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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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,538 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.

2009 Volkswagen Routan electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Volkswagen Routan Owner Comments (Page 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Apr 272014

Routan 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles


The car suddenly shuts down loosing all electrical power. It looses all power steering and braking has done this several times at various speeds. I have to completely turn off the car and start it all over again. This has been very dangerous.

- Minneapolis , MN, USA

problem #22

Jan 012013

Routan 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Power sliding doors actuate on own, without warning, both open and close with no regard to humans or object in the path. Door handles chrome delamination causing severe cuts. Power third row seating motor/frame failure causing seats mounting points to be unsecured. Dealer and VW of America unwilling to correct safety issues without large financial compensation.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #21

Jan 092014

Routan 6-cyl

  • 86,980 miles
The vehicle has a new battery which is correctly installed and free of corrosion. When the key fob is placed into the ignition and moved forward, the vehicle will not start. The dash lights come on, and it should start, but it does not. If you keep trying, or walk away and come back after a few minutes and try again, it does sometimes start. This intermittent problem seams to have no rhyme or reason and I am concerned the vehicle might stop while my wife or I drive it. This generally happens 4 to 5 times a month. Any help would be appreciated.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #20

Mar 282014

Routan 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


We have a 2009 VW Routan sel that has stalled multiple times now (4-5) while driving. There is no warning and car loses power. Car starts up immediately after putting in park and restarting. This seems to be common problem and there is a recall for the 2010 model as well as the Chrysler minivan which this car is based from.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #19

Mar 032014

Routan 6-cyl

  • miles
Sliding door locks making very loud vibrating noise when locked and fit the description of recall 10V252000 by VW for 2009 Routans made in windsor Canada during the second half of 2008. Says that car could catch fire but VW saus that my VIN is not included some how.

- Chugiak, AK, USA

problem #18

Mar 092014


  • 62,500 miles
Van on multiple occasions will not start. When you turn the key you just get a click... this has been going on for 5 months (the whole time I have had this van) some days you try to start it, it wont start. Then you try again and it may start. Yesterday the van had to be trailered to a dealership...because yet again it will not start. Not the battery or alternator. We beleive it is a faulty ignition switch.

- Fithian, IL, USA

problem #17

Sep 252013


  • 35,500 miles


My son got in his seat in the van and I got in drivers seat I pushed power door button on ceiling and heard door closing I thought it closed all the way but had power failure and stopped halfway. I started van and started to go, there was no alarm or anything to inform me his door was still half open. Luckily my son is 5 and told me his door was open so I stopped and button did nothing I got out and button on inside of his door did nothing I than manually closed door. This is very unsafe if a child wasn't buckled or unbuckled themselves they could fall out.

- Sheboygan, WI, USA

problem #16

Jul 082013

Routan 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
While driving on 4 different occasions over the last week the engine shuts off without warning. Once while turning left across traffic. The van stopped right in the middle of the turn and was started just in time and started moving as oncoming car also swerved to avoid my car stalled right in front of them. Dealer has no idea what is causing the problem and can only guess that the win module needs to be replaced. There is a recall on the win module for 2010, but not for 2009.

- Saunderstown, RI, USA

problem #15

Jun 062012


  • 63,000 miles
Where to begin with this car. All 4 valve stems needed to be replaced. I was losing pressure in my tires, and mechanic said they were corroded. Then my tiptronics did not work, also when you shifted in to gear, it didn't want to move. Had the whole shifting lever component replaced. Lots of trouble with the doors not opening right, then when closing the sensor doesn't always work. Almost had my kids get caught in the door. If the car is even on the slightest slope the door won't close. While driving down the road at 55mph the car just shut off. No power steering! very dangerous. I had to rent a car to go on vacation, I didn't feel safe enough to drive on the interstate with it. Happened may times. They couldn't find anything wrong with it. Now I think the transmission is going. I am so frustrated with this car!

- Shoreham, VT, USA

problem #14

Jul 262012


  • 376,500 miles
I was driving approx 65 mph on a highway. Without a warning (no check engine light, no battery light, etc) my engine turned off while still cruising at 65 mph. The vehicle still had momentum, but no power steering to safely pull the vehicle over. I had to wait for the road to turn, so I can position the vehicle to stop on the shoulder of the vehicle. I almost crashed into other vehicles, because I had no control of the car other than braking in the middle lane of a highway. Towed vehicle dealer found a blown engine fuse. They replaced the engine fuse. Two hours later, same scenario and same issue came back. Towed back to the dealer, and they believe its a grounding wire. Please investigate this issue. Could potentially translate into major accident or death.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #13

Jan 012010

Routan 6-cyl

  • 200 miles


Completely lost control of the vehicle (no power, no power steering) while driving 45mph on a 7 lane major street. Thankfully it was in the early morning hours and I was able to glide across the intersection to a side street where I turned the vehicle off and on and it resumed power. This has happened at least 4 more times since then, usually while idling at a red light.

- Mountain View, CA, USA

problem #12

Apr 082013

Routan 6-cyl

  • 76,200 miles
Our Routan was only going about 20 mph after pulling out of parking places and turning in to main roads the power steering, brakes, gas all stop working the car becomes impossible to turn the wheel the brakes and gas both do not work and you have to coast to a stop once stopped you have put the van in park turn key off and restart the engine. This has now happened twice in a 2 week time frame extremely concerned with two young children in the back both in car seats. What happens if I am on a freeway and this happens at 60-70mph?

- Converse, TX, USA

problem #11

Feb 052013

Routan 6-cyl

  • 59,500 miles
While driving at various speed the car suddenly shuts off and loses power steering. This has occurred 4 times now and is extremely dangerous. Car can only be restarted when at a complete stop and placed back in park.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #10

Oct 092012


  • 45,000 miles
Notice oil light coming on between oil change....filled oil to proper level...I took car in for service today (1/7/13) was told by dealership the gasket will need replace, that was the reason for oil usage. I just had my vehicle in to fix the sliding door (tsb recall not honored) in October and in was inspected with no problems. Doing research on internet and finding the oil, door is a common problem in VW Routan ( also talked to another owner was in for same problem, stated has been given runaround since day one about problems with his Routan).

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 132012

Routan 6-cyl

  • 50,750 miles
Took 2009 VW Routan to local dealership in 2010 due to safety recall on sliding doors (faulty wire harness). Passenger side door was fitted with tie wrap. Driver side door was inspected but no work was performed. This week, door stopped working on driver's side. Took it to the dealer on Wednesday and was told it would cost $383 to repair wire harness. Called VW customer care to explain problem. Was told that case would be started. Waiting to hear about solution. Vehicle was supposed to be finished on Thursday. Now being told it will be Monday. We were given a loaner vehicle for the weekend.

- Clemmons, NC, USA

problem #8

Jul 062012

Routan 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
Van was traveling 65mph on interstate when the car switched from on to accessory mode. VW service indicated that the incident was caused by a faulty win (wireless ignition node module). When the car switched to accessory mode, I lost power to the engine and I had no anti-lock brakes or power steering. I was able to coast the van to the side of the road without an accident. This exact issue has been reported in several 2009 Routans and was already subject to a recall for the 2010 Routan's. it also impacts the Grand Caravan and Town & Country's, which share a platform with the Routan. Given the high likelihood that this sudden engine shutoff can lead to an accident, I am surprised that Volkswagen has not been required to expand the win module recall to include the 2009 models. I am also extremely frustrated with Volkswagen's response, which was to disclaim any legal responsibility for repair (since it was outside of the warranty period). This is a known defect and should be addressed accordingly.

- Kent, OH, USA

problem #7

Nov 102010


  • miles
Our Routan has "started itself" multiple times. In each instance, without intentionally starting the ignition (keys were in purse/handbag untouched by human hands), we have found the vehicle on and idling. Most recently, we happened (fortuitously) to find the vehicle running in our enclosed garage. The garage is attached to our home and we felt, given the potential for accidental death if not discovered in a timely fashion, we needed to alert authorities of the (either) design flaw or electrical system malfunction. While electrical system malfunction is certainly a strong possibility (we have had multiple problems with it in this vehicle), even if the remote ignition key were "functional" we feel the lack of barriers to accidentally starting the vehicle is extremely dangerous. For instance, if the keys are in a purse and simply moving the purse is enough to start the vehicle, even though the key "worked", it is far too easy to accidentally start the vehicle. This is what has occurred in each instance (keys in a purse, no hands directly touching the keys). A safer design might involve a code to be punched in vs simply pressing one button. Given that many families keep their vehicle in an attached, enclosed garage, accidentally running the vehicle could be deadly if carbon monoxide were to build up and enter the home.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 012011

Routan 6-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
Engine shut off while driving, steering column locked and power braking lost. Lighting and radio were still on. Was barely able to vehicle to a stop by pushing extremely hard on the brake, brakes were very unresponsive. Once stopped, was able to turn ignition off and restart vehicle.

- Lakeville, MN, USA

problem #5

Jun 282011

Routan 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
My wife (and 8 month old son) were driving when the van suddenly shut off. My wife was driving approximately 55 mph. She was able to get the van off the road before the steering wheel locked up. She was able to restart the van. She was able to avoid a rear-end collision with a tractor-trailer that was behind her.

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #4

May 052009


  • 7,400 miles
I have experienced mechanical defects with the power sliding door feature on both sides of the 2009 VW Routan SE. The defect has been repaired a total of four times since its purchase, twice before the NHTSA safety recall on the power sliding doors and twice after the recall. The defective power sliding doors have unlatched and opened while driving the vehicle, even after the power locks activate. In addition, the sensors on the power sliding doors have failed to retract, resulting in hands being trapped. Lastly, I have found the power sliding doors open upon return to the vehicle after closing and locking it. I have expressed my concerns to VW's local service department and have contacted VW's customer care department. I was informed that as long as this defect can be repaired they would not administer a refund or replacement. I am very concerned about the safety of this vehicle and feel it poses a risk to my two small children.

- Holly Springs, NC, USA

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