hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,028 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.

2009 Volkswagen Passat engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Dec 032016


  • 100,000 miles


There is a latent defect in the tensioner system of the timing chain that can cause the chain to ┐jump a tooth┐ in the vehicle's camshaft, which causes serious and sometimes fatal damage to the engine. Unfortunately the defect is impossible for car owners to discover, but Audi and Volkswagen knew of the tensioner system problem since at least June 2010. Normally, the timing chain is meant to function perfectly for at least 120,000 miles. Because the system is not on the schedule for recommended maintenance from the manufacturers. However, with the defective tensioner, the timing chain frequently fails well before that mark, but often after the warranty has expired. This issue caused my engine to have catastrophic engine failure.

- Miami Springs, FL, USA

problem #27

Jul 042016


  • miles
2009 Volkswagen Passat timing belt/chain tensioner problem in July 2016 my mother-in-law was leaving work, when she tried starting the car it didn┐T started. Someone in the parking volunteered to help her. They decided to jump start the car with a jump box, the car started and she made it home. Once she got home she tried to start the car and it did not start. She is a single mother and do not make a lot of money to fix her car, after a month and half of the car been park at home and taking rides from whoever can take her, we decided to get a mechanic that works for VW dealership. He came and fully checked the car and told us that the timing chain/belt jumped and that engine it's out of time, which it could have been caused from a bad tensioner. He said this is a real bad issue that could cause the valve to be bended. He gave us an expensive price to fix the car, so we decided to wait and be patience and be optimistic that it wasn┐T that since my mother in law doesn┐T have the money to fix it. A month later we decided to get other mechanics to get different opinions, they all said it was the same issue. One of the mechanics came and checked the pressure of the engine and it stay on 0 and that's when he confirmed that valves are bended. I have checked about this problem on the internet and many people are complaining about the same issue and VW knows about this issue for some time, I also see there is a lawsuit going on this issue. I can┐T believe and it should not be acceptable that VW knowing of this problem, it's not doing anything about fixing this problem. This issue could cause varieties of accident on the street, because if this issue happens to anybody on the street driving, it could lock the engine and cause the person lose control of the vehicle and either hit or get hit by somebody.

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #26

Aug 242016


  • 69,000 miles
My wife was driving the car to the airport and stopped at the cell phone waiting area. Tried to start again and car didn't start. Changed the battery with aaa and still didn't start. Towed it to dealer. They said the timing chain tensioner failed and it completely damaged the engine. Engine needs to be replaced which costs about $7K. I have checked about this problem in internet and many people are complaining about the same issue and VW knows about this issue for some time. As this can happen in middle of the traffic and can cause a fatal accident, we request you to investigate and make Volkswagen recall and replace this part. Also, VW should take responsibility for the failed part and the repairs caused due to this part as it knows about this and ignored. I also see there is a lawsuit going on this issue. Check the link www.carcomplaints.com/news/2016/Volkswagen-timing-chain-tensioner-lawsuit.shtml VW really should be more responsible to avoid serious accidents

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #25

Apr 082016


  • 90,000 miles


I bought this car used and from the moment I took it of the lot 13 months ago I have been having problems. The care will stop, shake. I have already had it check 3 times and repaired twice. Fuel pump has been changed twice and I am having the same problem again. This is a huge safety hazard if I am on the expressway and no warning take place which could lead to a major accident. According to what I have read this make and model have had many issues and volkswagon has not resolved the situation. Help!

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #24

Mar 052016


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Passat. While the vehicle was parked and while driving various speeds, the vehicle accelerated independently without the accelerator pedal being depressed. In addition, the contact noticed engine oil leaking from underneath the vehicle. The check engine warning light illuminated. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the rear main engine seal needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 88,000.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #23

Jan 182016


  • 76,000 miles
My car has 76000 miles and is otherwise in excellent condition. I just got a check engine light, and after replacing the PCV valve, and I was told by my mechanic that the rear main engine seal is leaking. The car is out of warranty at this point and now I have to spend almost $1000 in repairs. This is something that should be covered by VW warranty, as there are so many cases of this exact failure at the same amount of miles.

- West Hempstead, NY, USA

problem #22

Nov 032015


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was able to be restarted, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #21

May 092015


  • 53,500 miles
Purchased this vehicle used. I have had it for two years now. Problems encountered: Burning smell, driver side flood light blew out or came off; shaking momentarily while driving, driver side mirror flew off while making a left turn; noticed when I had an oil change last of January or first part of February the vehicle was using quite a bit of oil. I put about five or more quarts in by May. The latter part of may it used two quarts in two weeks. Went shopping Saturday before mother's day, parked the car at food lion when I came back out, I tried to start the car and it stalled. When it did start, the vehicle was shaking. I took the car home, checked the oil along with my brother and it needed more oil. I put two more quarts in. On Monday I was at the dealership at 6:40 a.M. (woke them up). After checking the car, their finding was it needed a fuel pump and a sensor; later they replaced two crank sensors and said the car is still shaking; then after approximately a week and a half, I called the service manager and he informed me the car needs a engine. Friday, May 22, I went by the dealership and picked up some things out of the automobile and was told the warranty company finally gave in and the motor will be in, in three days. Well, after reading the horror stories about the 2009 Passat on this website. I plan to trade this vehicle without delay, as soon as they release it to me. I am sadden, because I really loved this vehicle. I have been reluctant to drive this car out of town, and now I am afraid to drive it to work which is 30 mile a day plus or at all. I do not feel safe in it, and I pay to much to be having all these problems. Who knows what will be next.

- Elgin, SC, USA

problem #20

Dec 012014


  • 90,000 miles
Main rear bearing seal failure, sudden loss of power, burning smell from under car, $1,700 repair.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #19

Feb 222015

Passat 4-cyl

  • 74,568 miles
2009 VW Passat 2.0T. Oil leaking from rear main seal. Rear main seal failed at about 75,000 miles, not covered under warranty. First indication was oil spot on driveway and then check engine light came on. Inspected bottom of engine and it was coated with oil. The PCV valve failed and caused rear main seal to rupture and shoot oil (and possibly gas vapors) all over bottom of hot engine. Although nothing ignited in this case, began to question if some of the other fire incidents listed on NHTSA site were possibly caused by similar condition. Failure of approx. $40 part caused approx. $1700 in damage- all out of warranty. Warranty is for 5 years/60,000 miles. No maintenance data available to owner indicated that PCV valve should be checked as part of scheduled maintenance. VW leadership declined to accept any responibility for situation.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #18

Jan 302015

Passat 4-cyl

  • 73,580 miles


2009 VW Passat 2.0T. Oil leaking from rear main seal. Rear main seal failed at about 70,000 miles, not covered under warranty. First indication was smell of burning. Shortly before this failed, the PCV valve failed - also out of warranty. Warranty is for 5 years/60,000 miles.

- Elverson, PA, USA

problem #17

Dec 262014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 50,800 miles
Initial failure occurred while accelerating onto main thoroughfare. Vehicle lost all engine power and stalled out. Vehicle was send to VW dealer for repair where some warranty repairs were made as well as preventative maintenance that was advised. The car was returned as "repaired" and after driving home experienced the exact same failure while the car was idling in the driveway. Car was returned again and experienced the same failure a second time while I was traveling on I275 in detroit. The car stalled out and I again lost all power. I was forced to the side of the road where the car then failed to start. I was forced to sit for three hours in 20 degree weather with a twice in 2 weeks repaired issue as my car was buried in snow on the interstate. This is a major safety hazard!

- New Hudson, MI, USA

problem #16

Nov 252014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
After being driven for a short time our 2009 VW Passat was parked in our garage. No signs of any problems when driver went inside the house. About 15-20 minutes after being parked noise was heard from garage and at that time intense smoke and fire from front of vehicle was discovered. Before help could arrive front of car was completely on fire and nearby materials in garage were ignited. Car was considered total loss along with extensive damage to inside of garage. Fire department attributed the cause of fire as "car engine/electrical". fortunately, ,there were no personal injuries but significant property damage..

- Marshfield, WI, USA

problem #15

Dec 092014


  • 48,500 miles
I was stopped at a red light and smoke with the distinct fire smell started pouring out of my hood. I had to run the red light to get off of the street where I ended up in a big parking lot. I raised the hood and saw heavy smoke and small flames. I grabbed my phone and took a picture and then ran and got water to put the fire out. This will cost me a 500 dollar deductible and the potential for my insurance company to raise my rates. I am so pissed to find out this is a recurring issue! I am glad I was driving instead of my wife with our kids in the car! VW the fight is now on! I was wondering why my service adviser new exactly what caused the fire. A 27 dollar part failed and caused a couple of grand in damage.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #14

May 142014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
The car suddenly has 50% or less power and begins stumbling very badly. Acceleration is so poor that it's quite dangerous in heavy traffic and the ability to pull off the road is severely hampered. The only way I'm able to keep the car moving and running is to use the manual feature of the automatic transmission and keep the RPM's very high. The four coil packs in the car were replaced this spring. Suddenly, the same exact problem is back again 4 months later. Codes were random misifre and multiple misfires at various cylinders. Strange that all four packs go out at the same time...." that's not logical unless is something other than normal wear causing the issue. This problem has occurred twice and both time it begins in the middle of heavy traffic where the situation is very dangerous as the power loss is nearly complete. Both times were under acceleration when the heavy stumbling occurred. I turned the car off and disconnected the battery for 5 min. To hopefully reset the cars epc as the problem is so sudden it almost certainly is electrical. There is no logical explanation for four coil packs all needing to be replaced at the same time and 4 months after the last replacement..." undoubtedly a consistently dangerous situation.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #13

Jul 282014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 57,555 miles
I stopped at a stop sign, the car accelerated normally and after a few minutes the engine sputtered, the check engine light illuminated, and the battery light illuminated. The engine quit. Attempts to restart the engine failed. I was located at an intersection and pushed the car off to the side of the road. I attempted to restart the engine and noticed an aroma of burning plastic. I opened the hood and there was smoke emanating under the top engine cover, top LH side viewed from the front to the rear. Upon further investigation I noticed that there was a fire under the cover. I removed the cover and extinguished the fire. The #1 ignition coil harness was melted from the fire and associated fire damage was noted on the inside of the engine cover above the engine coil location. I had the vehicle towed to the local dealership and they confirmed that the failure of the #1 engine coil was the cause of the fire. I reported the incident in detail to the Volkswagen America customer support as soon as I returned home. Vehicle is currently undergoing repairs to replace the defective items. I was told there were no current recalls in effect. I went to the NHTSA website and found that this issue has been previously investigated and no recall was issued at the time. I felt obligated to report this incident as it pertains to public safety.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #12

Jul 072014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
My vehicle's check engine light came on and stayed on for several days, and the engine started running abnormally, so I took it to a mechanic. The mechanic discovered that the intake manifold needed to be replaced, in addition to other work on the engine and fuel system. I found out that Volkswagen had issued an extended warranty for the intake manifold and fuel injectors of my vehicle's engine. However, although my engine was of the exact same type included in the extended warranty, Volkswagen claimed I was not eligible for warranty replacement since my vehicle's VIN was not included on the extended warranty list. Considering that my vehicle has been well maintained and is only about 5 years old, I believe that the intake manifold problem is related to the problem that resulted in the warranty extension, and my vehicle should be included in the warranty extension. Updated 02/12/15

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #11

Jul 062011

Passat 4-cyl

  • 30,182 miles
For the last 4 years, I've been dealing with major mechanical and non-mechanical issues with my Volkswagen (VW) Passat 2009, which I bought brand new in 2008. VW's mechanics found that my car had defective parts in it, which were there from the time I bought it. I have had so many problems with the car that I don't trust it, even though VW's mechanics said they've either fixed or replaced the bad parts, but each time I've taken it in for repairs in the past, I've had the same parts repaired or replaced over and over. A summary of these issues: - rear side window sunscreen hook - replaced due to falling out " year 2009 - rear windshield sunscreen - replaced because it had broken ? year 2011 - engine fault - car died and running roughly ever since ? year 2011 - engine light coming on 4 times ? years 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 - driver?S door lock - had stopped locking ? year 2012 - engine cover - screws fell out of the rear of engine cover ? year 2012 - 2 water pumps - replaced due to coolant draining completely out of the reservoir ? years 2012 & 2013 - knob to adjust side mirrors came off and now unable to adjust side mirrors " year 2013 I have paid nearly $40,000 to date on this defective vehicle and VW doesn't seem to care how many times I've been put in harms way and inconvenienced. I also have relatives and associates who've had problems with their similar model vws too, so I know I can't be the only one who has had these mechanical issues with a VW in the us. I feel there should be an investigation into VW Corp. Of some sort by government officials to uncover the defective construction of my car and others, so all of us who've suffered through this will be redeemed in some way and future consumers will be safer by VW improving their vehicles' construction.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #10

Mar 062014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Pulled into garage and park after coming home from work. Car started on fire 10 minutes later. The car burned completely along with garage.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #9

Oct 152012


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated while driving 50 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The dealer confirmed that the manifold, cam shaft, and throttle body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the problem persisted. The VIN was not available. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 87,000.

- Bravora, TX, USA

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