not solve the root cause since the heater core fails again after some time.

- Tecate, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 012015


  • 42,000 miles
Heater core was damaged by defective coolant from factory.

- Gallatin, TN, USA

problem #8

Dec 062015


  • 85,000 miles
The heater core plugs up because of flux left in cooling system components. The front windows won't clear because of no heat from plugged heater core creating unsafe driving conditions. VW not covering all cost to properly repair this problem.

- Madison Hts, MI, USA

problem #7

Oct 012015


  • 54,000 miles
In October 2015 the passenger front door lock began to intermittently fail to engage and disengage. Attempts to switch the lock from the door panel switch and the key were both ineffective. The lock control for the vehicle is 100% electronically controlled, such that there is no means for manual override on the passenger side. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on Nov 6, 2015 and the lock was repaired under warranty. 1 week after the passenger side lock was repaired, the driver side lock began to fail intermittently. The vehicle was broken into on the night of Nov 19 at my residence, as the driver's side door lock had not engaged and the vehicle was left unprotected from thieves. Failure of the lock function presents a safety hazard while on the road and leaves the vehicle unsecured from thieves. Inability to manually force the lock to latch means the vehicle/passengers are vulnerable until the car can be returned to the dealer for repair. I believe this is a design flaw as this has occurred in two locations on my vehicle within the span of a month and online forums report similar issues with the same make/model vehicle.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #6

Sep 082015


  • 39,188 miles
Vehicle schedule for 40000 mile service. Engine warning light came on code P2196. Volkswagen did a computer update in January 2015 for 30000 mile service, 23N5 ECM software recall. Oxygen sensor (front) replaced was replaced by VW when I complained it should not have failed. The emission system is in question since the oxygen sensor is running rich. This year model should be added to recall for pollution system not function correctly. This model is diesel. Tdi

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #5

Jan 012015


  • miles
The steering wheel had a clicking noise for a few days. When making a tight turn I heard a pop followed by the air bag indicator light coming on. After taking it to the dealer for inspection and repair the clock spring had to be replaced.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #4

Feb 152015


  • 40,000 miles
Drove my car to run an errand and when I came back home and tried to get out of the drivers side door, there was a big popping noise and the handle wouldn't engage to open the door. I had to roll down the window and open the door from the outside. After I had the door open and tried to shut it, it wouldn't latch closed and remained open. I had my husband take a look at it and he was able to play with the latch and make it engage again to close the door. He then took apart the door as much as he could to see what had happened and found that the wire cable loop that pulled the lever to open the door had shredded. When he called the dealership they said that they actually kept those cables on hand because it was a pretty common problem and it would cost around $500 to fix. If this is a common problem, why haven't these been recalled? I'm glad that it just happened to me in my driveway and not during a accident or car fire.

- Hood River, OR, USA

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