really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,241 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.

2006 Volkswagen Passat electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Oct 222010


  • 37,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that the steering wheel locked. The contact stated a little red light blinked on and off and the power steering failed. The contact looked in the manual and it stated that if this light came on that the steering wheel would lock. The manual stated that the coils in the dashboard control the steering and dashboard functions. The vehicle was unable to be towed since everything locked, including the wheels. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileages were 37000.

- Fall River, MA, USA

problem #29

Sep 222010


  • 72,000 miles
2006 VW Passat has intermittent problems starting (steering column lock, etc - same as everyone else) and then one day while driving @ 55 mph, my car died. I had to try and get over to the side of the road. Very scary! I tried to restart with no luck and just about the time I was ready to give up, I tried one more time (while waiting for aaa to answer the phone) and it worked. I've had it into my mechanic several times for the starting issue and the dealer gave me the "replace the whole steering column" thing. I have been holding off bc its so expensive and I can go for weeks or even months without having the problem, then it flares up again in spades. My biggest concern now is the motor cutting out on me again while I'm driving. There should be a recall based on the hundreds of complaints for this same issue.

- Foothill Ranch, CA, USA

problem #28

Oct 042010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 44,960 miles
06 VW Passat, I was driving and the engine light, the epc and another light came on and all of a sudden the car lost all power and wouldn't go past 15 mph and 20 RPM. Very dangerous when you are driving and this happens, there should be a recall for this problem. Car has 44, 960 miles and not sure if it's under warranty, will find out tomorrow.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #27

Sep 202010


  • 50,000 miles


My car has had starting issues since I have had it. Sometimes, everytime I would try to start it would not start and give me the "locked steering column" message. It would stop doing this for several months and then start again. Finally, after 100,000 it stopped completely and would not start. It is $600 to fix it but it seems like a lot of people have this issue and they had a recall on the steering column. What can I do?

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #26

Jun 262010


  • 116,800 miles
2006 VW Passat 2.0T. Convenience control module failure is a rampant problem. Car will not start, sunroof opens on its own, doors will not unlock with the wireless transmitter. Happens daily since about March 2010. Car parked now awaiting repairs due to unreliability and safety issue related to this malfunction.

- Carriere, MS, USA

problem #25

Jun 152010


  • 59,000 miles
2006 Passat purchased October 2009 with 48,000 miles, already out of warranty. The car now starts and cuts off immediately and has cut off around 6 or 7 times while driving at high speeds on the freeway! I have to pull off safely but in a hurry to avoid possible collisions. I would like to start a class action suit against VW for negligence. This part should have been recalled, it's a known issue these models have. I'm going to contact an attorney for this. If not I will sue myself to recover the cost associated with this defect. To all the other owners, be safe!!

- Clarksburg, MD, USA

problem #24

Jun 122010


  • 58,000 miles


Symptom #1) car will not start or if it does start it will immediately stall and steering column will lock. After moving the steering wheel back and forth repeatedly, reopening the door several times and attempting to start the push ignition 5-10 times it will eventually start and run. Symptom #2) major safety issue! car will lose all power without warning at highway speeds. This defect causes the engine to stall immediately, the loss of power steering and the loss of all power controls at speeds at least up to 70 mph. There is no warning from the car itself. There is no stuttering or noise. Suddenly the car is just dead and rolling along at extreme speeds. The fix is to shift the car into neutral and attempt to restart by removing and reinserting the key until it starts again. The dashboard will light up "steering column defect" and prompt a warning light for the steering column as if it were locked from a car alarm prompt. Occasionally, I have been unable to restart the car while in motion and have had to pull off to the side of the road. This is done without the aid of power steering and can be very dangerous in traffic and at high speeds as there is no way of "knowing" when the defect will occur. This defect is occurring daily. I took the car into the dealer for diagnosis. Was told it was a defect in the steering column requiring a complete replacement. Estimated cost to myself was $1,000-2,000. Car is now out of warranty (58,000 miles). I believe this defect is not a result of any habit of myself as the driver but rather a defect in the workmanship of the vehicle and the dealer should be subject to a recall. A search on google about this issue revealed thousands of other drivers with the exact same problem (stall at highway speeds, loss of power steering, difficulty starting and restarting, possible stranding of the driver). I urge a recall to move forward immediately!

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #23

Jun 062010


  • 51,898 miles
2006 Volkswagen Passat. Car will not start and the steering column locks up. Then at times the car will not shut off and key gets stuck in the ignition. This happens at least once a day.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #22

May 102010


  • 53,000 miles
When trying to start 2006 Passat 2.0T, I get error messages about steering column lock being defective or there are no dash lights and car won't turn over. Problem is getting worse. Located online forum with 6 pages of complaints like mine. See the following website: forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?3656214-steering-column-lock-for-2006-Passat/page1.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #21

Feb 032010


  • 36,000 miles
My wife's car 2006 Passat has been starting and then stalling immediately. A warning light comes on indicating "steering column lock defect". it was fine for a week or two, then it started occurring several times a week. I took car to repair shop and was told that problem would need a dealership repair shop to correct. After doing some online searches for problems of this nature I noticed many owners were having same problem and were told that the steering column and comfort sensor would both have to be replaced, estimates from $1200 to $2000 dollars for repair. Our car is out of warranty as of Feb, 2010 but has less than 50,000 miles on it. Reports from mechanics say a person can get stranded at any time, but if car starts it will not fail while driving. This replacement should not be at the cost of the owner. Please investigate occurrences and request a recall for defective new vehicle electrical equipment/ steering column.

- Freeport, IL, USA

problem #20

Mar 052010


  • 60,000 miles


1A. I inserted the key fod and the "steering wheel" light on the instrument panel flashed yellow and the mfd on the instrument panel said, "steering column lock malfunction. Go to VW dealer immediately" 1B. Other times, it's the same, but the "steering wheel" light flashes with red light. 1C. other times, I must insert the key fod anywhere from 5-20 times before the car even starts. The car won't start and I must repeat the process until it does. 2. it occurs at least 5-9 times per week with the yellow light flashing, 3-5 times a week with red light flashing, and 1-3 times per week when I must repeat the inserting of key fod to turn on. 3A. the VW dealer says they have seen this problem and it usually runs $1500-$2200 to fix. They said they usually replace the steering column module (computer board stuff) and the steering column as well. They say the problem is cause by the module going bad and not responding and telling the computer to turn the car on. 3B. the VW corporate customer care said they cannot help because warranty has expired. I have about 60K miles and warranty expired at 50K miles. Please go to this thread to see how common this problem is: forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3656214.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #19

Mar 232010


  • 76,000 miles
My car keeps getting the message, "steering column defective" message in the mfd. The car will not start on more than six times now. Whenever, the message "steering column defective" comes on, the car will not start. I did a google search regarding this problem, and many people online expressed the same problem with their vehicles.

- Novato, CA, USA

problem #18

Aug 022009


  • 68,000 miles
Car will not start, have to keep trying over and over happens almost every day. After a few mins anywhere from 2min till 15min of restarting it will start.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #17

Apr 132007


  • 17,815 miles
07/19/2006: Purchased a brand new 2006 Volkswagen Passat 04/13/2007: Radio will not eject cd- the stereo system had to be replaced due to faulty radio 12/06/2007: Car will not start called tow company, upon arrival checked battery and it was not the problem; tow company could not get the car to start; car was towed to lasher Volkswagen 12/14/2007: Car will not start again, same issue as before on 12/06/2007; called the tow company and had it towed to lasher dealership; after numerous calls back and forth, VW dealership and manufacturer cannot figure out the problem nor have they fixed the vehicle yet 01/12/08: Picked up the vehicle from lasher VW seemed to work okay 01/14/08: While driving home from work, door locks began to unlock and lock by themselves and while driving on the freeway; also, suddenly light indicators (blinkers) did not work, high beams did not work, windshield wipers did not work, steering wheel indicator light came on, tire pressure light came on, cruise control light came on; this was an extremely dangerous situation 01/17/08: While driving to berkeley, on the freeway, the blinkers stopped working, and could not get the windshield wipers to work; locks began to lock and unlock while driving; telephone call again, to lasher VW to express great concern and worried about being stranded; was told to bring it in on Friday 01/1/08 at 7:30 am; once we arrived in berkeley, we parked the car and turned off the ignition the radio was still on and the headlights did not shut off; we started up the car again and the same thing happened; when locking the car with the alarm, the doors locked but the alarm did not turn on; lights remained on for about 20 minutes, fearing that the battery would run low and we would be stranded 08/05/09: Took the car to elk grove VW and told that warranty will not cover any of the repairs 10/24/09-12/14/09: The car has not been able to start since 10/23/09 and sitting in our garage & now at neillo VW.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 132009


  • 81,000 miles
Experiencing an intermittent problem with 2006 VW Passat where it will start but will not stay running. Have checked website and determined this is a widespread problem with this year/model of VW. Am concerned as there is a message that displays that says defective steering wheel lock. There should be a recall on this. The car only has 81K miles. This is an ongoing issue.

- Millers, MD, USA

problem #15

Oct 202009


  • 660,000 miles
2006 Passat security system sensor between key and computer in column fails causing the engine to shut down. This has happened to me while starting, but not yet while driving. Many posts on www.aboutautomobile.com/complaint/2006/Volkswagen/Passat report it happening while driving.

- Scandia, MN, USA

problem #14

Jul 202009


  • miles
When starting vehicle at most of the times it starts and dies immediately.

- Union City, CA, USA

problem #13

Aug 052009


  • 57,000 miles
Volkswagen 2006 2.0T Passat has a defective steering wheel lock that is very dangerous. I know of numerous Passat 2006 drivers with the same problem. It is unsafe and this should be recalled. Thank god I was not driving when it occurred. It is very expensive to fix and I am just out of the warranty. It is unfair and unsafe. It has happened to so many Passat drivers. Please do something. The car was difficult to tow because everything is locked up on the car, couldn't put it into neutral, all wheels were locked, brakes, etc. The service person at the dealership said that the keys are not being read by the car and the steering wheel column needs to be replaced for over $1300. I can not afford to pay for this especially since it is a VW defect.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #12

Jul 302008


  • 42,305 miles
On several occasions leading up to 07-30-08, vehicle would not start properly. VW reprogrammed keys but refused to cover costs even though vehicle was still under warranty. Around April 2009, vehicle began having problems cranking again. Vehicle would start then the engine would immediately die, but not every time. Condition got worse at the beginning of June and had the battery and alternator checked out. They were fine. On one occasion the vehicle computer gave a "steering wheel lock defective" error. Took vehicle back to dealer on 06-16-2009. This time they said steering column control module and comfort module would need to be replaced and that this problem was not related to earlier problem that should have been covered under warranty. Had vehicle repaired at different VW dealer at own cost. I kept the old parts.

- Alexandria, AL, USA

problem #11

Feb 282008


  • 60,000 miles
Vehicle will not start 70% of the time. Vehicle stalls once started. Problem is getting worse. Quote was provided to repair, but parts are very expensive.

- Canfield, OH, USA

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