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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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,536 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.

2014 Volkswagen Passat electrical problems

electrical problem

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2014 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #19

Sep 262016


  • 60,000 miles


Today I received an "important safety recall" from Volkswagen of America informing me that my vehicle is the subject of safety recall 23T3 - NHTSA: 16V171 relating to improperly assembled wire seals which can cause the malfunction indicator lamp (mil) to illuminate. Since the mil has recently illuminated in my vehicle I contacted naples Volkswagen in naples, Florida to have my vehicle inspected/repaired per the safety recall. I was informed by the service writer, charles, that I would be charged $128 to diagnose the problem. I thought that the manufacturer is responsible for repairing vehicles which are subject to a safety recall.

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

problem #18

Sep 192016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2014 Volkswagen Passat. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 16V171000 (electrical system); however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #17

Feb 092016


  • miles
Takata recall. The contact owns a 2014 Volkswagen Passat. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 16V078000 (air bags) and 16V171000 (electrical system); however, the parts to do the recall repairs were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #16

Aug 042016


  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 35 mph, the horn was pressed but failed to operate, in addition to other buttons on the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the clock spring needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V483000 (air bags). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 55,000.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #15

Feb 102016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2014 Volkswagen Passat. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 16V078000 (air bags) and 16V171000 (electrical system). The dealer was contacted and they were unable to determine when the parts would become available beyond a reasonable time frame. The contact was unable to determine when the vehicle would be repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and was unable to provide a specific date or time frame that the dealer would receive the parts. The contact had not experienced a failure. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Lexington, NC, USA

problem #14

Apr 212016


  • miles
I just recently purchased this 2014 VW Passat from Nissan and they did not reveal all the recalls on this vehicle! I'm really dissatisfied with the Nissan dealership as I feel this is being deceitful, not to mention very unsafe for me and my family. Dishonest!!!!! to say the least!

- Tumwater, WA, USA

problem #13

Mar 182016


  • 36,000 miles


I have had several problems with the tsi sel navigation and radio system in my car. It seems as though you cannot touch any buttons until this system is fully up and running. It is extremely slow at start up. Most of the time I can finish my backing out of the driveway even before the back up camera comes on. On a few occasions I have started the vehicle and the radio will suddenly go to full volume. I have had the navigation system lock up on me. Once we were driving in Tennessee and pulled off to get some gas, well this completely confused the system and it decided to lock up once we entered back on the highway. I had to pull over to the side and turn the car off for a while and then reprogram my destination. Another time on my way home from work the system locked and would not let me get to any other screen. I have had times when the system never boots completely and stays with the message of "system starting". of course the dealership cannot repeat the issues and flat out told me they don't work on them because they are junk and they know that they are slow and in adequate. Personally if VW knows they are crap they should give us the upgrades they did to the newer models. I know I am not the only one with this issue because I have talked with others who have the same problems.

- Genoa City, WI, USA

problem #12

Feb 092016


  • 14,900 miles
Exactly 28 days after first breakdown had another exactly the same. See your previous report #10818720. Driving to work on highway 2014 VW Passat engine lights came on. Car can not go over 30mph & decreasing speed. Tow truck called, mechanic & dealership, rental car, & private insurance all again. Dealership stated chewed wires from squirrels & does not cover under warranty. 1st time $2,700. 2nd time $700. Learned of soy-based coating on wires. Local farmers & government grass cutter workers have chewed wires on their tractors also. Pleae investigate. Please recall. Please help.

- Hester, LA, USA

problem #11

Dec 022015


  • 19,000 miles
Backup camera/navigation/radio system system does not working in a consistent manner (camera works when it wants to-big safety concern, screen goes blank, etc.). radio/navigation controls are inoperable at random occasions while vehicle is in motion or even at a stop position. Radio screen goes blank even if radio is on and user is unable to control it for up to a few minutes. On 2 occasions, even after turning the entire car on and off multiple times the radio was on but all controls were inoperable and unable to turn off. Eventually the system became operable a few minutes later. Safety issue has been discussed with VW dealer and they stated VW knows about all the owner inquiries into this issue but it has yet to make a recall. My concern is that backup camera does not work as it should and therefore the safety feature that the vehicle came with does not function properly. This causes the driver to go in reverse with only the help of mirrors. If safety equipment does not work properly then it should be replaced. Second, when the system controls malfunction the volume and on/off buttons cannot be used and therefore driver is left focusing on how to fix this issue not on keeping their eyes on the road. As per my discussion both with the dealership service department and the customer service at corporate office, they admitted to the recurring issue for many VW owners but said it had not become a big enough issue or safety concern so there was not recall. My question is if system (backup camera/radio/navigation) is already a documented issue for many owners and does not allow a safety feature to work properly (backup camera) or can cause a distraction for a vehicle operator then why is not a recall. I purchased a brand new vehicle with the expectation that all equipment would work as described.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #10

Jan 042016


  • 14,000 miles
2014 Volkswagen Passat diesel. Ownership 1/1/2 yrs. Mileage 14,000. Driving to work could not go over 30mph. Dashboard light came on showing emission control monitor & pre glow. Thought it was due to colder weather. Had to be towed & at dealership now for repair. Complete breakdown. VW mechanic stating there is major damage due to a rodent or squirell problem. Stated the wiring is chewed up even in the headlights. I am the only car owner in the parish and in the neighborhood with this problem?? have warranty but VW said this is not covered under warranty. Had to get rental car. Waiting for state farm insurance adjuster to go to dealership. Help! please send a NHTSA rep to investigate and look at vehicle.

- Hester, LA, USA

problem #9

Feb 272015


  • 5,800 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Volkswagen Passat. While attempting to merge into traffic at 5 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure was unable to be determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 5,800.

- Angleton, TX, USA

problem #8

Jan 202015

Passat 4-cyl

  • 9,700 miles
When driving car loss of power had towed to VW dealer turbo failure with just 9700 miles.

- Milan, OH, USA

problem #7

May 022014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 600 miles
Since purchased we have found the rns-510 radio navigation asystem to be a dangerous item that Volkswagen has known about for a number of years. Their tech tips number, tt 91-13-01 dated 2/8/2013, updated on 5/9/2014 basically tells the car owner to just live with it. I think not since it is dangerous and life threatening. In speaking with VW techs at a number of dealerships I have been told this system is, "crap', "sucks", " is underpowered", "has been a problem since it was introduced", "is a pain in the [xxx]", "will never work right because it is underpowered". my wife is afraid to drive it because of concerns with the aforementioned radio navigation system. When putting the vehicle in reverse and waiting from 3-7 seconds the rearview camera shows a picture.when placed in drive the rearview camera stays on the screen for around 8-9 seconds. My wife has found this distracting and dangerous in moving forward but having a rear view still visible on the screen taking the drivers attention from concentrating on the road ahead. The radio touch screen is also a problem that at times requires multiple touches to get a channel change, again a distraction to the drive. Now the navigation system in this unit also is a pain. When my wife would use the navigation system the map would freeze up on the original streets and not progress as she went forward. I tried all of these things and agree completely. This unit is garbage that is a big distraction that VW has known about since the rns-510 was first introduced. The rns-510 came in my Passat sel premium which is supposed to be the top end Passat. One would think that such a vehicle would contain a unit that would function in a safe manner. I think this is the type of defective part that should require a recall. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #6

Aug 012014


  • 7,788 miles
The lamp for sidelights front right was defect.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #5

Jul 232014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 7,725 miles
Was entering the 241 toll road at portola rd. In lake forest. Have just come to speed the car completely shut off. The engine and all electronic came to an instant stop. I was able in this case to roll to the shoulder, however, had this happened in another place at another time I could have been killed. It was bad enough at it was. This should never happen.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 022014


  • 7,855 miles
While approaching a stop sign and slowing down, the vehicle completely shut down, could not steer as steering wheel locked, lost all power, could not apply brakes as they did not work, then the same thing happened a 1/2 hour later coming out of a parking lot, called the VW national number, explained what happened and how dangerous this could have been if it happened at faster speeds, they did not seem overly concerned, told me to tow it to the nearest VW dealer for service, this vehicle is unsafe to drive, I don't feel safe in taking it back from the dealer, what do I do?

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #3

Apr 092014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 6,565 miles
I was driving about 40mph when a car tried to merge into my lane. I tried to blow the horn and the horn failed to work. This has happened several times but not at a point where I have been this close to being crashed into. When this happens, the change track and volume buttons do not work, as well as the hands free calling button. It's like the whole steering wheel goes dead.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #2

Feb 022012

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 12,000 miles
Whenever outside temperature reaches below 20 degrees F the driver side lock freezes making it impossible to open this door. This is a safety hazard, as the only means of entry and egress is through the passenger side door. In the event of a crash, submerging in water, fire, or other type incident, there is significant risk, should the driver need to exit the vehicle. I have called Volkswagen customer care on three separate occasions (case numbers are documented, calls recorded), only to be reassured that they have not had any other calls regarding this. The solution (help) that they offer is to have me bring the vehicle to my dealership when the lock is froze, so the dealer can see the lock when it is in this condition. In essence, they are asking me to drive a vehicle they manufactured with a significant safety concern to my dealership when it is the most unsafe to drive. Should I or anyone else have a need to exit the vehicle when the driver side lock is frozen, there is no way to do this. This poses an imminent health threat, and could result in loss of life or limb. As I started investigating this issue, I have found countless websites and forums that address this same concern with driver side door lock freezing on Volkswagen products, to the extent that it really makes me wonder why our government is not entrenched in this issue. I would appreciate a response to this concern that I raise. If you have not heard about this issue prior to my writing, please consider this as official notification that I have a significant safety concern that warrants government investigation. Furthermore, this issue presents a clear and present danger, and immanent risk to consumer health and safety, and now you have notification. I appreciate your time, and look forward to your response. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Herkimer, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 302013

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 250 miles
Purchased 2014 fully loaded Passat on 10/26/13, safety issue with car due to my 1.5 hr daily commute. Extremely poor quality when using bluetooth through care stereo, not recognizing names on iphone 4S causing driver to remove eyes from road to look up number which is a major distraction especially during night driving.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

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