really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,557 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.

2013 Volkswagen Passat body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2013 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #13

Dec 092016


  • 37,345 miles


Door latch freezes in cold weather due to moisture inside the door and prevents opening of doors. I could not exit my vehicle using the drivers door and had to enter and exit through the passenger side. I took the car to VW dealership and they have acknowledged and verified my concern. Technician noted that there was moisture inside the door and the door locks were frozen and not operational. VW installed new door latch, cables and butyl tape to prevent moisture entering the latch mechanism. I have a friend with 2013 Passat and he has experienced this problem multiple times and mentioned this to his service advisor, however they were unable to verify his concern because locks were operational each time he came back to the service center. While browsing the internet for similar symptoms I have found this is a common problem in cold weather. Please see links below. First link is my personal video that I took before taking the vehicle for service. Https://www.youtube.com/watch"V=amwyc2ledpm NHTSA ##10056454 - description: Volkswagen: The exterior handle on front door is very hard to open due to various climate or temperature conditions affecting the lock operation and may require more of an effort to release forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?6873439-my-door-lock-froze https://www.youtube.com/watch"V=oo0psip_10A

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #12

Jan 012016


  • 40,000 miles
In low temperatures, doors often will not unlock. It has happened a few times while being inside the car. Possible serious hazard after an accident.

- Chagrin Falls, OH, USA

problem #11

Aug 102015


  • 32,000 miles
I┐ve found that the doors on my 2013 Volkswagen Passat [tdi] have electrical/mechanical issues when they are exposed to rain water or extreme humidity. During these exposures they will not stay locked [they will lock and unlock]. two specific periods of time really stand out where the doors have been particularly troublesome. The first was after a rain storm while visiting family in mt. I went to my car and found that I could not close my passenger door after I opened it. It was stationary at the time. I literally had to wrap my seatbelt around the door handle to keep the door from flying open as I took it in for evaluation. I took it to the dealership and they could not recreate the problem. Within one week it happened again during another rain shower, this time I was driving and my daughter was in the passenger seat! thankfully we were driving slow, in town, and no harm came to anyone. I took it back to the dealership and had them replace the mechanical part of the locking mechanism this seemed to solve the 'staying closed┐ issue. The second period of time I was in fl in late August. I was there for three weeks and the entire time the humidity was such that everything was soaking wet. Once again I had issues with my doors. This time it was more electrical than mechanical. My key fob stopped allowing me to lock/unlock my doors and the locks seemed to be possessed. I had to pull the cover off my ┐touch┐ lock to use the key to lock and unlock the doors. I also experienced mile after mile of my doors locking and unlocking while driving. This lasted the entire time I was there. When I came back to a dryer climate the problem stopped. Of the two series of issues I experienced the one that put my child's life in danger is the most concerning. The repairs cost me nearly $1K and the peace-of-mind I lost is immeasurable.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #10

Mar 302016


  • 34,990 miles


1. attempted to open the driver's side door on the vehicle after a cold night with below-freezing temperatures. The door would not open, and attempting to open it from the inside after gaining access to the vehicle through the passenger's side door left the door unable to latch shut. 2. the failure is with the locking mechanism and latch on the door. This was the first time it occurred. 3. took the car to the dealer where the door latch was replaced in total with a new part and the window regulator was adjusted.

- Brookline, MA, USA

problem #9

Nov 202015


  • 49,800 miles
Driver side door seals allows water to enter door and onto latch which causing the latching mechanism to freeze shut. The freezing of the door inhibits the driver from being able to exit the car in an emergency of car travels from a wet environment to below freezing environment. This has happened two times in the past 2 months where temperatures were in the upper 30's then fell below freezing. Once when the car was in motion also. When the car is stationary, one has to enter the car from the passenger side, if the door unlocks and opens, to enter and exit the car. On once occasion, I was able to force open the door by pulling the inside handle and shoving up against it. It is known and shared on the VW forums that if you pull the handle too hard, it will stretch a cable which may render the door unable to shut or not properly latch. VW is aware of this as they have a technical service bulletin tsb #tt-57-14-01 for it however, this should be a safety issue as it can stop the driver from exiting the car in an emergency.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

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problem #8

Feb 022015


  • 43,000 miles
This is my third complaint about this vehicle. During the August flooding, while driving home from work and passing through some water piles my car lost the bottom engine cover, lower grill broke, got them replaced no problem. Winter comes and when it gets cold front door freezes shut, remote start barely works only when it wants too. Also no problem. We got out first winter storm thank god I had put new tires before this. However driving home some areas had a bit of snow first I get stuck and cant turn off traction control. Then my lower grill breaks again. Is the grill made out of water bottle plastic. If every time there is a storm I need to spend 250 dollars on a lower grill that is just a wonderful car expense. You try and trade in the car and the value just dropped. This is my first and last VW. Horrible quality that a bumper can't with stand some accumulation of snow. I will file a complaint with VW as well, lets hope they do something about it. Plus they still did not correct the navigation and bluetooth issue.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #7

Jan 092015

Passat 5-cyl

  • 52,000 miles


Noticed my drivers side door sticking during recent cold weather, it was frozen. Climbed through passenger door for a cpl days.. no big deal for a one yr old car, right? when the door did open, it wouldn't shut. I have to hold the door shut while driving. Took the car to dealer, was informed that I am the third person today with the same problem on a Passat, but it will be a week and a half before they can charge me $700 to fix it. I realize I'm over my warranty with mileage.. but this is completely unsafe!! I'm now dragging around town holding my door closed, driving no faster than 15mph with blinkers on. Can't shut or lock it, hope it doesn't get stolen! I was told that everything that opens the door is broke. The door latch, lever, and 2 cables. This has to be a defect.. no way it's safe and ok for this to happen. Called VW customer service, was told over warranty, nothing they can do.. have a nice weekend. Small consolation. I guess it's totally fine to drive my children around in a car is purchased bc of the safety ratings all the while holding a door closed for a week and a half. Unbelievable

- Covington , KY, USA

problem #6

Jan 082015


  • 15,835 miles
In cold weather sometimes the front drivers and passenger doors will not open, I have to go through a rear door and open it from the inside, then most of the time it will work fine after that, though a few times the door would not stay latched. The first time I took it to the dealer they said they heard of this and did nothing, I just recently brought it back and they installed a updated latch. There should be a recall issued for this problem.

- Ballston Spa, NY, USA

problem #5

Nov 192014


  • 6,116 miles
On November 19th at approximately 4:30 pm, as I was pulling into my garage, the car just accelerated uncontrollably and crashed into my husbands work bench which was against a concrete wall. Damaging front of car, windshield, workbench, steel storage cabinet, etc.

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

problem #4

Jun 202014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 12,153 miles
I was pulling slowly into a parking space, and the car suddenly surged and hit a parking meter pole. The same thing happened again six and a half weeks later, again at very low speed. This time the car hit the wall of the parking ramp, and the driver's airbag deployed. In both cases, it was the first time the car had been driven that morning, a distance of about three miles.

- Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #3

Dec 272013

Passat 5-cyl

  • 6,800 miles


When temperatures fall below freezing, driver's door will not open (usually in the mornings). Vehicle was taken to dealer and replacement latch ordered. Part is on back-order and I cannot enter the vehicle unless I climb through the passenger side. This is extremely unsafe because it would not be possible to exit the vehicle hurriedly in an emergency situation. I have had this problem for (3) weeks and was told by the dealer today that they still did not know when this part would be in. Absolutely unsafe an absolutely ridiculous that I have to climb into my nearly new car with 7000 miles on the passenger side.

- Hickory, NC, USA

problem #2

Sep 252013

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 2,100 miles
A passenger exited rear passenger side door. When he put his hand outside the car as he exited, one of his fingers received a deep cut. After the incident, we inspected the car and found out a sharp point at the end of a chrome trim along the window/roof line. Later I inspected further and found other locations near the doors where sharp edges/points exist. This is hazardous as passengers enter or exit the car. Parts of body and/or hand can receive cut wound if contacted with these sharp edges/points.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 032013


  • 100 miles
We recently purchased a brand new 2013 VW Passat from crestmont VW, pompton plains, NJ. The car drove extremely well for the first few weeks. Shortly thereafter, there were loud beeping and warning sounds from the dashboard control panel and the car started to lose speed. Upon VW suggestion, we took it to crestmont service dept. It appears there was motor oil spewing all over the engine. A week later there were loud noises emanating from the roof area every time the vehicle negotiated a bump in the road. Once again crestmont VW service dept. Examined the car and they determined the entire sunroof panel had to be dismantled in order for additional insulation could be added to the entire roof, to dampen the sounds during normal, cursory driving conditions. Bob gross, the service dept. Manager at crestmont VW has left me a detailed voicemail informing me that he received a tech bulletin from VW, notifying all dealers that there were plastic shavings left behind during the manufacturing process that caused the oil tank to rupture, resulting in motor oil to gush profusely, which can lead the car to stall and possibly the engine to cease. I have written to [xxx], GM for VW North America, and to [xxx], president and CEO of VW North America. Neither of them deny the claims. It is clearly evident this vehicle need additional scrutiny to rectify the inherent flaws, shortcomings and inadequacies that are prevalent from the lack of oversight during the manufacturing process. The sole operator of this vehicle is my son who recently turned 17.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

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