really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,605 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.

2009 Volkswagen Routan steering problems

steering problem

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2009 Volkswagen Routan Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Jul 112016


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Routan. While driving approximately 30 mph, the power steering failed intermittently without warning and the engine stalled. The vehicle became increasingly difficult to control. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician diagnosed that the ground strap cable needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Painesville, OH, USA

problem #23

Oct 312015


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Routan. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled and the power steering warning light illuminated. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who was unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 88,000.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #22

Nov 302015


  • 105,376 miles
After my van has been sitting for a while and it been warmed up for 15 minutes. With in the first 2 to 5 miles of driving the traction control light will come on and the van will shut off and the steering wheel and break will fail. Then I have to turn the key to off and restart the van and it sometime repeat itself if I'm stuck in traffic.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #21

Nov 212014


  • 68,500 miles


I bought this Routan aprox 8 months ago, nothing but problems, it has shut down in city traffic and highway speeds, I am aware of recall #28H1 from VW that 2 VW dealerships deny even exist.the dealer I bought this from test and diagnosed it as a defective wins module { ignition switch } and contacted a VW dealership in barre Vermont and said they would order a module and scheduled a date to install it, a couple of days before appointment I myself decide to bring in myself and called to verify the date and time, there service department asked me for a recall number of which at the time I did not have because my service manager where I bought it from set this up.after tracking down the correct service rep at walker VW in barre Vermont she informed me they did not order the part and there is no wins modules available yet 06/01/15 even though this recall was dated in March of 2014, still no fix whats up with that " I guess our lives and the lives of our loved ones do not matter it is time for someone or the NHTSA to impose some serious preasure on volkswagon and demand that our vehicles be repaired correctly they should be brought up on charges for deceiveing the public.even my own dealership has not been telling me everything until I corner them or catch them off guard, come to find out after squeezing it out of my own local service manager is that a wins module had already been replaced in my Routan for the prior owner, probably to pasify the customer.I am at this point looking at the legal grounds we all should have against these corperations like volkswagon or even Chrysler since they produced Routans for volkswagon. I would hate to trade this vehicle in just for some other sap to be stuck with a lemon.its just not safe or dependable and we have a long trip in two days 50/50 chance we make it down and back with know problems ??"

- Berlin, NH, USA

problem #20

Apr 092015


  • 40,500 miles
My wife was driving our van when she pulled out onto the main road from our driveway when the vehicle lost all power, including power steering and brakes. Fortunately there was no accident but she did have to stop the vehicle and cycle the keyswitch to restart the vehicle. I have contacted the closest dealer to have this known recall fixed on our van only to be told they have to witness this event happening. Though this has happened 3 times since we bought the car used 3 months ago it is a very intermittent issue. The dealer is about an hour and a half from our house which makes it a 3 hour round trip and a day off from work. I don't mind taking a couple of days off to get this problems solved but the service manager told me some of these vans have not been repaired for 4 months because they cannot duplicate the problem. Whatever happened to the customer is always right" needless to say this is a safety issue and a huge liability. I did contact Volkswagen customer care and they told me the dealer should replace the part and it does not have to be witnessed by their personnel. With that information in an E-mail I once again contacted the dealer and they basically told me VW customer care was wrong and they would have to duplicate the problem in their shop. I am very frustrated with this whole process. It is a known problem...shouldn't they fix it before harm or even death comes to my loved ones" the dealer is lithia VW (phone (541) 774-7500) in medford, Oregon and the service personnel I talked with was named [xxx]. I do have the E-mail from VW customer care and that came from a representative named [xxx]. I would appreciate any help in this matter. Thank you! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Klamath Falls, OR, USA

problem #19

Mar 102015

Routan 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
We have owned the vehicle for about 2 months with no issues, when we purchased the vehicle it came with a clean carfax listing no recalls. On 3/10/15 my wife was driving on a 2 lane country road going about 35mph when the vehicle suddenly lost power and she lost control of the vehicle. The engine appeared to have cut out, she had no power steering and no power brakes and was unable to stop or steer the vehicle. The dash displayed the anti-slip light, but no others. The vehicle slowed down to a stop, thankfully there was no oncoming traffic as she was no longer in her proper lane, and no cars behind her. She was able to put it in park and restart it as if nothing had happened and it was fine after that for the rest of her commute. We contacted VW about the issue and they requested that we bring the car to a VW dealer for inspection. We did that, and VW claimed that our vehicle was not impacted by recall # rna1, but instead they insisted the issue was caused by a faulty egr valve, and gave me an engine trouble code of C121C that they claimed corresponded with the failing egr valve. VW charged me over $100 for the diagnosis, and a day later after complaining to VW customer care they agreed to refund the charges. I brought the vehicle back to the independent dealership that I originally purchased the car at the same day that VW diagnosed this, and they were not in agreement with the egr diagnosis, and also could not corroborate the trouble code C121C as being related to an egr issue, rather it comes up as a torque request signal denied trouble code instead. The independent dealer also found that I had stored codes for ABS malfunctions, sunroof errors and mic/ccn instrument cluster. The independent dealer cleared these codes before leaving that day. On 3/25/15 my wife was driving at about 35mph when the cars engine shut off again in a similar fashion. No codes

- South Berwick, ME, USA

problem #18

Nov 152014


  • 91,770 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Routan. While driving approximately 40 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. In addition, the contact stated that the brakes failed to respond when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V396000 (electrical system); however, the part needed to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 91,770.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #17

Feb 162015

Routan 6-cyl

  • 41,600 miles
The clockspring in the steering wheel went out. At 28 miles the traction control turns on and the car starts braking even if the car is not skidding. Very dangerous. Our mechanic told us the clockspring is a common problem with both the Volkswagen routon and the Chrysler town and country. I found one report on the internet that said Volkswagen started servicing the clockspring as of 2010 routon models but did nothing for the 2009 routon.

- Mount Jliet, TN, USA

problem #16

Aug 142014

Routan 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Was driving on a residential street when the engine shut off without warning. Completely lost all power (steering, brakes, etc). Was able to pull over to side of road thankfully only going 25 mph and no traffic. Put vehicle in park, started up immediately and ran fine after that. Received recall letter in mail the following week stating the ignition switch can turn off without notice incident happened 2 additional times, similar circumstances. Spoke with dealer and VW corporate on 3 separate occasions. Volkswagen states they do not have a solution for the recall repair at this time, nor will they do anything about the possible safety issue of the vehicle shutting off and causing an accident.

- Apple Valley, MN, USA

problem #15

Dec 282013

Routan 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
Catastrophic failure of transmission at 76K. Major transmission work done approximately 26K. Transmission replaced 6 months later and still has issues (sluggish, non-smooth shift between gears at higher cruising speeds. VW engineer gerardo zeledon calls this the "Routan shake" and claims this is normal. Approximately 95,000 miles steering began seizing up while in motion. This is, according to recall notice and service manager at flow VW winston salem nc, a behavior related to a recall on the ignition switch (ntsha 14V-396). No parts are available and the car is unsafe to drive. However, VW cannot fix the problem and will not allow us to use a loaner.

- Browns Summit, NC, USA

problem #14

Apr 202014

Routan 6-cyl

  • 57,311 miles


While driving in phoenix AZ the van began to shake and steering became difficult. (this has happened in the past multiple times intermittently). Later the same evening brakes began to squeak and grind. Until this day the only issue had been the intermittent shaking while braking. There was no squeaking prior to the grinding. Right rear caliper was replaced along with all front/rear brakes rotors drums and hardware. Cost=$780.55.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #13

Sep 112014


  • 84,000 miles
My wife took our 2009 VW Routan minivan to a VW dealership today to repair inoperable electronic door locks and faulty headlights (separate complain filed), at which time she was informed of an ignition problem recall. The ignition part was placed on order and my wife was told the part had to be shipped from out of state and should arrive within five days. My wife asked, and was informed the vehicle was safe to operate; however, I looked up the recall when I got home from work and discovered the recall specifically states the engine can shut of during operation due to added weight from other keys or key rings on the VW key fob. According to the recall, dealership and maintenance personnel are supposed to inform customers to remove added keys from the fob. My wife had keys on her fob which the dealer mechanic had in his hand during inspections, but the mechanic never informed her of the risk, and allowed her to jeopardize her life by driving the vehicle without the required safety information.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #12

Aug 122009


  • 850 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Routan. The contact stated that the emergency brake warning indicator illuminated, which indicated that it was locked. The vehicle veered to the right and crashed into a parked vehicle. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The dealer performed an unknown repair, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 850.

- North Plainfield, NJ, USA

problem #11

Nov 012013

Routan 6-cyl

  • miles
When the vehicle is traveling near 30mph or even higher than that, when the brakes are applied, it shakes violently. This causes the driver to have to hold the steering wheel very tightly to avoid loosing control. The braking system in general seems to be faulty as the brakes and rotors have had to be replaced/changed every two to three months. It is very expensive to replace these brakes and rotors as well as pay for the labor every few months. This is a great concern and should be considered for a recall.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #10

May 232014

Routan 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
The engine turned to off while I was driving and depowered power steering and brakes. At that point I restarted the car and was able to drive. Took the car immediately to VW dealer, kept the car for 24 hours, and they could not replicate the incident so nothing was done by them. This happened again at 93000 miles on August 8, 2014.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #9

Apr 042014

Routan 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Our 2009 VW Routan completely shuts down while driving 3 times now. Not only does it shut down, but the steering and brakes lock as well. On the last occurrence, my wife (with our children in the car) came very close to hitting a parked car in the street. We have taken it to 2 VW dealers so far in charlotte, nc and they state: "we cannot duplicate the issue." Unfortunately, that is not the right answer when you have something as dangerous as this happening to our family car. We have called VW corporate to help 2nd dealership with a resolution, but nothing has been fixed at this time. We are not sure what do at this point, and seems like both VW and VW dealerships are aware of issue, but no one wants to touch it! please help!

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #8

Sep 162013

Routan 6-cyl

  • miles
At least twice per month when I drive my van, the steering will suddenly go out, then the brakes will stop working, then it will just shut off. So far it has only happened when I was driving at pretty low rates of speed. I've called the VW dealership several times and each time they say that they haven't heard of anything like this before and want to charge me a fortune just to look at it. With the newest recall, I cannot understand why my vehicle is not included and the dealership still claims that they have no clue what I'm taking about when all these vehicle were made bu the same manufacturer. This has happened so many times, I can feel it in the steering right before it happens. As soon as my steering starts to get tight, I have to hit the brakes right away before they go out, and turn the car off. Usually when I restart the car, it's fine. This is getting ridiculous and I should have to go through this with a vehicle when there is a proper fix. I have 4 children and another on the way and this is not safe.

- Amelia, VA, USA

problem #7

Jun 062012


  • 63,000 miles
Where to begin with this car. All 4 valve stems needed to be replaced. I was losing pressure in my tires, and mechanic said they were corroded. Then my tiptronics did not work, also when you shifted in to gear, it didn't want to move. Had the whole shifting lever component replaced. Lots of trouble with the doors not opening right, then when closing the sensor doesn't always work. Almost had my kids get caught in the door. If the car is even on the slightest slope the door won't close. While driving down the road at 55mph the car just shut off. No power steering! very dangerous. I had to rent a car to go on vacation, I didn't feel safe enough to drive on the interstate with it. Happened may times. They couldn't find anything wrong with it. Now I think the transmission is going. I am so frustrated with this car!

- Shoreham, VT, USA

problem #6

Jul 262012


  • 376,500 miles
I was driving approx 65 mph on a highway. Without a warning (no check engine light, no battery light, etc) my engine turned off while still cruising at 65 mph. The vehicle still had momentum, but no power steering to safely pull the vehicle over. I had to wait for the road to turn, so I can position the vehicle to stop on the shoulder of the vehicle. I almost crashed into other vehicles, because I had no control of the car other than braking in the middle lane of a highway. Towed vehicle dealer found a blown engine fuse. They replaced the engine fuse. Two hours later, same scenario and same issue came back. Towed back to the dealer, and they believe its a grounding wire. Please investigate this issue. Could potentially translate into major accident or death.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #5

Jan 012010

Routan 6-cyl

  • 200 miles
Completely lost control of the vehicle (no power, no power steering) while driving 45mph on a 7 lane major street. Thankfully it was in the early morning hours and I was able to glide across the intersection to a side street where I turned the vehicle off and on and it resumed power. This has happened at least 4 more times since then, usually while idling at a red light.

- Mountain View, CA, USA

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