really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,339 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 Tiguan engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #41

Jan 162017


  • miles


The engine for my particular car is very poorly designed causing it to have so many issues one after the other. At on 72K miles I have already had the following jobs done to my car: Replace PCV valve, decarbonization of the car, rear main seal leak replacement.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #40

Dec 262016


  • 100,000 miles
Tiguan. Purchased the car in December 2015 replaced the water pump in February 2016 and again in January 2017. The water pump on this car has been replaced 4 times in its lifetime. VW should issue a recall and offer extended warranties to all owners of its cars.

- Overland, MO, USA

problem #39

Jan 102017


  • 80,016 miles
Large pool of motor oil under the left side of the engine. Dealer inspected and informed me of a failed rear main seal caused high crankcase pressure buildup due to a stuck (closed) pvc valve.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #38

Nov 292016


  • 88,000 miles


Car would not start or even turn over. Battery was fine and firmly connected. Lights all came on. No error messages. On third or fourth try, it started right up. I backed the car out of driveway onto my street with distant approaching traffic. I shifted from reverse to drive and the car began to move forward and left, then with a loud clunk it died completely, engine off, all lights dark. Now in danger from the not-so-distant oncoming traffic, I tried to restart. Same trouble as before---no reponse but the all lights came on. Two or three tries and then it started. The same thing occurred the following morning. No oil dump or any other fluid. Unknown cause. VW dealershsip unable to recreate the problem and thus unable to diagnose. The dying while in motion problem is a potentially injury-causing or even fatal hazard.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #37

Nov 102016


  • 90,000 miles
While driving the rear oil seal failed causing sudden loss of oil pressure that required an immediate trip to the mechanic. No warning lights ever came on to indicate a problem. Had our vehicle stalled or engine failed due to loss of oil while we were driving at high speed we could have caused an accident. Almost a year later while parked the engine failed to turn over and had to be towed to mechanic. Timing tensioner had failed causing damage to engine requiring replacement. There was no indication that there was a problem leading up to this incident. Had we been driving and the timing chain failed we could have caused an accident. These are both known problems by VW yet they have done nothing to repair or make their customers whole due to these defects. Now I have an $7,000 paper weight because I have to replace a blown engine in a car that has 90,000 miles and is 7 years old.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #36

Sep 242016


  • 0 miles
While driving my car from wv to NY, I broke down in pa. My car was making an odd noise and rumbling feeling while I was driving on the freeway at 70 mph and would worsen during acceleration. I was very concerned, so I pulled off to a gas station. At this point no check engine lights were on. After I filled up on gas, the car would not start. It was towed to VW dealership in northern pa, where I was told an air hose was broken. 10 days later, my car began making the same noise and driving poorly again while I was driving on the express in long island, and was exacerbated by accelerating. My car could not accelerate above 30 mph, so I promptly took my car to the mechanics, where I was told the timing chain tensioner and guide, exhaust valves, gasket heads and spark plugs needed to be replaced. Additionally in 1400 miles, my car had consumed all of the its oil and was on running on fumes. Apparently my car consumes oil at an absurd and unacceptable rate. The timing chain tensioner failing has been a common problem amongst VW 2.0tsi engines and currently there are multiple lawsuits filed against this type of engine, as is the consumption of oil. My car was not involved in an accident due to these failures, but that is only because I pulled over to a safe location as soon as I felt something was wrong. Again a check engine light never came prior to both mechanic visits. However this could have caused an accident and may continue to cause one in other vehicles.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #35

Sep 122016


  • 64,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan. While driving 75 mph, the vehicle stalled and the oil pressure indicator illuminated approximately 30 seconds before the engine stalled. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the timing chain tensioner failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 64,000.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #34

Aug 152016


  • 95,000 miles
Turned car on and started to shake and idle wildly, engine light came on. Timing chain jumped was the diagnosis, went to get 2nd opinion same result. Mechanic working on vehicle, dont have exact extent of damage but have an estimate of cost.

- Covina, CA, USA

problem #33

Jun 202016


  • 55,300 miles
Car at 55,000 miles had coil failure. Caused engine to race and stall almost causing an accident. Luckily, it was only at 25 miles per hour in my development.

- Linwood, NJ, USA

problem #32

Jul 062015


  • miles
I bought my car July 6 2015 the first week the check engine light came on. So then 2 weeks later check engine light comes on again this time Cadillac converter went out the the head light keeps going out. No its in the shop for the timing this car has been a night mare since I got it.

- Oakley, CA, USA

problem #31

May 022016


  • 127,000 miles


My car was parked in a lot and wouldn't start. I had it towed to the dealership. They said the timing chain had jumped and damaged the engine beyond repair. They quoted my $8K to purchase a new engine.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #30

Nov 182015


  • 144,158 miles
Timing chain issue: On Nov 18 2015 my wife was driving from work when suddenly the car suddenly stalled. Car was towed to VW dealership in irving tx, where they did diagnostics and concluded that the timing chain slipped out and broke the cylinder head. The total cost was fixing that was around 5000$. the dealership told me that they were no recall on the timing chain issue and I should call VW of America, which I did. I asked them why the dealership whenever I take the car for service didnt not request I change the timing chain. According to them timing chain is not part of the routine service because its supposed to last the life of the car. The VW representative told me I should go ahead and fix the car and whenever they have a recall on the issue they will refund me the fixing cost. Now I am stuck with vehicle in my driveway because I cannot afford to fix the vehicle. And VW will not cover the costs even though they are selling a vehicle which they state the timing chain doesnt need to be changed.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #29

Feb 262016


  • 135,470 miles
The water pump failed at 106,246 miles, it was replaced. The pump failed again at 109,802 miles, it was replaced. The pump failed again at 135,473 miles. On all three occasions, the pump failed on start up, the car was not in motion.

- Ijamsville, MD, USA

problem #28

Dec 232014


  • 113,000 miles
Timing chain tensioner failure: My Tiguan had been running perfectly and was a great car since purchasing it 7 months prior to this incident. I drove it 250 miles and at the end of the trip as I was pulling into my destination, I noticed back-and-forth rocking and the engine sounding a bit clunky. I planned to take it back to the dealer I purchased it from to get checked out and wasn't going to drive it if I noticed the back-and-forth rocking again, but I didn't. approximately 100 miles before making it back home, I pulled into a gas station for a rest stop. I came back out to my car turned the key, and nothing happened. The battery was at full charge, but the engine had the starter wanted to fire up the engine, but there was nothing. I had the car towed to my local VW dealer and was extremely surprised upon receiving news that my engine and turbo were blown and both needed to be replaced. After notifying the used car lot I purchased the car from, I was made aware of my vehicle being one month beyond the 6-month warranty. I called VW who said they couldn't do anything to help since my vehicle was well over the warranty mileage. I have since persuaded the dealership I purchased from to cover the installation of a replacement engine, but purchasing the new engine and turbo(upwards of $9K for oem) has fallen on me.

- Fitchburg, WI, USA

problem #27

Oct 242015


  • 49,000 miles
On Oct. 24, 2015 when I tried to start my car, it shook, idled roughly and stalled. I tried again and it wouldn't start. I had the car towed to my Volkswagen dealer. They checked it and told me the timing chair had broken causing catastrophic damage to the engine. The estimate for repairs was $4952.29. And if the engine had to be replaced, it would be $6500. Volkswagen of America group would pay nothing toward the repair claiming it was out of warranty. (the power train warranty was 5 years/60,000 miles.) the car had 49,000 miles, but was over the 5 year time period. But a timing chain should be good for the life of the car; unless there is a defective part. You have a tsb (TB-15-12-01 -NHTSA id number: 10045560) on the "tensioner" which causes the chain to become loose, skip and break. Moreover, there are numerous complaints on your site about this exact issue. Volkswagen failed to notify customers of this defect and there was no recall. This is a ticking time bomb that can result in a serious accident. The day before this happened, I was travelling on the Florida turnpike for 8 hours at the posted speed of 70 mph. If the chain had broken during that time, it could have resulted in a fatal accident involving me and/or others. Why hasn't there been a recall" why should Volkswagen be allowed to put my life and the lives of others at risk? why should I have to pay for Volkswagen's negligence when they were aware of this issue for almost 3 years? this defect has the potential to kill. Does someone have to die before you will take action to require Volkswagen to fix this problem"

- The Villages, FL, USA

problem #26

Sep 212015


  • 120,000 miles
On a cross country road trip, my 2009 VW Tiguan was running perfectly. Stopped at a rest stop, and when tried to restart car, it rattled severely and the engine light went on. Vehicle was towed to VW service, and I was told I needed an engine replacement, due to a failed timing chain tensioner. It cost me $5800, along with 5 days of lodging while waiting for repair. The VW dealer supported the fact that I should get reimbursed by VW. My vehicle had a perfect maintenance record. There is nothing in the manual pertaining to maintenance requirement for timing chain/tensioner. All it takes is a quick search on the internet to see the unbelievable amount of cases and complaints, even to vehicles with as low as 10,000 miles. There is apparently a new tensioner service kit available to avoid the catastrophic damage, but VW has not notified customers. This is absolutely a safety issue. My wife or I could have been traveling in a remote area with no cell reception, which is often the case. It is also unacceptable to put the financial burden on customers when it could be avoided. This needs to be a recall. This is a Canadian vehicle, but the breakdown occurred in NY state. This should be a North american recall.

- Latham, NY, USA

problem #25

Oct 092015


  • 66,973 miles
Vehicle stared to run ruff and stall causing a driving hazard. VW dealer repair facilitate clammed that it was front crank seal P/N 06L-103-085-B cost of part $11.30. After replacing the seal the dealer then claimed that the pvc valve was bad also P/N 06H-103-495-ac $201.30. It is known that when this part fails that it will cause the seal to fail as well. Total cost of repair was $774.07. This vehicle had 66,973 miles. This is a major failure of the vehicle and cause a dangerous condition. The type of failure should not occur on an engine with such low mileage.

- Plainview, NY, USA

problem #24

Jul 172015


  • 83,000 miles
Was traveling just off I270 outside of columbus oh on Friday 7/17/2015 when the real main engine seal failed causing a dump of the engine oil and a warning to immediately stop the engine due to lack of oil pressure. There was no prior warning at all. If had been on the interstate could have put us at risk due to the abrupt failure. Have been researching this problem and have found many other owners of this vehicle and engine (2.0 tsi 2009 on) in other VW's that this is a common problem in the range of 80 to 100K miles. Finally had to have the car flatbedded to a local dealer where the engine was declared unrepairable and had to be replaced out of warranty at a cost of over $7,000.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #23

Jun 152015


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan. Upon turning the key in the ignition to start the vehicle, it shook violently. The vehicle was turned off, but failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for further inspection. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 08V235000 (engine and engine cooling) and 14V441000 (fuel system, gasoline). The VIN was not available. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 72,000.

- Union , ME, USA

problem #22

Apr 072015


  • 100,000 miles
Noticed oil leak on otherwise spotless driveway a few days after 100K service at VW dealership. Returned to dealer where rear main seal was identified as the source. Estimate was $1400 total cost to repair along with oil hoses to turbo. Discussed details and frequency of rms repair with tech, since transmission has to be removed. Also researched VW forum threads on rms failure to find that 2008+ model vws are most affected, 2009 Tiguans in particular. Of the 13 complaints on the NHTSA site regarding failed rear main seals on vws, more than half (7 of 13 = 54%) are from owners of 2009 Tiguans. (3 of 13 complaints were for 2009 passats, with 1 each for a 2009 cc, a 2011 Tiguan, and a 2012 jetta.). even with this small sampling, having 54% of the rms failures affecting the same model (Tiguan) of the same model year (2009) is more than a coincidence. It shows a trend. Volkswagen of America acknowledges no such trend, and VW customer care refuses any responsibility beyond warranty.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

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