really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
3,350 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. new axle (1 reports)
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2018 Volkswagen Atlas drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas Owner Comments

problem #4

May 082019

(reported on)

Atlas SEL $ Motion Tech Pack 3.6L Vr6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,700 miles


New 2018 Atlas SEL 4 Motion (delivered February 2019), noticed a noise when driving away from full stop, slowly getting worse over time. Noise appeared from driver's side initially but no visual issues. The sound really matched the noise you experience with a bad or defective CV joint, but given the age and mileage on the car i immediately dismissed that possibility. Upon dealer's inspection it showed that the PASSENGER side axle had dumped grease all over the wheel arch, brakes, suspension and inside the front right rim.

In the dealer's opinion the car was safe to drive, although the balancing was little off, and decided to get the car in for repairs after the weekend. Car has been sitting there for two days with the wrong parts arriving from VW (correctly labeled packaging with the incorrect part inside).

Could be a minor issue, as long as it gets fixed properly but in my opinion it shouldn't happen with a brand new vehicle. Already reading horror stories about VW Buy Bacls and Lemon Law issues. This Atlas recently replaced my 2016 Audi Q7, and offers such a great ride, space and feel. Love the VW group's vehicles, this Atlas is my 21st VW/Audi/Porsche.

Waiting for Atlas to be fixed, will update as soon as I have any!

- Han P., Palm City, FL, US

problem #3

Nov 032018

Atlas SE 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,300 miles

The passenger side axle of our brand new 2018 VW Atlas broke while driving a few days ago. This is our first Volkswagen, we purchased the car brand new, and have only driven 2300 miles with it. Not only are we extremely disappointed in the quality and safety of the car, we are also disappointed with the response from VW about this situation. Their response shows how little they care about their vehicular safety.

While we were driving to a family outing a few days ago, we suddenly heard a loud “EEEK” sound and the car became dangerously shaky. We contacted VW Roadside assistance and was told that it would take over an hour for a tow truck to come and that we’d have to Uber the entire family of 6, with 3 young children (ages 4 months old, 2yr old, and 5 yr old), back home. They then told us to drive our car to the nearest service center, which was 11 mins away. We weren’t entirely sure how badly damaged the car was at the time, so we decided to drive there. The car shook the whole way.

After an hour at the service center, we were told that the Front Axle on the passenger side was broken, and that the car wasn’t safe to drive. We shouldn’t have even driven to the service center. The estimated time of repair was not given to us because they were not sure how VW was going to handle this. We asked if we can have our car service costs covered and also get a rental but was told that we would have to submit paperwork to VW corporate and hopefully have those reimbursements approved. We ordered an Uber home that day, feeling completely disappointed and defeated.

We contacted the VW corporate customer service line to discuss the situation but were just given a bunch of fluff and avoidance to cover our Uber and rental. We told them that we no longer feel safe driving the VW Atlas, and the only assurance they gave was that the replacement axle will have a 12 month warranty…

As of right now, we are waiting for a supervisor at VW Customer Care to contact us back and address our concerns about the safety of the vehicle. We have been leaving multiple voicemails for the past two days but they have clearly been ignored.

Once again, we are beyond disappointed by the quality of Volkswagen as well as the way they handled such a serious safety issue on a brand new vehicle. We do not feel safe driving VW anymore.

If anyone knows of any other platforms or sources where we can voice our concerns and hopefully convince VW to be more serious with our issue, PLEASE let me know.

- ppz, Leonia, US

problem #2

Mar 232018

Atlas SEL 4 Motion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,106 miles

My wife and I were very hesitant to purchase a VW but we just could not justify the cost of the car vs. the safety. We have two small children and safety on the road for them is our priority. We researched the safety of the new Atlas and were very impressed. We went to the dealership and were once again informed of the safety, shown videos, and crash test ratings. We were SOLD. We brought the car home and were very pleased.

At about 3000 miles the car began to shimmy and shake. Not really concerning. It did not do it all the time. I noticed it more when we were accelerating going uphill on the highway. I thought about taking the car in right away but again it was not something that it was doing all the time so I just decided to tell them about it when I went for the 5000 mile tire rotation.

So I took it in Friday, March 23 and told the service rep about the shimmy and shake. He said we will take a look, sometimes it is just the CV boots getting broke in. A couple hours later he came to the customer lounge and said well your axle is bust and the car is unsafe to drive. I said ok...how long to fix that. He said it will probably take 4 weeks to get the part...we have already had a problem like this and it took that long. I said ok. He said we will get you a rental car from Hertz and VW will cover the cost. I said not a problem.

Well, a hour later I was trying to figure out the problem and they said they could not locate a SUV rental in the area. I said that is not a big deal I just need a car...preferably full size since my family is getting ready to go on vacation. Thirty minutes later the sales mgr approached me and asked if I would be interested in just trading my car in for a Atlas Premium they have sitting on the lot. He could give a deal. I said unless it is going to just be a even trade...not going to happen. He said he could not do even trade but did want to get me back on the road. So finally I ended up with a loaner dealership car...a VW Jetta. Ok car but when you load up with wife, two kids, and two car seats....a little cramped.

I got home Friday and was doing some research and noticed that the Premiums were already having problems with the virtual cockpits...which I am sure the dealership knew of so that kind of ticked me off. Dealership was supposed to contact me Saturday to let me know if they had found a larger rental for me...I ended up calling them at 4:00pm and they had nothing to offer me. I tweeted VW and called them...they told me that my issue had been escalated to the Regional Mgr and to expect a call on Monday. I am looking forward to that because what I have read online is that the Regional mgrs are not that much help either.

I am just frustrated that I am paying for a car sitting on the dealer lot that is not driveable with just 5000 miles on it. Looking forward to see how VW resolves this for me.

- Noel W., lynchburg, TN, US

problem #1

Jan 182018

Atlas SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,100 miles

The axle on our 2018 7 passenger Volkswagen Atlas broke 19 days after driving it off of the lot. Took the car back to the dealer and they deemed the Atlas unsafe to drive. This is extremely alarming considering had we been on the road with our 3 small children, this situation could have been very bad.

The service department at Stone Mountain Volkswagen was very understanding and set an expectation of 2-3 weeks to repair. They put us in a loaner vehicle a Volkswagen CC. Which was all they had a the time. We could barely fit into the car and the car had no trunk space. The whole reason for wanting the Atlas was for the space and we thought it was a safe vehicle for our family. We dealt with the length of time it would take to fix because we actually thought our car was getting repaired.

At exactly 3 weeks after taking the vehicle back my husband and I called to find out what was going on as we heard nothing in regards to the Atlas being repaired. We were told at that time that the dealership was still looking to get the part. At that time they said that it would be another 3-4 weeks. Which at this point we were pretty frustrated and disappointed. We are paying for a vehicle that we cannot even drive, and the dealer has had it longer than we have.

We also found out, at the 30 day mark, from the dealership that the company that makes the part had no ETA on when the part would be ready. At this point we were upset. Felt like Volkswagen did not care about a client who is paying for a SUV while driving a car that can barely fit your family. Also upset because during this time nobody proactively reached out to inform us of the situation. We also called Volkswagen Customer Care several times in regards to this and got the same answer, " I'm sorry" but no resolution until one rep named Ryan (thanks Ryan) decided to escalate it to a Region Manager.

The manager made calls to my husband while he was at work, when he was able to call back the manager did not answer. He left voicemails for her to callback. She never did. She then called to notify us that the case would be transferred to Retention Resolution Team. We haven't heard from them yet. We also called Volkswagen Group of America Corporate Department and we were transferred to the TDI Escalation Department, in which we had to leave another message. After the 30 days passed we over-nighted the Vehicle Repurchase or Replacement Request to an address that we received from another Volkswagen Customer Care representative to have the car replaced, which is within our right under Georgia Lemon Laws.

Yesterday the Dealership called a said the part would be ready next week. They called back today and said the vehicle was fixed and that we should come get it. This is very suspicious as we do not want a rush job because we do not want to be right back in this situation and if it was this easy of a fix then why was it not done in a reasonable time frame. It is also suspicious that now something is being done because it seems like they do not want to give us a complete new car, which to my understanding is required by law. This has been a very unpleasant experience, and we never had this problem with our Volkswagen Jetta.

Update from May 11, 2018: Just to give an update Volkswagon group of America replaced our vehicle with an upgraded model. We got the vehicle about 3 months after taking the original vehicle in for service. We have been driving this Atlas for about a month now with no issues. Honestly we love the vehicle and that's why we decided to stick with it. There are always going to be a few bad apples in the bunch.

- jen333, Atlanta, US

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