definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,596 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 lights problems

lights problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Volkswagen Passat:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #14

Apr 012016


  • miles


Takata recall and headlamp socket recall.

- Elkhart, IN, USA

problem #13

May 202016


  • miles
Left front headlight assembly appears fogged over on the inside of the lens. Dealer indicates that the daytime running light (drl) in this assembly has overheated. The increased temps caused the plastic lens to appear cloudy and or fogged over. The higher temp has changed the shape of the reflector of the drl socket too, causing the left drl to appear significantly dimmer than the other side drl, according to the dealer. When driving, the fogged headlight lens diminishes the amount of light emitted out of the front of the car and the diminished brightness of the drl is obvious. This condition was noticed after purchase in late 2014 but seems to have increased over time. Last week it occurred to me to ask, during scheduled dealer service, about getting the lens cleared, the dealer pointed out the defect in the overheated and misshapen lens assembly in the drl. The vehicle is used almost exclusively to commute via interstate highway between home and work.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #12

Nov 082014


  • 112,000 miles
Despite performing the regularly scheduled (very expensive) maintenance for this vehicle, we had many issues with our 2012 Volkswagen Passat tdi. This car was a commuter vehicle and was driven 110 miles/5 days per week at 55-65 mph. We thought that with proper care and maintenance this car with its diesel engine would last more than 111,000 miles... we are so disappointed and frankly irate. What a waste of money. Our issues were: At numerous mileages, our head, tail and running lights had to be replaced at about $50/instance. At 104,738 miles, the passenger window would not go up or down. The window pin was replaced for $184.05. At 101,019 miles, the timing belt was replaced at a cost of $1,260.76. At 111,166 miles, our 2012 Volkswagen Passat tdi began to run very rough and loud on trip. We made it home and my husband brought the car to the Volkswagen shop where we were told that bearings broke off and destroyed the interior of our engine. We replaced the engine at a whopping $6,865.76. At 127,115 miles the car would not start. We towed it to the dealer where we were told the starter had gone out and needed to be replaced. We sold the Passat on the spot to the dealer before fixing this issue. We could not bear to sell this car to a private party.

- Sweet Home, OR, USA

problem #11

Feb 232015


  • 43,817 miles


I am having issues with my 2012 wv Passat. The bulbs seem to be blowing out this is the third time bulbs have been replaced on my auto. In September 2014 (first) it was the right side, then after a while on 3/23/15 the left side and the brake lights this time.. when there was a recall for the front hood problems which effected the front lights..Jan 2014.. there was a time 2014 when the low beams and turning lights were not working for a at lease three hours.. then they went on..

- Lewisville , TX, USA

problem #10

Jun 242014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 15,140 miles
On Tuesday, 24 June, I dropped off our 2012 VW Passat at a VW dealer for its 2 year / 20K mile service with 15,100 miles on the odometer. An electrical wiring recall regarding headlights and the hood was performed on the Passat. The incident occurred within an hour of leaving the dealer and after driving about 40 miles from the dealer. My wife was driving and her sister was in the front passenger seat. It was raining hard enough that it was difficult to see the highway lane markings and my wife was concentrating on following the car lights in front of her. The vehicle was in the second lane from the right of a four lane highway. Then, without any warning from dashboard lights or sounds, the windshield wipers stopped, the dashboard lights went dark, and the headlights went out. My wife's sister saw the car clock dials spin around several times and then stop at 9:00. All power was out in the Passat. The vehicle was moving down four lanes of highway without power. As the Passat slowed down, my wife kept the car pointed straight ahead. It is hard to determine if the steering wheel was locked because my wife wasn't trying to move the steering wheel very much. As the vehicle approached a highway exit, the highway lanes began to diverge as the right lane exited the highway, the second lane from the right slit with an option to exit to the right or remain on the highway, and the two left lanes remained on the highway. By maintaining a straight trajectory, my wife maneuvered the Passat into the median separating the highway from the off-ramp. The Passat rolled to a stop, dead in the median. While no other power was available in the Passat, the hazard flashing lights were functional.

- Denver, CO, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #9

Mar 042013

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 32,000 miles
Both of my headlights have failed (on two different occasions). The first in 2013 (right side) in which dealer representative said that VW was having a problem with the light housings. They were going to charge me for the repair, but the dealership management decided to do a "courtesy" fix. In April of 2014 the left light failed and the VW dealership said I would have to pay for repairs and then "apply" for a refund when the recall campaign came out. They have had a known problem for over 18 months and they still have not issued a recall. No lights creates a very hazardous situation.

- Oakwood, TX, USA

problem #8

Apr 142014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 46,667 miles


The right low beam lamp remains off, even though the bulb is good, rendering the vehicle unsafe to drive at night or in reduced vision. When pressure is applied to the back of the bulb fixture the bulb illuminates but then turns off again once the pressure is removed. The current VW recall for the same or at least similar problem does not extend to this VIN. The vehicle has never been in an accident and the hood has never been roughly closed, unless done during service at a VW facility.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #7

Sep 262011

Passat 5-cyl

  • 31,241 miles
I had my VW Passat 2012 serviced in Sept, of 2011 with 31,000 miles on it for a headlight failure I have the invoice # [xxx] the drivers side low beam was not working, ( was made aware of this after I was stopped in coconut creek fl on St rd. 7 by the police, on that morning for $125 of which I have paid a traffic ticket, I have the paid receipts for that and ticket copies also) now again I'm having the same problem with the drivers side head light. My car was manuf. 09/2011 which there should be a recall and is stated that way on the website safecar.gov there telling me at VW coconut creek my vehicle is not covered and I must pay for repair. Why? information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #6

Jun 172013


  • 27,925 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that the headlights failed to work. The failure occurred twice over a period of a year. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who did not diagnose a failure; however, the bulbs were replaced. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number 14V125000(headlight). The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 27,925.

- Calumet City, IL, USA

problem #5

Oct 242013


  • 36,000 miles
My bulb holder melted into the headlight assembly causing it not to work and having me buy a new bulb socket and other parts to fix this issue.

- Williamsport, MD, USA

problem #4

Dec 232013

Passat 5-cyl

  • 39,755 miles


Vehicle, while at speed at night, suddenly and without warning lost low beam illumination from the left front headlight assembly. Subsequent inspection of the factory light bulb revealed no faults: Filament was intact and resistance (ohm) could be measured across terminals. Installation of a new VW bulb did not solve the problem. Headlight assembly was factory stock and unmodified. Closer inspection reveals what appears to be overheating and subsequent deformation of the bulb retention hardware. On-line search reveals numerous identical complaints posted by other Passat owners, affecting both the left and right headlight assemblies VW dealer advised that the problem can only be rectified by replacing the entire headlight assembly.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #3

Oct 202013

Passat 5-cyl

  • 18,600 miles
While driving from san diego, ca to los angeles, ca on I-5 at 9pm on October 20th, the day after purchasing the car from a dealership, I noticed my headlights do not illuminate the road. The headlights are very dim and only light up about 10 feet in front of me. I have read on car forums, people have had the same issues with their headlights. One individual fronted $800 to have the oem fog lights added to his Passat, which he claimed helped. VW needs to fix this headlight problems or add the fog lights to every 2012+ Passat. While driving during the night on streets with limited street lights, its very difficult to see at night especially pedestrians, unless I drive with my high beams on, which I cant because of on coming cars.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 252013

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 35,000 miles
Loss of either daylight running lamp(s) and/or lowbeam headlamp(s) due to lamp sockets melting in housings. 3 times this has happened, once with the daytime lamps and twice with the L/S headlamps.

- Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #1

Nov 122012


  • 18,200 miles
The drivers side headlight low beam stopped working. There was a malfunction with the connection between the housing and the bulb adapter. The plastic had melted which prevented electric current flowing from the housing to the bulb. The melted plastic had caused hazing on the inside of the drivers side headlight assembly. The dealership replaced the drivers side headlight assembly at no cost.

- High Point, NC, USA

Not what you are looking for?