really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,611 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #48

Oct 012016


  • 70,000 miles


Driving down the expressway at 70mph, when suddenly the vehicle lost power and turned off. The car stopped functioning. It was a dangerous situation. Had to suddenly pulled over on a very busy highway. When the vehicle came to a stop, I tried to restart the vehicle with no success. Car was towed to the dealership. I was informed that it was a failure of the high pressure fuel pump (hpfp). Was told the entire fuel system would have to be replaced. Approximate cost to repair: $5826.09. I know they extended the warranty on the hpfp for the 2012 Passat. What about the 2013?

- Mcallen, TX, USA

problem #47

Oct 032016


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Volkswagen Passat. While driving, the contact smelled smoke inside the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #46

Apr 122016


  • 45,000 miles
I am having problems starting my 2013 VW passsat. At first I thought it was the cold in the morning but the starting problem happens randomly thoughout the day. For example when I stop at the gas station, after putting gas when I go to start the car I have to crank it 3,4,5 time before it starts. Sometimes I need to pump the gas. The second problem is the "engine" light coming on. The first time this happened I went to the VW dealer and they said maybe it was an emissions problem and that they will take a look at it when I bring it in for my next oil change. I brought the car in for the oil change. They reset the engine light so it wasn't showing. The guy also said it was probably not closing the gas cap tight enough. After this initial reset I drove around for a few weeks then the 'engine light came back on. It was reset a second time, but, the light has come back on again. I will be taking it back to my dealer again for a 3rd time. The starting problem is very worrying. I have about 75,000 miles on the Passat. Obviously the vehicle is stationary when I begin to start it; but the "engine" light comes on whenever, I just notice that it is on, so I would say it comes on when I am driving or when the car is running.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #45

Sep 232016


  • 63,500 miles


VW Passat tdi 2013: Currently has a tad under 64,000 miles. Driving the car and the car makes awful noise and shuts off. The car gets towed to the VW dealership and I am informed that it is the high pressure fuel pump and the repair is between $5000-$6000. The dealership checked the fuel and verified that I had appropriate diesel in the car and mentioned that VW has had problems with the diesel fuel "sold in the us" and it is causing the problem. The car is just over the 60,000 mile warranty and it is one of the cars in the buyback settlement. When I inquired, they said my buyback fee would be significantly reduced if I do not pay for the repair as they will take it out of the settlement offer. Investigating a bit further, this is a problem that they had with previous year models, and is also something that appears to be happening with other owners of 2013 tdi's. I am left with a car that does not work to due manufacture defect. I am left with a car that they claim they will pay less for at the buyback because the car is not running, even though it is due to their defect. In short, I have a car that does not work, that is part of a major us government lawsuit settlement, and that requires $6,000 to repair because a part they placed on the car sent metal shards through the fuel system. As a consumer, I am left helpless. I bought a car believing the company to be honest, they were not. Now they will not even stand behind their faulty manufacturing defects.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #44

Sep 202016


  • 145,000 miles
Turbo charger failed in 2013 tdi Passat 2nd time. Occured while driving down a 45 mph road. Did not lose full power but did lose ability to maintain speed and glow plug light began flashing. First one failed and replaced at 79,000 miles and 2nd turbo failing at 145,000 miles roughly 60,000 miles on this turbo. These are flawed parts that are very expensive and should work for the life of the vehicle. No support from VW for a part that is a major safety issue.

- Shorewood, IL, USA

problem #43

Sep 192016


  • 66,000 miles
Cel came on, code for for failing reductant level sensor P203B implausable signal. Car has 66,000 miles, cared for to the letter. VW wants over a $1000 to repair. This is an extreamly common failure not possible ofr the owner to induce...

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #42

Jul 202016


  • 37,573 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 2012 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 #41

Jun 302016


  • 54,000 miles
Adblue heater failure. Code P202B

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #40

Apr 282016


  • 89,000 miles
Turbo failed in 2013 VW Passat tdi

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #39

Feb 032016


  • 75,000 miles
The turbocharger blew up while I was driving on the interstate. Prior to the turbocharger blowing up, there were no indications from the car's performance or indicator lights that there was a problem. When the turbo seized up the pre-glow indicator light came on shortly followed by the engine malfunction indicator light. I pulled the car off to the shoulder and was towed to the dealership. The dealership immediately accused me of not maintaining the vehicle and asked me if I purchased an extended warranty. The dealership drained the oil from the engine and sent it to their lab and had a VW rep come out to validate their claim that the car was not maintained. At no point in time did the dealership tell me that VW had extended the warranty to 10 years or 120K miles. My Passat has 75K miles and has been maintained, including the most recent oil change at 63K miles. The dealership told me that the turbocharger was not covered by the warranty based on their assessment that the vehicle was not maintained so I had to pay for the repairs to the tune of $2.3K. My perception from the very beginning of my relationship with the VW dealership was they were building a case. I called VW of America and confirmed that my vehicle is covered by the extended warranty. I filed a claim with VW of America to recoup the entire $2.3K charged to my credit card and disputed the charge with amex. The burden of proof for denying the extended warranty coverage for the turbocharged is on VW. This is known issued that VW has acknowledged and underwritten with the extended warranty coverage. The fact that there no indications of failure only makes the situation worse. Fortunately, there was no accident caused by car's sudden deceleration. I will hear back VW today with regard to compensation. That said, I expect ntsb to apply pressure on VW to stand behind their warranty coverage.

- Clarksville, MD, USA

problem #38

Jun 152013


  • 24,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Volkswagen Passat. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was able to restart. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not provided. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 24,000.

- Islip Terrace, NY, USA

problem #37

Oct 152015


  • miles
VW sold over 500,000 'clean diesels' in the us committing fraud. I'm in limbo with a vehicle I don't want and can't sell. When is the NHTSA and epa going to require VW to buy back this car that broke a number of statutes?

- Amherst, NH, USA

problem #36

Dec 092015


  • 113,000 miles
2013 Passat tdi diesel lost power while driving is down a city street. Once I pulled off the road engine light and service now light were on. A catastrophic failure occurred in the high pressure fuel pump. Thus occurred in euless Texas. VW will not cover my indecent under a warranty extension. They will cover 2012 models my car was manufactured before July 2012 but has a 2013 listing. As of 12/17 no repair scheduled due to $6,000 cost.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

problem #35

Sep 132015


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 45 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the heater and fluid tank were defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 54,000. Updated 02/12/16

- Bowling Green, OH, USA

problem #34

Sep 082015


  • 39,188 miles
Vehicle schedule for 40000 mile service. Engine warning light came on code P2196. Volkswagen did a computer update in January 2015 for 30000 mile service, 23N5 ECM software recall. Oxygen sensor (front) replaced was replaced by VW when I complained it should not have failed. The emission system is in question since the oxygen sensor is running rich. This year model should be added to recall for pollution system not function correctly. This model is diesel. Tdi

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #33

Mar 262015


  • 24,310 miles
Driving northerly on I-95 at highway speed going up the incline to the piscataqua river bridge (the border between New Hampshire and Maine), the vehicle lost forward power about halfway up the incline of the bridge approach. The engine did not stall at any time during or after the event. Driver was preoccupied with [1] turning on hazard flashers, [2] safely negotiating entry to the breakdown lane, and [3] not braking in an attempt to coast to the top of the bridge such that the car could coast down the far side of the bridge and allow exiting the highway at the nearby exit #1 in Maine. The driver's preoccupation with safely addressing the power loss event did not allow him to scan any of the gauges or indicators on the front panel. Upon reaching the top of the bridge the car was coasting to a stop and the driver shifted between drive / sport / neutral to see if any power could be restored. Within 30 seconds or less the car again resumed forward motion in the drive shift setting. Car was driven to the nearby VW dealer where it was purchased. Service department checked (diesel) fuel quality which was good, and found no error codes when a scan was done. A vta case was opened and owner contacted VW customer care in auburn hills, mi. Subsequent testing at the same dealer's service department on 9 April 2015 also resulted in no findings for a cause. VW recommends I continue driving it until the power loss occurs again. I asked what they would then do if no error codes were again found. They indicated they would ask me to lend them the car to drive until they can get the problem to reoccur. (= a no-cost lease back to VW!). owners' opinion is that there is a design fault in the Volkswagen Passat engine/transmission pairing that is directly related to a deficiency of meaningful error sensors and fault / error code readout values during a power loss event..

- Greenland, NH, USA

problem #32

Mar 192015


  • 15,000 miles
Turbocharger failure at 15,000 miles; replaced and 2nd turbo failed at 25,000 miles. First failure was documented in a prior report and is repeated here. Failure 1 at ~15,000 miles in June 2014. Driving at highway speed in moderately heavy traffic at night, sudden complete loss of power. Was able to safely maneuver to shoulder and vehicle was then engulfed in black smoke. Was on the side of the highway for 1.5 hours waiting for tow truck sent by VW roadside assistance. Lots of traffic passing by very close and at highway speeds. The turbo was replaced under warranty. Failure 2 at ~25,000 miles in March 2015. Driving on local road, no shoulder, at 30-40 mph. Noticed intermittent whining noise and partial loss of power. Was able to drive home. Car was towed to dealership next day where they are currently replacing the turbo again.

- Cooksville, MD, USA

problem #31

Feb 172015

Passat 4-cyl

  • 55,131 miles
Was merging onto interstate when the car lost power, check engine light and flashing glow plug illuminated. Cleaned the mass air sensor and ran it for several days with no performance problems. Several days later, the car would not start and was towed to dealer, who diagnosed the problem as boost pressure sensor and turbo failure.

- Woodbine, MD, USA

problem #30

Feb 262015

Passat 4-cyl

  • 35,250 miles
Turbo failure. Whining sound coming from engine compartment. Louder as engine RPM's increase. This is the second failure of a turbo in this car. Fortunately, I caught it in time to not lose power. After tow in to dealership, they confirmed that it needs another replacement turbo to replace the first replacement turbo.

- Williamsburg, IA, USA

problem #29

Dec 182013

Passat 4-cyl

  • 41,176 miles
Car was set on cruise control and engine revved up, cruise control shut off and loss of power to the motor. Tried to reset cruise control to a lesser speed and would not set. Car felt like it would not shift gears (acted like it was a manual drive being wound to tight). Drove for several miles then the warning light came on (glowplug indicator). Parked in a safe location and stopped car. After about 10 minutes I restarted the car and no warning flashed so I began to drive car...would not accelerate. Warning light came back on. Had car towed to dealership got repaired (replaced turbo charger along with oil feed and return lines). Picked car up on 11/26/14 drove for less than 30 miles and got a engine oil light and warning message: Engine off manual. Had car towed to dealership. Dealership stated that they talked with manufacturer and they are going to give me a new turbocharger and new engine. The car is still in the shop and repairs have not been completed at the time of this writing.

- Surry, VA, USA

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