really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,067 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

problem #10

Sep 242016

Passat 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles


The contact owned a 2013 Volkswagen Passat. While proceeding to stop at a red light, the vehicle independently accelerated when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle failed to stop and crashed into the rear of another vehicle. The air bags deployed and scrap metal passed through the rear driver side passenger. A police report was filed. The contact sustained severe injuries to the hand and the passenger sustained a broken rib. Medical attention was required. The vehicle was destroyed and towed. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 16V078000 (air bags). The parts to remedy the vehicle were unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 27,000.....updated 01/11/2017

- Palm Coast, FL, USA

problem #9

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

problem #8

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 #7

Sep 012013


  • 10,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated whenever he attempted to accelerate. The contact mentioned that the failure reccured several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician stated that the occurrences were contributed to the way that the vehicle was designed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 10,000.

- Watertown , MA, USA

problem #6

May 222014


  • 32,000 miles
This incident had to happen twice for the dealer to see the issue. Accelerating from stop at a light when I reached 3000 RPM the engine stalled and the car will not accelerate. I pulled to the side and turned the car off and turned it back on problem was gone. I took it to the dealer and they could not see any issue. Couple of weeks later same thing happened again but instead of turning the car off or even shifting out of D. I drove the car with that condition directly to the dealer and instructed one of the service technician to get in the car and take a ride with me. He saw the issue and this time believed me and they investigated further and found out that the knock sensors were malfunctioning. I have had nothing but problems with my car. My seat frame was fixed incorrectly twice. My navigation unit replaced twice and VW still ignoring the lag and freezing of the unit. Why pay 5000 more for a navigation and camera for them not to function right. A section of my muffler was malfunctioning as well. Another issue is the key fob. I found out it is effected very easily by interference and when your key fob is in the car it can say key fob not in close proximity. I am very disappointed by this vehicle, I thought VW had better quality standards.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #5

Mar 292014


  • 32,300 miles
I was stopped at a red light. The light turned green and I began to accelerate to make a left turn. As I was turning and still in the intersection, the car stalled. I luckily made it through the intersection and clear of oncoming traffic. I had to take the keys out of the ignition and restart the car. This has happened on multiple occasions even after being seen by the maintenance department at the dealership.

- Buckeye, AZ, USA

problem #4

Feb 042014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 9,500 miles


Driving from on freeway at 60 mph suddenly lost any ability to accelerate and power started dropping rapidly and the engine warning light on the dash started flashing. It put me immediately into a very very dangerous situation in which it was very difficult to maneuver in rapidly-moving, heavy traffic. Fortunately I was able to exit the freeway and call the dealer's VW service. I was told that it was not safe to drive the car, and that I would have to have it towed to service. I was stranded just off the freeway in the next town, and after several hours was towed to the dealership. The turbo was bad (this part had already been replaced once, about 100 or so miles earlier). However, that was not diagnosed by VW properly, and when I picked up the car it failed again within 10 minutes. Fortunately this time I was not at high speed, and was able to maneuver the car to a safe location. This situation with the turbo could easily have resulted in an accident, potentially very serious or even deadly if at high speed.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #3

Mar 192014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 16,267 miles
While starting from a stop sign, vehicle seemed to have low power. Vehicle would accelerate, but very slowly. A few miles later, I had to stop for another car that had stopped to turn left into a driveway. When I attempt to accelerate after that car had turned, I had no power (vehicle was still running). I was able to coast to the side of the road, but a vehicle coming up from behind me had to brake quickly to avoid hitting my car from behind. I had the car towed to the dealer, which confirmed a failure of the turbocharger system and then replaced the turbocharger under warranty. Replacement of turbocharger appears to have fixed the problem.

- Penn Yan, NY, USA

problem #2

Feb 262014


  • 34,572 miles
Vehicle was accelerating away from a stop light when a loud "crack" was heard followed by a loud grinding and whistling sound, the car lost power. My wife fortunately was able to coast to the shoulder of the road and turn into a residential street. After coming to a stop the engine was still running she was able to move the car at a very slow speed (car would go no faster than about 10 mph) to a business parking lot and call Volkswagen roadside assistance and waited for a tow truck to take our car to the nearest Volkswagen dealer. The following day the dealer service adviser informed us of the turbo failure.

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #1

Aug 232013


  • 5,700 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the vehicle decelerated without manual force with the illumination of the epc light. The failure recurred on several separate occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was stated that the accelerator pedal malfunctioned and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the problem persisted. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 5,700.

- Beverly Hills, MI, USA

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