hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,555 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #85

Jan 072011


  • 78,700 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Volkswagen Passat 346. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph the front end of the vehicle started shaking making it impossible for him to control the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop who stated that the left tie rod arm knot became loose. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted but they refused to honor the recall ( 05V540000) since the VIN was not included. The failure and current mileages were 78,700.

- Imperial Beach , CA, USA

problem #84

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 #83

Dec 042010

Passat 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
I own a 2006 VW Passat 3.6, engine died suddenly after pulling out across a 45mph state route, after engine failed, there was no steering or brakes, had to push car out of traffic with my 2 young sons inside. Young VW, easton pa. Stated the failure as a oil pump bolt that had backed out and sheared off, causing the catastrophic engine failure. After some research I found 58 failure of this type of this same year and engine, at: forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?3462993-attn-3.6L-owners-has-your-engine-failed, - this is clearly an issue VW was aware of several years ago, as evidenced by the replacement or repair of so many, 58+ engines that I can document, and chooses not to recognize the issue, I believe due to financial reasons as this fix is $3,000 in labor alone. I contacted vwoa, (ref. # [xxx]) and VW ag, (,ref. No.: [xxx]) with this issue and neither had recognized this as a known issue, my vehicle is out of warranty, and VW estimated the repair at $12,800 for a rebuilt engine. Aside from being abusively expensive, this failure should not be allowed to occur randomly, in traffic or anywhere creating a very unsafe and life threatening situation, vwoa should be well aware of these potential problems with this year engine, by the many they have replaced or fixed and should make the public aware and effect a fix to prevent a loss of life due to this known engine defect. My VIN # [xxx], 2006 VW Passat 3.6L 4motion. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Walnutport, PA, USA

problem #82

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 #81

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 #80

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 #79

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 #78

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

problem #77

Aug 152009


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 75 mph, the vehicle stalled. The contact pulled over but the vehicle would not restart after several attempts. Then a steering column light illuminated. After ten more attempts, the vehicle restarted; the contact took the vehicle to the dealer where the contact was informed that the steering column modular needed to be replaced. The failure was intermittent and became progressively worse. The key also became stuck in the ignition because of the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 56,000 and the current mileage was approximately 90,000.

- Clinton, MD, USA

problem #76

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 #75

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 #74

Sep 302010


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated the ignition would only start after several attempts. The "steering wheel lock defective" message lluminated on the instrument panel intermittently. The failure occurred seven times. The dealer was notified of the failures and the contact was informed that there was not a problem if the warning indicator did not remain illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 38,000.

- Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #73

Oct 132010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
I had a steering wheel lock defective warning light come up in my car, the car also would not start. After numerous attempts, it started. I called my dealer and he said he had no knowledge of the car having this problem. Volkswagen of american too had no knowledge of this problem. I googled the problem online and found thousands of people having this problem no only here in the states but all over the whole where the car was sold. My car only had the warning and the no start problem. But many others were complaining that the car would shut down while traveling at a high rate of speed. I can't believe Volkswagen won't acknowledge the problem. My car is a 2006 Passat with only 38,000 miles. Something should be done here.

- Winter Park , FL, USA

problem #72

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 #71

Apr 052010


  • 55,000 miles
VW, 2006 Passat, now has a "steering column defect" warning, and the car doesn't start. The car has 60,000 miles on it, and this started just after the 50,000 mile warranty expired. The car also stalls at high speed when this light comes on without warning, and can cause a serious accident. The car also has a problem with downshifting when on the highway, and slams into low gear as though the car hit something. The dealer cannot find the problem when the car is put on the diagnostic computer. I have read many other complaints on the internet about these same issues with the 2006 Passat, and found that the fix for the steering column alone costs between $1400 and $2000. Because this appears to be a factory defect, and it is a safety issue, I wanted to report it as such. Although there hasn't been an accident caused in my case, the potential for disaster is huge. I'm afraid to drive the car, because this is a recurring problem, and can happen at any time.

- Fairhaven, MA, USA

problem #70

Aug 122010


  • 72,000 miles
My daughter owns a 2006 Volkswagen Passat. Recently the key box, has not always worked to start the car. It has become very undependable. I took it to my mechanic and he checked everything and could find nothing wrong. He thought it might be the chip in the key that had a problem and maybe the key needed to be reprogrammed. She starting using her other key and there was no problem for a few weeks. Called about having the key reprogrammed and the local Volkswagen dealership in braintree thought it wasn't the problem. The car wouldn't start again and took the car back to the mechanic and googled the problem and discovered many websites where there were descriptions of the same problem and all when the car had just gone past the warranty and all were attributed to the steering column locking up. All were solved if the owners were willing to pay $1500-$2000 to replace the steering column. This has been going on for years according to the information I read. I think this is outrageous. The car only has 72,000 miles and is only 4 years old. In the process of contacting the main Volkswagen office to complain, but according to all the people and sites I found on the web, they were of no help.

- Hanover, MA, USA

problem #69

Sep 012010


  • 98,000 miles
2006 VW Passat 2.0 turbo difficult to start taking several tries. Steering colum lock immobilizer activated code shown. Vehicle will now not start at all. Called dealership and informed of steering column failure need to be replaced at $1800.

- Keokuk, IA, USA

problem #68

Sep 152010


  • 65,000 miles
I have a 2006 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T with 65,000 miles on it. For the past several days I've been receiving several error messages from the hud / heads-up display: "defective steering column lock" and "immobilizer active". this is always accompanied by the car firing for a few seconds and then stalling out. Attempting to start the car again immediately only results in a strange and loud on/off "clicking" type sound (as if it's trying to unlock the steering wheel and failing to do so). Waiting 2-3 minutes and trying again usually seems to do the trick, but today the car wouldn't start at all. Had to have it towed to the dealer and have the entire steering column replaced-- nearly $2000 in repairs. Of course, curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to research into this a bit more. Turns out there are literally hundreds of thousands of posts online of VW customers having the exact same problem with the exact same year and model. It's sort of insulting, especially learning that VW initiated a recall in ireland for the same issue, just not in the United States. This has class-action law suit written all over it. Obviously I was not harmed by this defect, but I can see how it *could* harm somebody, and read of several other victims who have had this happen in the middle of rush hour traffic. It's only a matter of time. It's just sad that it takes something as awful as personal injury, death or property damage before somebody steps up and takes action. This is not right...

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #67

Feb 032010


  • 70,000 miles
All of a sudden car would not start, would try over and over and it would finally start. Eventually it would not start at all. Was told I had a defective steering column. Was also told that there would likely be a recall and I would be reimbursed the $2000 I had to spend to get it fixed.

- Olive Branch, MS, USA

problem #66

Jul 212010


  • miles
The car will occasionally, yet sporadically, not start. The key gets stuck in the ignition. The car sounds like it is going to start but it stalls. The error message sometimes says steering wheel lock defective. This happens at all times of the day, including when I leave from work. The car was taken to the dealership once before the warranty ran out and once after and they could not diagnose the problem.

- North Brunswick, NJ, USA

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