hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,733 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.

2012 Volkswagen Passat fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2012 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #20

Sep 262016


  • 77,500 miles


I have a 2012 VW Passat tdi vehicle with 78,000 miles as of October 124, 2016. It is effected by the tdi emissions issue and qualifies under the court settlement that has yet to be approved. The issue I have is that I took the car to the dealer about 1 month ago because the check engine light was on. I was told that the ad blue heater which scrubs nox (albeit not very well) from the exhaust needs to be replaced for $1,100. I did some research and came to find out that apparently this has happened hundreds of times to tdi owners especially 2012 models. It is my understanding the failure is a function of time not mileage and has been corrected in newer models. It is ironic that even after paying the $1,100 my car is still out of emissions compliance! I request that VW be forced to do a recall and reimburse owners regardless of the vehicles mileage for this repair.

- Bedminster, NJ, USA

problem #19

Oct 182012


  • miles
Vehicle stumbles and hesitates during cold starts and clears up after approx 10 minutes. Consistently occurs daily essentially since vehicle was purchased. Issue was brought up a couple of times to dealer, but they indicated nothing was wrong and no errors seen in computer. There are several blogs online from hundreds of owners complaining of this issue and Volkswagen appears to not be resolving the issue. The concern is bucking, chocking and hesitation becomes a safety issue especially if you need to speed up to avoid a vehicle or crossing intersections when vehicle is cold...safety is a concern and has been....I did bring the vehicle to the dealer again and left with dealer for 1 week...they claimed the techn found no issue....when I picked vehicle up it immediately had hesitation, jerky bucking issue....not acceptable.

- Hinsdale, IL, USA

problem #18

Sep 082016


  • 61,000 miles
Mechanic found a code for a defective adblue level sensor after I took the vehicle in to check the reason for the engine light illumination. They removed the adblue tank and installed an update kit. Yes, update kit, which tells me Volkswagen knows there is a widespread problem with the original level sensor equipment. Final cost of the repair: $1053.51. This should be an extended warranty item, or recall.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #17

Jul 082016


  • 454,031 miles


Ad blue reductant tank failed. Thus making the emissions system not work properly. Part # 561-198-970-a is defective. The same failure occurred on my 2013 Passat within less than a month. This is a known defect from VW. Here is a link to a thread on the extent of these failures. forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?T=438268

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #16

Feb 242015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 25 mph, a squeaking noise was heard when the brake pedal was depressed. In addition, a strong odor of fuel was present inside the vehicle; however, there was no fuel visible on the ground. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the cause of the failure could not be located. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Stratford, CT, USA

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problem #15

Dec 032015


  • 96,800 miles
Gas gauge was not reading full when taken to gas station, although gas dispenser clicked off as full. Happened many times at different gas stations. Took my car in to VW dealership. They stated that gas vent was not working not allowing my car to fill completely. They stated they had to replace gas tank, ~ $2000. Don't have the money to repair. They stated it was not a safety situation"?"

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 152014


  • 50,000 miles


Vehicle developed a, " loss of power" issue at approximately 1.5 years ago around 50,000 miles. It usually occurs within the first 10- 15 minutes after cold start up and when vehicle is traveling between 10 and 40 mph. The vehicle will be operating normally, then instantly lose power and start shuddering. When merging onto a highway on numerous occasions since then, the sudden loss of power has nearly caused me to be struck by other vehicles. Along with loss of power, there has been a noticeable odor of diesel fuel which comes from the observed fuel pooling on the top of the engine. This is a fire hazard only waiting to happen. I will not let any other members of my family drive this vehicle for fear of their safety. Manufacturer dealer has been able to duplicate the issue but not resolve it. The manufacturer engineering and technical dept has been involved but still not able to solve after 1.5 years and numerous shop visits.

- Hull, MA, USA

problem #13

Sep 012015


  • 61,000 miles
Nox sensor malfunctioned out of range code. Was quoted 655 dollars to replace. Nox sensors are not required by federally mandated 80K emissions warranty so VW won't include voluntarily. One week after having this fixed, the check engine light turns on again with code P203B, redactant level range/performance. Speaking a few times with technicians at the dealership, this likely means the replacement of the ad blue heater unit and tank which is over 1000 dollars. Again, not covered under warranty.

- Dexter, MI, USA

problem #12

Jul 292015


  • 84,240 miles
The tdi high pressure fuel pump failed and as a result, also caused the gas line and fuel injectors to fail because metal was sent through the car. The car died in the middle of an intersection and will no longer turn on.

- Gilbert , AZ, USA

problem #11

Jun 012015


  • 84,000 miles
The high pressure fuel pump failed, causing the engine to stop running.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #10

Jun 092015


  • 50,050 miles


On 6-9-15 this diesel vehicle would not start. Mileage is approximate as I do not have the vehicle (it is at the dealer). Taken to VW of North attleboro, MA for diagnosis and repair. Dealer stated fuel was contaminated and cleaned out fuel lines and replaced filter. Dealer stated vehicle still would still not start. Dealer then stated they investigated fuel down-line of filter and found contaminated fuel in the common fuel distribution rail just before the fuel injectors. Dealer stated they did not retain the fuel filter which would have shown a filter breach/rupture that allowed the contaminated fuel to go beyond the filter causing this additional mischief. Request further investigation of VW Passat diesel fuel filters and the fuel filtration system that may cause sudden engine failure because of passing through contaminated fuel, rather than filtering as it should which would cause a slower decrease in engine power because of restricted fuel flow. The whole purpose of diesel fuel filtration is to prevent introduction into critical engine components contaminates often found in diesel fuel. Dealer estimates repair cost of $7,236.25, the bulk of which is for damage to critical engine components downstream of the diesel fuel filter resulting in sudden engine stoppage. This vehicle was refueled only at diesel fuel stations for which receipts were obtained, so no gasoline or other improper fuel was introduced into this vehicle.

- Norton, MA, USA

problem #9

Apr 152015

Passat 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The check engine light came on and I had codes read. The code was P205C and this indicates the emissions adblue heater and sensor had a problem. The unit (heater and sensor) in the adblue tank is a non serviceable unit and must be replaced. Over $750 to replace. All the efficiency of tdi just went up in smoke. Happened at 4,000 miles past warranty and dealer had no help even though a lot of tdi's are having identical problems. Seems to be a defect in design, many many tdi's are having the same problem.

- Celina, TX, USA

problem #8

Aug 132012

Passat 4-cyl

  • 13 miles
This vehicle has stalled periodically (once a month?) at low speeds every since I purchased it new in (August?) 2012. Often the stall occurs at times in traffic when oncoming traffic makes it dangerous. I love this car, but this problem has often motivated me to sell it. It is a diesel. I have read online that this is possibly caused by diesel fuel contaminated with gasoline or other material. Some think it is caused by the Bosch high pressure fuel pump.

- Mequon, WI, USA

problem #7

Oct 092014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
Following a 40K service for my 2012 Passat tdi my wife called me and said when she pushed the start button, it took an extra try before it started. I dismissed this as I thought maybe she didn't have her foot all the way down on the brake. Then later in the week she said it took 4 pushes of the button before the car would start. I told her next time video tape the issue. The following week her car broke down at the mall - nothing would work. When I got there, I played with the parking lever, no good. Then I put in neutral and the car started. I drove to VW and they said the clean all the connecters on the start/stop switch and didn't see issue as car was working fine, but would order new switch and cover for me. The next day the car did it again, and I video taped the incident as well to share with the dealer. Again, it started in neutral. I took a chance and went out again that evening figuring this neutral thing would work and guess, what - was completely stuck after the dealer told me the issue was repaired and the replacement of the part was just precautionary. The car has been in shop for a week. They changed the switch this morning and guess that didn't resolve the issue. They are now ordering a hpfp!!!! I know it is possible that 2 issues could have been going on, but the whole time I told them I didn't think the switch made sense. Anyway, chalk up another hpfp for VW. Frustrated customer!

- Garden City, NY, USA

problem #6

Sep 192014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 36,900 miles
Engine light came on at 36900 miles, 900 miles passed the manufacture warranty. The error code read: P205C (reductant tank temperature sensor). It was a faulty sensor in the adblue tank from a tdi car. Already lots of owners had the exact same problem according to the dealership.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 262014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 48,900 miles
Tdi engine check light came on, had the dealership check it out, it indicated a sensor failure. The cost to repair was $1,100 dealership reduced it to $430, said VW pitched it because it may end up as a recall and we would receive our money back if that happens.

- Gold Canyon, AZ, USA

problem #4

Jul 162014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 44,800 miles
On July 16, 2014 at approximately 5:00 pm, my 2012 Volkswagen Passat tdi sel premium lost power on the highway. The engine failed and shut off while I was traveling on interstate 95 North and left me stranded on the highway surrounded by cars traveling at speeds greater than 65 mph. The engine failure put my life, my colleague's life and my fetus'¿ life in danger and could have been disastrous for other motor vehicles as well. My car was towed to a Volkswagen service center, where they inspected the fuel system and found a broken bolt. This bolt held the fuel rail and fuel injectors in place and when it broke, caused the injectors to pop out of the cylinder head and the subsequent engine failure. The installed bolt was part of the fuel system replacement repair that another dealership service center, closer to my home, performed back in April 2014. I'¿ve had three major incidents with my VW now, all within the last 3 months and it seems to be stemming from the fuel system replacement. When the fuel system was replaced, the service center blamed it on a "bad batch of diesel fuel" from a local gas station. They said that within 3 weeks, they've had around 25 cars come in with the same problem. My car is not even 3 years old and has only 44,000 miles on it. This is completely unacceptable. Because of these incidents, the last one of which put my life as well as 2 other lives in grave danger, I would like to submit this complaint, in case it is a more wide spread problem.

- Montgomery Village, MD, USA

problem #3

Jul 012013

Passat 5-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
I was in very slow bumper to bumper traffic when the battery light came on and there was a significant loss of power in the engine and no power steering or brakes. I was able to coast to the shoulder and turn off the car. Lights, radio and ventilation systems did not seem to be impacted. After a minute, I turned the car on and everything appeared to be back to normal. This has happened twice in 3 months.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 262012

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 5,383 miles
Vehicle stalled on busy surface street, lost all power. Refused to restart. Towed to local dealer who diagnosed the issue as failed high-pressure fuel pump.

- Petaluma, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 222012

Passat 5-cyl

  • 1,052 miles
In the morning, I went downstairs to my 2012 VW Passat S. I noticed a pool of fluid that smelled like gasoline on the asphalt underneath the vehicle. I entered the front driver's side and turned the key from the off to on position. When I turned the key to on, a sound of draining fluid could be heard and a strong odor of gasoline could be smelled. I attempted to start the car, and it does turn over, but will not start. I decided not to attempt to start it again, afraid that the ignition would start a fire. Since this occurred on a Sunday morning, all service departments at VW dealerships are closed. About 5 hours later, I unlocked the Passat and opened the door to get some items from the car. Again, the sound of draining fluid could be heard and a strong odor of gasoline emitted from the vehicle. I checked underneath the car again, and a fresh pool of gasoline has formed. The gas is dripping from the passenger side, near the rear wheel. Needless to say, this is very disappointing, as the vehicle has only been driven for a little more than 1,000 miles.

- Brea, CA, USA

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