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 1 of 3)

problem #50

May 112009


  • miles


Takata recall

- Coppell, TX, USA

problem #49

May 152012

Passat 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Takata recall first I would like to say my sunroof opens and closes it self then. Sometimes when I turn car on it shuts off says steering defected then its takes a couple seconds to come on. My wind shield wipers keep sayin I need water but its full then my daytime lights are off this car has many problems I keep getting the same parts fixed over and over. And then I have no recalls what the only way if we crash and die then we will get it fixed im putting so much money into car so can you please help thank you. This happen in different places the car shuts off different times.

- Woodbridge, NJ, USA

problem #48

Apr 042016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that that the vehicle stalled on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on multiple occasions but there was no remedy available. The contact also took the vehicle to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the catalytic converter needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 16V079000 (air bags) but the part was not available. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #47

May 142015


  • 92,585 miles


My car suffers from a "steering column lock defective" issue for which VW of America has issued a recall as it is a very common problem on this year of the car. For some reason my car was not included in the recall (by VIN), and now that the piece is starting to fail they will not cover it. It is a clear defect and it is well documented, but they still want me to pay out of pocket ($800) to cover the repair costs. If this part fails, I will be left stranded with no way of turning the car on. A lot of money has already been spent fixing this car as this was a problematic year for this model. I do not want to spend more money fixing what is clearly a defect and something that VW has recognized is a problem and is fixing in other calls from the same year. Thank you.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #46

Apr 042014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
The problem started off small. My Passat one day started and shut off. Over the next couple months the problem got much worse. First it took a couple tries to start and now typically takes about 15 minutes to start. The steering wheel light pops up and the cars warning states "steering column lock defective". today 6/8/14 I was driving 60 mph on the highway and the car stalls. Luckily we made it to the side of the highway. With a crying baby in the backseat, I finally got the car to start after 2 hours of trying!

- Anoka, MN, USA

problem #45

Feb 262014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that while reversing from a parking space, the vehicle suddenly stalled as the engine, air bag and brake sensor lights illuminated. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed the problem but could not duplicate the defect. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 44,000.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #44

Jan 122014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 110,600 miles


I was traveling southbound on the Maine turnpike at 55-60 mph due to some black ice in areas. Temp was 35, conditions were clear, visibility good. After passing exit 75, without warning my VW Passat electronic parking brake engaging, causing my brakes to lock up and causing me to loose control of the vehicle, swerving side to side for approximately 50 yards. During this time, the parking brake light was flashing as well as a parking brake fault message on the dash was displayed. I was able to regain control of the vehicle and pull off to the shoulder. I put the vehicle in park, referred to my manual, which was no help. I got out of the vehicle, looked around it and then called a few people to discuss the problem. No one had ever heard of this issue before and I saw no obvious sign of error. This vehicle is equipped with an electronic parking brake button on the dash. I believe its electronic malfunction and a huge safety issue. If there would have been vehicles near mine, we would of collided. I had my daughter and her friend in the rear of the vehicle and we were all very scared during this entire incident. After 10 min of shut off, I restarted, the dash still display parking brake fault. I was able to manually disengage the braking brake. But the "fault" error on dash would not go away. I then operated the vehicle at 30-35 mph with hazards on to exit gray. I parked the vehicle at a local restaurant and turned off the vehicle for over 30 minutes. When I turned the vehicle back on the "fault" light had gone off and the vehicle seemed to be running ok. But I was unsure if I should Venture further and took route 100 back to my home in lew. The next day I did not use the vehicle and called VW on mon after noting numerous VW forums with complaints of the same safety issue. Case #[xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lewiston, ME, USA

problem #43

May 022011

Passat 4-cyl

  • miles
On multiple occasions (almost every day) I will try to start the car and it will die the show a "steering wheel lock column" on the dash board, after several tries it will eventually start and run. On several occasions I have been traveling down the interstate at the average of 60-75 mph and the car will just shut completely off. This is extremely unsafe!!! I have read this is a common error, there should be a safety recall on this issue!

- Pearl, MS, USA

problem #42

Dec 112010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 2,011 miles
Trunk has difficulty closing. Seat belt don't work properly. Airbag light along with the motor light turn on. These lights were never really fixed by the car dealer. The passenger back door does not lock most of the time leaving the car without the alarm working.

- Salinas, CA, USA

problem #41

Feb 112012

Passat 4-cyl

  • 38,046 miles
Almost home on a Saturday afternoon with the cruise control (cc) on, and it suddenly goes off - car running fine but it won't go back on cc. Checked other electrical controls at the steering wheel, and none were working - no horn, no turn signals, no w/S wipers, no lights (headlights still worked as they are always on when the engine is running). Made it safely home, and turned the engine off - but, the headlights won't go off. Tried it several times without success. Then tried to get the key out, but it would not come out so I was left with the headlights on and unable to get the key out. Disconnected the battery to get the lights off. Monday prepared to drive the car into the nearest VW dealer 35 miles away - connected the battery and started the engine, but it quit right away - tried it several times without success. Finally had the car towed to the VW dealer at my expense. VW dealer diagnosed the problem as a faulty steering module, and said the bill would be over $1,000 but that I would only have to pay for the labor. Dealer replaced the module and then found that the ignition/starter switch was faulty. Final bill came to much more than a $1,000, of which I was required to pay $382.75 if I wanted my car back.

- Maricopa, AZ, USA

problem #40

Jul 202011

Passat 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


Check engine (mil) light turned on, car all of a sudden idles at a higher RPM while we were driving!!! vehicle was taken into the dealership. Car is only under warranty for 36,000 miles or 3 years! dealership ran diagnostic, came up with: Code P0123 (throttle high input), P0299 (turbo under boost), P0456 (evap leak), P1098 (intake turning valve short to B+), code P2004 (intake runner stuck), code P3237 (intake runner basic settings). Dealer recommended intake runner motor replacement & replacement of turbo & N80 valve, also cv boot needs replacement. Total cost of repairs over $1200!!! we always take care of our vehicles and have them serviced at the dealership. Vehicle has also had defective interior parts. Interior trim (all switches - lock, window & radio are bubbling and chipping). Door panel trim (rubber is peeling). Shift knob - metallic piece on shift knob, peeled and dug into skin and caused injury. Carbon fiber dash is peeling apart. Contacted VW of America, per their customer service rep, they are unable to make any repairs due to the age and mileage of the vehicle. Car is a 2006 - 67,000 miles. Less than 5 years old. I would have never purchased a Volkswagen had I known they were not reliable vehicles. Unknowledgable sales reps, or just after customers to make a buck. Selling people unreliable vehicles and Volkswagen clearly does not take care of their customers nor do they care about customer loyalty or safety.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #39

May 052011


  • miles
I've had my 06 Passat for little under 2 years now, it was bought used from carmax and it has been horrible from the start. As other consumers have noticed I have a big problem with the key getting stuck in the ignition to the point that I have to start and stop the car at least five or more times before it will dislodge. Also, if the key isn't stuck the engine itself won't crank, also taking at least five tries before the engine will start. I have to take the car to a dealership regularly, about once every two to three months, fixing the same problems repeatedly. The check engine light is constantly on and no matter how many times I change the headlights they never last. My most recent problem has been the noises my car is making. It's like a rattling, knocking noise that has only gotten louder since taking it to the shop. The mechanic has said it would take around 3 to 4 thousand dollars to fix, which is only a small amount less than I've put into buying the car, not including the money I've been pouring into constant repairs. This is a horrible car and now that I've done some research and seen just how many other people have had the same problems I have (and more severe, potentially deadly problems in some cases) I make it my business to make sure everyone knows what a dud this car is and how VW does not care about its consumers by not doing anything to fix these ever prevalent problems.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #38

Oct 172010

Passat 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Passat, engine light will not go off, car on numerous events has staled after starting, dealer has no explaination.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #37

Jan 072011

Passat 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
I got 2006 VW Passat 2.0T - 77,000miles. Last week, I got engine light came on during the drive and went to dealership and they checked computer system then fixed air filter housing. I paid $585. I don't understand how it can break, but I don't have choice. And next day on the driving it happen again and I went to dealership again. This time they told me PCV valve was not working so another fix cost $281. Last September I did regular maintenance service and they told me everything good. But after every month it happened again and again, first problem was steering columns......I paid $485 second problem was battery........I paid $130 third problem was engine light came on I paid $585 and this time another engine light came on $281 within two day. Now I knew VW cars are pieces of junks. It is really junks.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #36

Jun 242010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 50,037 miles
1. started hearing "ticking" noise from engine 2. "ticking" became louder, slow performance 3. replaced intake cam / lifters, H.P. fuel pump, valve cover gasket and sealant, vacuum pipe to leak detection pipe (all 2 times each).

- Rosemont, PA, USA

problem #35

Nov 222010


  • 24,000 miles
I am filing a complaint regarding the stalling issues I've experienced on my 2006 Volkswagen Passat 3.6L model. The description below is a historical account of the problem and how it progressed to the current state. I first noticed the issue around 8000 miles or so where the key fob would get stuck in the ignition. After reading some posts on vwforum, I worked around the intermittent issue by clicking the gear shift 3 times to disengage the key fob from the ignition. Around 24K mile or so, I noticed the stalling issue immediately after the car was started. This problem was intermittent as well and seemed to occur during extreme weather conditions - cold or hot. At this time, the error 'steering column failure' would register intermittently. Around 60K the problem progressed and the frequency of occurrence increased. I reported the issue to the dealership and they were not able to reproduce the issue. Looking back at the multiple blogs and forums on this topic, I believe the dealership should have been familiar enough with the issue that further research into the problem would have been warranted. I was not aware of the widespread issue at the time and did not insist on having the dealer research the issue while the car was still in warranty. The inspection fee was enough to deter me from pushing further specially if the problem could not be reproduced. Currently, at 88K miles, the problem of stalling when starting can be reproduced at will. There is a workaround posted on the same VW forums of specific steps to start the car that I'm currently using. Otherwise, the car does not start and the errors 'steering column failure 'immobilzer defective' is displayed consistently. We also experienced two instances of the car stalling while driving on the freeway. I believe this is caused by the same immobilizer error caused by the steering column failure as the two errors displayed when trying to restart. This is a serious and life threatening issue.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #34

Nov 172010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 55,328 miles
The problem that I am having with my 2006 Volkswagen Passat is that while I am driving the car shuts down completely. This has happened to me about five times this year. It has almost caused me to be in two accidents and to have to quickly pull off the road. The dealer wants me to pay $1,700 to repair it.

- West Babylon, NY, USA

problem #33

Nov 042010


  • 66,222 miles
2006 Volkswagen Passat - "steering column lock defective " error message. 1. car will not start immediately; sometimes up to 20 minutes after initiating the starting procedure. 2. failure occurs several times a week. Consequence for first incident was a lost contract for an independent consulting position. Car is currently out of service requiring me to use public transportation and/or walk to work and appointments. 3. issue has not been corrected. Car is currently out of service.

- Ashland, KY, USA

problem #32

Nov 092010


  • 75,000 miles
My car is 2006 VW Passat - 2.0T. Around 60,000miles, car became increasingly harder to start. But it works. And at 75,000miles it looks like the battery died and "steering column lock" is defective. So I talked to the dealership service guy, he told me the battery had low voltage. So I changed, but it happened same problem with new battery. I don't know what happened only my car or other VW also has same problem. I have 73,000 miles, I did it regular maintenance service, after that the car wasn't the same because wheel side had more noise but I trusted dealership. Dealership didn't say anything, so I thought everything was ok. But the same problem happened. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #31

Mar 102010


  • 31,000 miles
2006 VW Passat "defective steering column lock" warning sign and the car won't start at once.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

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