hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,300 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #17

Jun 022016


  • miles


Airbag light on, check engine light on.

- Pasco, WA, USA

problem #16

May 062016


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Passat. After the vehicle was started, the steering wheel failed to maneuver without warning. In addition, the ignition key was unable to be removed from the vehicle and caused the key to fracture inside the ignition switch. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #15

Sep 192015


  • 90,100 miles
1. steering began to get difficult to turn as if I had little power steering, especially at lower speeds. Took it VW dealership. Was told it was a small leak in power steering fluid. Was told that the whole steering unit needed to be replaced, $1700. Don't have the money and was told it was drivable but to check the steering fluid frequently.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #14

Nov 152015


  • 40,000 miles


October 2014 was turning into driveway from the street at slow speed and heard a crunch while turning the wheel. After completion of the turn the light for the airbag came on and none of the steering wheel controls worked.had dealer repair clock spring and associated items in column.November 2015 we were making a U-turn on a public road, at slow speed, at the completion of the turn there was a resistance in the column and a crunch, followed by the airbag light coming on and no steering wheel controls working. The airbag light is still on, there is constant crunching sounds from the column and the dealer says its been more than a year its not covered under warranty(the previous replacement at more than $500) and that they know of no recall or safety issue with the clockspring or airbag on these cars.

- Lakeside, CA, USA

problem #13

Jul 132015


  • 50,000 miles
Turning the cornor while driving the airbag light came on and the horn and buttons on steering wheel stop working. Was taking to the dealership said it was a clock spring. Problem was not fixed did not know it was so many complaints about this problem. Hope it will get resovled soon. I was told if I would get in a accident the air bag would not come out.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #12

Sep 072015


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Passat. While driving 5 mph and attempting to make a turn, there was an abnormal noise coming from the steering wheel. In addition, the controls on the steering wheel failed to function. The seat belt and the air bag warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the clock spring needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V483000 (air bags). The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Cold Water , MS, USA

problem #11

Jun 132015

Passat 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Passat. While driving at 65 mph, the steering wheel seized and the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 86,000. MA 08/05/15 the consumer stated the vehicle was repaired. A mechanic advised the clock spring failed, which appeared to be related to NHTSA PE 15010. Updated 9/29/2015

- Woodland, CA, USA

problem #10

Jun 012015


  • 69,000 miles
2012 Volkswagen Passat tdi diesel, heard a small snap in steering wheel while backing up and turning. The air bag light came on and the horn and steering wheel buttons quit working. This is definitely the clockspring under the steering wheel. There is complaints on the internet about this same issue including ntsb looking into the issue as a recall. If accident occurred right now the air bag would not work. Huge safety issue, VW factory said they would not help out with the repairs. I bought the car used two months ago from mossy volkswagon in el cajon, California. They wont help either. Something needs to happen with this recall. Information can be found here. www.edmunds.com/car-news/feds-probe-2012-Volkswagen-Passat-cc-because-drivers-airbag-may-not-deploy-properly.html

- Boulevard, CA, USA

problem #9

May 242015


  • 37,000 miles
Driving on May 24.2015 making a left turn, I heard a loud crack in my steering wheel. I lost all of the function of the steering wheel and an message showed air bag error, check engine, no control. I lost all function of my steering wheel, and every move made a cracking sound. I was afraid to drive anymore because the air bag may deploy. I have transported it to a VW dealer to check on it and find out what is wrong, still waiting for an answer. I know an investigation regarding this issue was filled PE15010 air bag clockspring failure defect. I was very affraid and am wondering why there is no recall as of today.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #8

Apr 192015


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that the steering wheel made a cracking noise and became difficult to turn as the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who inspected the vehicle and advised that the module failed. However, the contact was not sure of the name of the module that needed to replace. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Brentwood , NY, USA

problem #7

Mar 282015


  • 58,000 miles


Heard a clicking noise coming from the steering column while turning in a parking lot. When I started the car again the airbag light came on and none of the controls on the steering wheel including the horn would work. After investigating online I found several complaints about this issue and discovered that many other owners are experiencing a failure the clock spring in the steering column at about 50,000-60,000 miles 9 I had about 58000 at the time). After discovering that an investigation was started here just days before mine failed I contacted the dealer. I was told that they were not aware of the investigation or the issue.... however they were able to quickly tell me it would cost about $700 to fix, and if VW issues a recall later I could try to get it refunded from corporate at that time.

- Hinesville, GA, USA

problem #6

Apr 042015

Passat 5-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
My spring clock broke on my vehicle. I can hear a clicking noise coming from the steering wheel as I turn. I airbag indicator light went on, my horn and controls on the steering wheel no longer work. It is a frightening feeling knowing that the airbags may deploy at anytime or not at all in an accident. Looking online to research the cost in replacing this piece, I have found that it is a very common problem.

- Hamburg, NY, USA

problem #5

Feb 062015

Passat 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
Clicking noise started inside steering wheel. Turning all the way to the right popping noise with airbag error message. Now no hands free controls, horn....updated 03-11-15 updated 6/18/2015

- Obetz, OH, USA

problem #4

Jan 132015

Passat 4-cyl

  • 39,462 miles
No accident. A premature failure of part 39462 - electric defective steering column control module which controls airbags, horn and other items in the steering column.

- New Rochelle, NY, USA

problem #3

Jan 032015


  • 60,000 miles
Upon pulling out of my driveway and turning the steering wheel there was a cracking noise and then the air bag light went off with an airbag error. At which point all mechanisms within the steering wheel stopped working. After taking the car to the dealership it was determined that the steering wheel clock spring broke, because of this the airbag, horn and other steering wheel mechanisms are not functional without repair. Further research online shows that this has consistently broken on other 2012 Volkswagen Passat between 50K and 60K miles on it. I further addressed my concern with Volkswagen customer cares to ask why there has not been a recall on this part, they indicated that not enough customers have submitted claims. Because this fails/breaks at this mileage it is outside the standard warranty, there is "nothing they can do about it." I requested to speak to a manager multiple times, and was told I would have to wait 24 hours. It's unfortunate that Volkswagen doesn't care about the safety of their customers, and has not addressed this problem with a recall.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #2

Mar 162014

Passat 5-cyl

  • 39,500 miles
When I started my car, a loud strange noise came from the steering wheel. The controls on my steering wheel would no longer work, and a warning light came on for my airbag. As my husband drove us home, I searched the owner's manual for the airbag warning light. The error message is to warn the driver that the airbag is not working properly and may not deploy as it should or may deploy when it's not supposed to. The owner's manual did not warn of an accident, but I'm pretty sure the airbag deploying unexpectedly would probably cause a car accident. My husband took my car in to the mckinney, tx VW dealership first thing the next morning. They said the clock spring had malfunctioned. They replaced this part, but my steering wheel still makes a clicking sound when turning. This is the same sound we heard while we drove home the night before with the warning light on. I returned to the dealership and was informed the clock spring was defective. They replaced the clock spring again, but I again heard the same clicking noise when turning. When I returned to the dealership a third time, I was told that all of the Passats make this noise, and that there is nothing wrong. My steering did not make noise the first 40,000 miles I put on the car, so I'm worried there is a defect with this part. I bought this car brand new. I found online that a lot of other Passat owners have this same complaint, and many of them had clock springs replaced because they were told they were defective as well. With so many defective parts, this seems worthy of a recall since the airbag could deploy without warning causing a major accident.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #1

Aug 182012

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 31 miles
Car has constant pull to the right. Driving requires constant pressure to the left on steering wheel. Car has been to dealer 4 times for alignment and although they adjust it, right pull persists. Sometimes, steering has a feel as though car is erratic. Car never settles into tacking in a straight line which seems very odd and potentially dangerous. Apparently this is a common issue and Volkswagen cannot rectify the problem.

- Nashville, TN, USA

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