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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,966 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 Tiguan drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Owner Comments

problem #8

Mar 042016


  • 90,000 miles


Timing chain failed at 90,000 miles.

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #7

Jul 062015


  • 73,000 miles
While driving with my four year old in the backseat of the car, the car suddenly misfired and the engine rough idled. The car stalled at intersections and in the middle of the road. We almost got into an accident as we were driving down a city street, as cars behind us had to swerve out the way when our engine stalled. We took it to the mechanic immediately, as it was clearly hazardous to have on the road, and found that a piston had misfired and stretched the timing chain. The car, a VW Tiguan from 2009, was only 6 years old when this event occurred.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Oct 242015


  • 49,000 miles
On Oct. 24, 2015 when I tried to start my car, it shook, idled roughly and stalled. I tried again and it wouldn't start. I had the car towed to my Volkswagen dealer. They checked it and told me the timing chair had broken causing catastrophic damage to the engine. The estimate for repairs was $4952.29. And if the engine had to be replaced, it would be $6500. Volkswagen of America group would pay nothing toward the repair claiming it was out of warranty. (the power train warranty was 5 years/60,000 miles.) the car had 49,000 miles, but was over the 5 year time period. But a timing chain should be good for the life of the car; unless there is a defective part. You have a tsb (TB-15-12-01 -NHTSA id number: 10045560) on the "tensioner" which causes the chain to become loose, skip and break. Moreover, there are numerous complaints on your site about this exact issue. Volkswagen failed to notify customers of this defect and there was no recall. This is a ticking time bomb that can result in a serious accident. The day before this happened, I was travelling on the Florida turnpike for 8 hours at the posted speed of 70 mph. If the chain had broken during that time, it could have resulted in a fatal accident involving me and/or others. Why hasn't there been a recall" why should Volkswagen be allowed to put my life and the lives of others at risk? why should I have to pay for Volkswagen's negligence when they were aware of this issue for almost 3 years? this defect has the potential to kill. Does someone have to die before you will take action to require Volkswagen to fix this problem"

- The Villages, FL, USA

problem #5

Aug 212015


  • 96,000 miles


While driving on road aprox. 40mph the vehicle suddenly stopped running-had to coast to side and tow it.when towed to VW dealer -they said timing chain tensioner failed and it's common problem.they even had tsb for that.why they don't recall this since they are aware of it.if I was at higher speed on interstate, I would be in big trouble.

- Ottumwa, IA, USA

problem #4

Apr 072015


  • 100,000 miles
Noticed oil leak on otherwise spotless driveway a few days after 100K service at VW dealership. Returned to dealer where rear main seal was identified as the source. Estimate was $1400 total cost to repair along with oil hoses to turbo. Discussed details and frequency of rms repair with tech, since transmission has to be removed. Also researched VW forum threads on rms failure to find that 2008+ model vws are most affected, 2009 Tiguans in particular. Of the 13 complaints on the NHTSA site regarding failed rear main seals on vws, more than half (7 of 13 = 54%) are from owners of 2009 Tiguans. (3 of 13 complaints were for 2009 passats, with 1 each for a 2009 cc, a 2011 Tiguan, and a 2012 jetta.). even with this small sampling, having 54% of the rms failures affecting the same model (Tiguan) of the same model year (2009) is more than a coincidence. It shows a trend. Volkswagen of America acknowledges no such trend, and VW customer care refuses any responsibility beyond warranty.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

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problem #3

Nov 012014


  • 42,500 miles
Car was being driven down interstate through construction area. Loud pop was heard from rear end. After a short distance, rear of car started to shutter then locked up completely. Car skidded to a stop on. Checked to see if it was brakes onsite and it was not. Had towed to VW dealer in hometown and they confirmed that the gears in the rear end had come apart and seized the rear wheels. * this had occurred at normal interstate speeds I would have expected worse results up to death. Wheels were completely locked until car was put into reverse to unbind the AWD system.

- Nicholasville, KY, USA

problem #2

Apr 222013

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
My 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan suffered a timing chain malfunction approximately 40,000 miles below its manufacturer recommended replacement date. This incident resulted in catastrophic mechanical failure (bent valves).

- Philadelphia, MS, USA

problem #1

Jun 132008


  • 1,232 miles
On June 13, 2008 I was traveling West bound on a typical South Florida day, very hot and humid clear day. Just then a pick-up truck put out very fast in front of me. I slammed on my brakes with plenty of time to stop, but just before I came to a complete stop, the engine roared and I hit the truck very hard. At first I thought my foot slipped off the brake to the gas, but no way, I broke my foot because I hit the brake so hard. My question is this, is there a known problem with this newcar?

- Weston, FL, USA

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