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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,908 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #34

Sep 122016


  • 64,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan. While driving 75 mph, the vehicle stalled and the oil pressure indicator illuminated approximately 30 seconds before the engine stalled. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the timing chain tensioner failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 64,000.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #33

Aug 152016


  • 95,000 miles
Turned car on and started to shake and idle wildly, engine light came on. Timing chain jumped was the diagnosis, went to get 2nd opinion same result. Mechanic working on vehicle, dont have exact extent of damage but have an estimate of cost.

- Covina, CA, USA

problem #32

Jun 202016


  • 55,300 miles
Car at 55,000 miles had coil failure. Caused engine to race and stall almost causing an accident. Luckily, it was only at 25 miles per hour in my development.

- Linwood, NJ, USA

problem #31

May 022016


  • 127,000 miles


My car was parked in a lot and wouldn't start. I had it towed to the dealership. They said the timing chain had jumped and damaged the engine beyond repair. They quoted my $8K to purchase a new engine.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #30

Nov 182015


  • 144,158 miles
Timing chain issue: On Nov 18 2015 my wife was driving from work when suddenly the car suddenly stalled. Car was towed to VW dealership in irving tx, where they did diagnostics and concluded that the timing chain slipped out and broke the cylinder head. The total cost was fixing that was around 5000$. the dealership told me that they were no recall on the timing chain issue and I should call VW of America, which I did. I asked them why the dealership whenever I take the car for service didnt not request I change the timing chain. According to them timing chain is not part of the routine service because its supposed to last the life of the car. The VW representative told me I should go ahead and fix the car and whenever they have a recall on the issue they will refund me the fixing cost. Now I am stuck with vehicle in my driveway because I cannot afford to fix the vehicle. And VW will not cover the costs even though they are selling a vehicle which they state the timing chain doesnt need to be changed.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #29

Feb 262016


  • 135,470 miles
The water pump failed at 106,246 miles, it was replaced. The pump failed again at 109,802 miles, it was replaced. The pump failed again at 135,473 miles. On all three occasions, the pump failed on start up, the car was not in motion.

- Ijamsville, MD, USA

problem #28

Dec 232014


  • 113,000 miles


Timing chain tensioner failure: My Tiguan had been running perfectly and was a great car since purchasing it 7 months prior to this incident. I drove it 250 miles and at the end of the trip as I was pulling into my destination, I noticed back-and-forth rocking and the engine sounding a bit clunky. I planned to take it back to the dealer I purchased it from to get checked out and wasn't going to drive it if I noticed the back-and-forth rocking again, but I didn't. approximately 100 miles before making it back home, I pulled into a gas station for a rest stop. I came back out to my car turned the key, and nothing happened. The battery was at full charge, but the engine had the starter wanted to fire up the engine, but there was nothing. I had the car towed to my local VW dealer and was extremely surprised upon receiving news that my engine and turbo were blown and both needed to be replaced. After notifying the used car lot I purchased the car from, I was made aware of my vehicle being one month beyond the 6-month warranty. I called VW who said they couldn't do anything to help since my vehicle was well over the warranty mileage. I have since persuaded the dealership I purchased from to cover the installation of a replacement engine, but purchasing the new engine and turbo(upwards of $9K for oem) has fallen on me.

- Fitchburg, WI, USA

problem #27

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 #26

Sep 212015


  • 120,000 miles
On a cross country road trip, my 2009 VW Tiguan was running perfectly. Stopped at a rest stop, and when tried to restart car, it rattled severely and the engine light went on. Vehicle was towed to VW service, and I was told I needed an engine replacement, due to a failed timing chain tensioner. It cost me $5800, along with 5 days of lodging while waiting for repair. The VW dealer supported the fact that I should get reimbursed by VW. My vehicle had a perfect maintenance record. There is nothing in the manual pertaining to maintenance requirement for timing chain/tensioner. All it takes is a quick search on the internet to see the unbelievable amount of cases and complaints, even to vehicles with as low as 10,000 miles. There is apparently a new tensioner service kit available to avoid the catastrophic damage, but VW has not notified customers. This is absolutely a safety issue. My wife or I could have been traveling in a remote area with no cell reception, which is often the case. It is also unacceptable to put the financial burden on customers when it could be avoided. This needs to be a recall. This is a Canadian vehicle, but the breakdown occurred in NY state. This should be a North american recall.

- Latham, NY, USA

problem #25

Oct 092015


  • 66,973 miles
Vehicle stared to run ruff and stall causing a driving hazard. VW dealer repair facilitate clammed that it was front crank seal P/N 06L-103-085-B cost of part $11.30. After replacing the seal the dealer then claimed that the pvc valve was bad also P/N 06H-103-495-ac $201.30. It is known that when this part fails that it will cause the seal to fail as well. Total cost of repair was $774.07. This vehicle had 66,973 miles. This is a major failure of the vehicle and cause a dangerous condition. The type of failure should not occur on an engine with such low mileage.

- Plainview, NY, USA

problem #24

Jul 172015


  • 83,000 miles


Was traveling just off I270 outside of columbus oh on Friday 7/17/2015 when the real main engine seal failed causing a dump of the engine oil and a warning to immediately stop the engine due to lack of oil pressure. There was no prior warning at all. If had been on the interstate could have put us at risk due to the abrupt failure. Have been researching this problem and have found many other owners of this vehicle and engine (2.0 tsi 2009 on) in other VW's that this is a common problem in the range of 80 to 100K miles. Finally had to have the car flatbedded to a local dealer where the engine was declared unrepairable and had to be replaced out of warranty at a cost of over $7,000.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #23

Jun 152015


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan. Upon turning the key in the ignition to start the vehicle, it shook violently. The vehicle was turned off, but failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for further inspection. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 08V235000 (engine and engine cooling) and 14V441000 (fuel system, gasoline). The VIN was not available. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 72,000.

- Union , ME, USA

problem #22

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

problem #21

Mar 062015

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 89,500 miles
The main rear seal of the engine failed. Engine gushing oil and loss of engine power. The engine seal should last the life of the vehicle.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #20

Sep 032012

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
I have had over the course of 3 years one of the 4 engine coils go out on my car right after the vehicle started. My car had 41K miles when the first went out and now the third is at 53K. The mechanics at VW know it is a problem and they expect it. There is even a new part with a new part number which indicated VW knows of the issue and they redesigned the part. Its insane to me there is not a recall on this part.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #19

Mar 042015


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan. The contact stated the vehicle failed to start after repeated attempts. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, who stated the engine failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Wharton, NJ, USA

problem #18

Jan 232015

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
Coolant pump went out Jan 25 2015. I had purchased car used from a non VW dealer but took to it to a VW dealer to repair. They replaced for $750. I researched further on carfax and found the pump had been replaced already by another VW dealership within the previous 12 months. I contacted VW and had to fight with them to cover my repair when it should have been part of the warranty with previous repair. They did refund my money. It is now 2 months later, 3/25/2015 and I am again experiencing a coolant leak.

- Mercer Island, WA, USA

problem #17

Jan 082015

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 97,100 miles
The coil, the fuel pump and the rear seal are defective. They are covered for repair under an extended warranty. The issue is that this is the 3rd engine failure this year, another in the past. If you google 2009 Tiguan rear seal, you will find many many VW owners experiencing this same issue at this early and early mileage on this vehicle. There is an apparent manufacturers defect that is being overlooked.

- Colonia, NJ, USA

problem #16

Oct 212014

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 100,400 miles
I brought my Tiguan in due to an engine leak and to have an engine diagnostic. They indicated the main rear main seal was leaking. 700 plus dollars. Repaired the seal the leak stopped but the low engine pressure light would not go off. The then indicated that the tensioner arm was bad and that needed to be replaced. I received a call the next day that the tensioner was bad but the tensioner chain had walked off the rocker arm and that the engine needs to be replaced. I called multiple times to Volkswagen customer care multiple times and they responded that they cant help with anything. I have researched the tensioner arm through google and found pages and pages of blogs with people that have experienced the same issue with the tensioner arm failing resulting in engine failure.

- New Lenox, IL, USA

problem #15

Mar 052014

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
At slower speeds, idle, coming to a stop and accelerating the engine sputters causing a hazardous situation. This is a result of the failure of the timing chain tensioner. VW has created improved replacement parts but has not informed any customers. Also the VW Tiguan owners manual claims that the tensioner is lifetime and need no maintenance. Eventually the sprocket wheels become so worn that the chain jumps and destroys the pistons/header/engine. Failure usually happens above the 60,000 mile powertrain limited warranty. VW America is aware of the issue but claims "like any component on any vehicle, it's still possible for it to fail". they know this is a serious hazard, they have a fix and they do not inform customers.

- Parma, OH, USA

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