definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,260 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #4

Apr 252014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 35,457 miles


Started hearing a whistling type of sound and noticing that the vehicle was not accelerating when I pushed on the pedal. As I tried to pull off the road the vehicle stalled and I could not get it started to get out of the road. Very scary. It finally started long enough to get to the side of the road and it stalled out again. There was smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe. The vehicle would not start again. The vehicle was towed to the dealership where I purchased it and have it serviced. The service department called to tell me it was the turbo and that the vehicle needed a new engine. I will be going to the dealership on Monday to pick up the vehicle but will have a list of questions on what exactly has been replaced and what type of warranty this new engine has.

- Wallace, NC, USA

problem #3

Jul 312012

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 200 miles
Backup camera is slow to start. May take from 5 to 20 seconds to become operational after start up. This is hazard with respect to reliance on backup cameras by drivers to see obstructions behind the car. Failure of camera to start up quickly results in reduced safety because drivers will back up without camera operational. I can start my car and back out of driveway and reach the corner of my block before the camera starts up and shows me the road disappearing behind me. A camera does not replace driver obligations to make sure that obstructions are not behind their car, but the camera is also there to be a safety feature and it is not reliable as a safety feature do to its extremely slow start up. Individuals do not like to wait 30 seconds at a stop light much less 20 just to back out of their driveway. This is a design or manufacturing issue that should be corrected to ensure that the backup camera is a reliable safety feature as it was intended.

- Laramie, WY, USA

problem #2

Sep 072012

Passat 5-cyl

  • 150 miles
Steering: Vehicle pulls to an excessive amount potentially leading to injury or death. It does not track straight at all, no matter if it's on the left lane of the road, center crown of the road or in the right lane (no curves. I took the vehicle in to the dealership over 4 times thinking it may be an alignment problem. I was told the second time that it pulls hard to the right as a "safety measure", to lead the car to the right shoulder to get off the road on to the shoulder. Asked the service advisor to show me where VW had disclosed this as a "safety" measure. There was no such documentation. I took it in to another VW dealership in my same city. They did what they said was the 'best they could do without exceeding VW's specifications. This is a dangerous defect and the second dealership admitted to me that VW was having some problems with this issue. Lights/electrical: The low beam light went out on the drivers side of the vehicle. I took it to one of the dealerships in my city. I thought it went out too soon but suspect it was an issue. It turned out to be more then a simple burnt out bulb. The whole light assembly had to be replaced because of what the service advisor told me was indeed a problem VW was having with the electrical connection making continuous contact (like a plug & receptacle). He stated that they had changed the design in the 2014 models because of this defect in the 2013 models. I requested that since it was a known issue, I would like them to retrofit or change out the passenger side light. He stated to me he was not authorized to change the defective unit until it actually fails. This is potentially dangerous as it can happen at night when lights are really needed, and during the day if lights need to be on for safety where it is required on some of the more dangerous roads. Get it in writing what is wrong-no glossing over.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #1

Oct 182012


  • 200 miles
The rear view camera takes 10-15 seconds to start up negating the safety it is supposed to provide. VW usa notified and were not helpful and said they've never heard of this problem.

- Washington, DC, USA

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