definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,189 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2006 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #17

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 #16

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 #15

Jul 122010


  • 50,000 miles
When braking or idle, my 2006 VW Passat (3.6L) will idle at an increased RPM (just less than 1000, typically it is at 600-700 when running correctly). This will make the car difficult to brake and hold stopped and has almost resulted in a accident numerous times. The car will continue to idle at this higher RPM until you begin driving again and the problem will likely occur at the next traffic light. The only solution for when this happens is to put the car in neutral. It is very difficult to hold down the brake pedal under this increased engine idle and makes it difficult to bring the car to a stop. The problem seems to be extremely frequent when under hot temperatures or when the ac is being run. This has been ongoing for years but they have been unable to fix it. There are other reports of this happening from other drivers.

- Natick, MA, USA

problem #14

May 102010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles


2006 VW Passat 2.0T. 53,000 miles. Transmission makes hard knock when downshifting on coming to a stop after freeway type travel. This is becoming more frequent. If this continues, I am expecting the cv joints or transmission to fail. Have reported this to dealer on four occasions, and they are unable to diagnose or fix it.

- Phoenixville, PA, USA

problem #13

Oct 132008

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,742 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 30 to 35 mph on normal road conditions; proceeding from a traffic signal with pressure applied to the accelerator pedal there was no power. There were several attempts before the vehicle was able to resume normal operation. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 8,742. Updated 3/8/10 the consumer stated the vehicle would hesitate and then stall. The ignition was replaced as well.

- Earlton , NY, USA

problem #12

May 132008


  • 4 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Volkswagen jetta. When idling on an incline, the vehicle lunges backwards several feet. The only way to stop the vehicle from rolling backwards is to apply excessive pressure to the accelerator pedal to offset the steady decline. The dealer stated that this was a common failure due to a potential design flaw with the combination manual and automatic transmission. A permanent remedy has not yet been discovered. The contact called the manufacturer and was referred to NHTSA. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 4 and current mileage was 40,000.

- Cornwall Bridge, CT, USA

problem #11

May 012008


  • 15,000 miles


I have a 2006 VW Passat 3.6L. During the summer months or during hot days I turn on my A/C to high. When I do this occasionally, my cars engine will race and the RPM's will shoot up from about 600 to around 900-1000. This idle raise causes the car to surge forward thus making me the driver have to really push hard on the brake to stop the vehicle from moving forward. I understand that is what brakes are for, but I have almost been in 3 or 4 minor fender benders because of this. I am conscious of this on a daily basis in phoenix. I know others are having this problem and there is a recall out for some of the newer Passat vehicles, but none for my 2006. I must stress this happens all the time when the A/C is on high and during the hotter times of the year.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #10

Oct 312006


  • 1,700 miles
I bought a car brand new and ever since 1700 miles it's been having electrical problems. First it started with windows not wanting to roll up, they'd roll down first then up. My radio was stuck on loud and would not turn off or down or change radio stations. The parking brake (electrical) engaged on me while I was driving on the freeway, a hose came undone at 18K miles on the freeway and caused heavy convulsing. The steering wheel lock randomly had "errors", the airbag has "errors", the transmission downshifted very rough which made me jolt in the car and started making my neck sore. For every incident my car has been to the dealer to be fixed, they fix the problem and a new one happens a week later. I am a valet and other VW owners say the same things happen to their cars. So I know I have a legit complaint here.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #9

Apr 282008


  • miles
Leased 2006 VW Passat in Nov 05. It's been to the shop 12 times although the local VW rep admits only 4 or 5. it's been towed in 3 times and would have been 4 if we had not finally gotten it jumped off as of yesterday. The key became stuck in the ignition and would not release or crank vehicle once. Internal problem with a sensor on another occasion and had to be in shop over 1 week. Experienced what seemed to be transmission failure and had to be towed on another. Dealership claimed it was a gas filter or sensor and took over a week to repair. Hose problem on another occasion; gas sensor on another (wrong sensor actually installed). Internal problem on another occasion and part had to be ordered. It arrived timely but tool to complete repair had to be ordered from germany. Two weeks in shop on that occasion. The brakes also rust over and screech if you don't drive it for a couple of days and it rains. Unk if it causes any danger in stopping. The check engine light and service now indicators come on at random and on a regular basis but we've been told on more than one occasion there are no "codes" to explain.

- Lake View, AL, USA

problem #8

Jul 232007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,244 miles
When the car is traveling approximated 2-10 mph, the automatic transmission accelerates and brakes as the automobile bucks a few times. Their is a loud thunking noise and then goes back to normal. From time to time the car gets stuck in 2nd gear, which forces me to pull over and restart the engine. Windows are supposedly automatic up and down, but don't work properly 50% of the time. Rear back speaker plays intermittently. When parking and shutting down engine, the emergency brakes turn on and off. The engine key is getting stuck in the ignition. Overall issues seem to be electrical or computer related. I have taken back to dealer twice in the last 6 moths and the problems keep building.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #7

Aug 272007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,923 miles


My 2006 Passat 3.6 has had problems shifting in sports mode.. transmission will get stuck in 1st gear and not shift into 2nd.. the rev limiter will keep in because RPM's jump over 7,000.. not only is this going to cause transmission problems but it will also cause engine damage since RPM's are above normal and hit the red area(not safe)..

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #6

Aug 222007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,800 miles
My 2006 Passat 3.6 has problems when pressing gas pedal.. vehicle seems to have a delay when pushing peddle.. you can push pedal down 1/4 way before vehicle even jumps RPM's.. vehicle will then just jump forward.. this has caused me to almost get into 3 or 4 accidents because I have pulled out and car just sits there then will just take off.. vehicle was at dealership and had update done but this didn't help my problem.. update caused me to now have same problem but also have shifting problem..

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #5

Sep 172007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,601 miles
My 2006 Passat 3.6 has shifting problems when down shifting from 2nd to 1st.. car sounds like sledge hammer hitting under hood when down shifting.. this has happened 6 times now when coming to a stop from high speeds.. this will cause car to push forward when problems starts.. could cause accident.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #4

Jun 082007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
Hard shift in 6 speed VW passat2006 when you come to a stop from high speed 50-60)mph. It feels like sledge hammer hits the car. VW says they don't have an answer for it and they are working on it. I don't feel safe driving it. Please help.

- Greenwood, IN, USA

problem #3

Jun 202006

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles
2006 Volkswagen Passat 3.6L hesitated from a slow rolling. When slowing but not stopping the car completely, the car hesitated when the throttle was applied. When throttle input was realized the car may lurched forward unexpectedly. This appeared to be a combination engine / transmission issue, but may be more related to the transmission not being in the correct gear. Volkswagen issued a programming update for the ECU in October 2006, which reduced, but did not eliminate the problem. The incident date really did not N apply as this was a constant problem.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #2

Jun 202006

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
2006 Volkswagen Passat 3.6L fwd automatic. Hesitation from a slow roll. When slowing but not stopping the car completely the car hesitated when the throttlewas applied. When throttle inputwas realized the car lurch ed forward unexpectedly. This appeared to be a combination of engine / transmission issue but may be more related to the transmission not being in the correct gear. Volkswagen issued a programming update for the ECU in Oct 2006, which reduced, but did not eliminate the problem. The incident date really did not apply as this was a constant problem.

- New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #1

Mar 012006

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
There is an unsafe prolonged hesitation when depressing the accelerator pedal on the 2006 Volkswagen Passat 3.6 liter 4 motion. When depressing the accelerator pedal, nothing happens until you've depressed the pedal approx. 3/4 to an inch of pedal travel, then all of a sudden, the car lurches and accelerates at what feels like half to full throttle. It is a random hesitation, yet occurs at probably 30% of the time. It is most noticeable when starting from a stop, yet will happen on the highway, if accelerating to pass. This is a very dangerous malfunction. If this abrupt acceleration occurs in snowy or icy conditions, it could cause a loss of control. I have experienced several times, when I expected my car to move forward when I depressed the gas pedal, only to have it hesitate and nearly cause an accident. This car has a drive by wire accelerator, which I believe is a fairly recent design change. We have another car with the same type of system which does not do this. I have read 2 new car reviews that have mentioned this problem with this particular model. After taking delivery, I called to tell the service department of this problem. After trying to convince me that this was "normal", they took my car in to try to resolve the problem. It was there for 10 days, during which time 2 engineers came out from Volkswagen to look at the car. They agreed that there was something amiss, and felt that they needed a software update installed. There was not one available, and I was told on March 30th that it would be ready within 30 days. It has now been 3 months since then, and multiple phone calls later, a fix is still not ready. I have been told that it is ready, but waiting government approval, and then told that nothing is ready. No one at Volkswagen customer service has been able to give me an estimated time when my car can be repaired. There is really no "incident" to report, other than an unsafe malfunction which needs to be corrected.

- Burton, OH, USA

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