really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,862 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 4)

problem #70

Aug 222019


  • 113,000 miles


My 2009 VW Tiguan engine failed as I was driving to work 35 mph, in heavy traffic, out of nowhere my car engine made scary crumbly noise and suddenly died in the middle of the traffic; completely dead. I was scared to death and if I didn't react fast to put emergency lights on, I could have been plowed by a big truck behind me. There were cars parked on each side of the street, and no place to pull over. I was close to work but was stranded on the street with high traffic because I couldn't move the car. I tried to turn it on but again same rumbling sound and dead again. I called a friend to help me push the car to my employer's parking lot so I could be safe. After work I called aaa for assistance and they couldnżT start the car so it was then towed to the place I live. They also concluded that the engine is the problem. That is when I started researching about it and found out there was a settlement for timing chain that I was never informed about and my VIN got matched. I bought this car on 07/31/2018, it was well maintained since then and no issues prior to this. This is a serious issue since I had no prior warning and could have killed someone or someone could have killed me in the accident. I am asking you to help me figure this out and help fix the engine problem on my vehicle. I can't stress enough how scared and concerned I am since then especially because I have two children that I drive in this same car and I thought this car is safe for them and myself and everyone around me when IżM in traffic. I love this car but now neither I can drive it nor I feel safe any longer in it. This car is everything to me and without it I can't go to work and make money or go to pick up groceries. I'm a single mom and no family around and I entirely depend on this car to make the life for my children as stable as possible.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #69

Jul 232019


  • 99,760 miles
On engine start up, the check engine light came on. After driving it a short while, the car would not start again. Had it towed to a qualified mechanic who diagnosed that the timing chain tensioner failed and the engine jumped time, causing catastrophic damage to the cylinder head and pistons. Mechanic estimated a repair cost of approximately $6000 to replace the engine with a used one. The car had less than 100K miles but the repair would have cost more than it was worth. Volkswagen will not pay for the repair, even through a class-action lawsuit was settled against them for this issue, since the deadline for applying was 6 months prior to this incident.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #68

Jul 012019


  • 120,000 miles
Sunroof had defected drain tubes. Due to the drain tubes being defected, it caused a major leak in the sunroof and ended up flooding the inside of the car. Due to the flooding, it shorted out my passenger air bag. My passenger air bag is not functioning correctly. Also, the engine light keeps coming on even after the problems are fixed. The engine has been fixed numerous times and the problems still come back. The engine is faulty. Problems keep arising with the engine in general. I had the car looked at numerous times and its always the same problem being fixed

- Franksville, WI, USA

problem #67

Mar 092019


  • 82,082 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to accelerate from a stop position. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was towed to van horn Nissan of sheboygan (5515 racetrack rd, sheboygan, wi 53081, (920) 457-8844) where it was diagnosed that the timing chain and cylinders needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 82,082.

- Sheboygan, WI, USA

problem #66

Jan 252019


  • 73,000 miles
I noticed a huge oil puddle where my car was parked. I drove straight to the VW service dept in my area...the car has less than 75K miles & was last serviced by a VW dealership due to fuel pump recall. Upon my discovery of the massive oil leak, I now know was spawned from the PCV valve going bad which has resulted in blowing out 3 seals and requiring a new pan. I have recieved an estimate from a VW dealership service dept and a well know auto repair shop- both have quoted the cost no less than $2000 with potential of reaching $3000. Essentially the PCV part is about $20 in cost, but because it just "went bad" and its purpose is to allow the engine to breathe...blowing out these additional seals means that the engine will need to be removed to be repaired. The car is valued around $7000 to resale in good condition. Now, a consumer has to spend 30% to 40% of the cars value to repair the faulty valve that caused additional issues in order to stop the bleeding. I bought this car from carmax at 30K miles in Nov 2014- at the time of purchase there was no disclosure of a recall issued in August of 2014 & did not even receive a letter regarding the recalled until 2 years later from either carmax or VW. In all actuality the entire section in the owner's manual regarding the engine was completely removed & is missing. No indicator lights came on or were displayed from the leak or seals. I would have never known if I wasn't park in a paver driveway at someone's home & asked if that large oil mark was there prior to me parking there in the past 24 hrs. If I continued driving mu vehicle, it could have resulted in a sequence catastrophic events, in a vehicle that has been maintained according to all service standards & requirements on behalf of it's owner.

- Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA

problem #65

Jan 102018


  • 96,872 miles
I have a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan during the time of failure the vehicle was at 96,872 miles on it. I was driving down the street in my neighborhood, fairly close to my house. I had just got off work and was coming down a slight hill. Once I let of the throttle peddle the vehicle jared and began running terribly until the engine stalled. I was able to slow the vehicle and park in front of someones house. I tried to start the car and it would crank but no start. I got the vehicle to my house and tested everything I could until I did a compression test, nothing. The timing chain tensioner failed and my timing chain jumped causeing catastrophic failure. I was lucky to not be going vary fast and no kids out playing in the street. Well just like all the other reports, VW offered no assistance with the repairs. I really hope a recall comes out on this issue due to the amount of occurrences, before someone gets seriously injured or killed. Thank you for your time and consideration. Somebody needs to worry about vehicle safety because we all know VW doesn't.. its all about the $$$ to them

- Pacheco, CA, USA

problem #64

Feb 042017


  • 117,000 miles


Engine seized at just over 117,000 miles. Replaced the engine with a new used one and it seized again not even 4 months after the new used engine was replaced.

- Bater, MN, USA

problem #63

Feb 012018


  • 75,000 miles
The vehicle has heavy hesitattion on the highway and within city limits. It is as iff the car will stop. I took the car to the certified VW dealership due to the engine light being on. It was found that there are metal pieces from the engine or spark plug in the oil and has messed the engine up. With regular oil changes, how would these pieces of metal be in the engine. I performed some research and saw that a lot of others have had the same issues. This should be something that should be reviewed and looked into further by the NHTSA.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #62

Mar 232018


  • 110,000 miles
The timing chain jumped the safety and destroyed the engine and steering. The wiring under the front seats is corroded. The vehicle was stationary.

- Johnston, RI, USA

problem #61

Mar 092018


  • 203,766 miles
I started having issues with the epc light coming on in my car back in 2017. I was told that I needed "carbon cleaning" which I had done in July 2017 to the tune of $950+. after the repairs were done, my car seemed fine until I was out driving up a long hill near home and my car could not pick up speed. The epc warning light came back on. I pulled over and the light went off and I was able to drive again. Weird, but no problems until November 2018 and the same thing started to happen. For personal reasons, I could get to my garage, but just before I was able to take it in to have the problem checked out and for routine maintenance, I'd come out of the grocery store Friday, March 9, and my car would not work. Had it towed to the garage I frequent and was told that my timing chain tension had failed and I would be looking at a bill of $3,100. Please keep in mind that this is the second engine on this car. I replaced the original engine after it died in 2012. I paid $7,000 for a new engine only to end up back in the spot where I'm having to pay loads of money to have this "new" engine repaired. The first time my engine died in 2012, I begged and pleaded with VW to own up to this and to pay for the repair. They only offered me 10% off of a new car.

- Oxon Hill, MD, USA

problem #60

Jan 302018


  • 86,231 miles


Vehicles timing chain tensioner failed causing the engine to stop running. Timing gain tensioner failed causing severe engine damage. While merging onto freeway engine lost all propulsion causing vehicle to lose acceleration due to issue. Almost caused an accident with a semi truck as vehicle was only moving at 20 mph onto a freeway where speed limit is seventy. Was able to move vehicle to the shoulder but would not restart due to engine damage. Volkswagen has acknowledged the issue but has offered zero assistance

- Chatsworth, GA, USA

problem #59

Jan 312018


  • 90,100 miles
At 90K miles the rear main seal has failed. This comes just 4K miles after having the engine cylinder head repaired and all timing components replaced from the timing tensioner failure.

- Mishawaka, IN, USA

problem #58

Jan 182018


  • 70,000 miles
The rear main seal on my 09 Tiguan 2.0 tsi blew at 709K miles from PCV valve defect. I have heard of several cases of the PCV clogging on the tsi engine cars sending boost pressure into crankcase and blowing the seal.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #57

Sep 242017


  • 111,778 miles
Car was driven to from friends house to grandmothers house and shut car off and was visiting family for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. Then got in car and tried to start vehicle and the timing jumped and made a load grinding noise and wouldn't start. It bent the valves in the engine ran into the pistons. An ruined the motor. (111778 miles) had to have a new motor put in cost $7801.54.

- Spirit Lake, IA, USA

problem #56

Sep 212017


  • 121,731 miles
Timing chain tensioner broke and caused catastrophic engine damage. VW quoted me more than $8,000 to fix and VW America accepts no responsibility. This car was impeccably maintained and replacing/servicing the timing chain is not on their maintenance schedule. The check engine light went on while driving home from work at 121,000 miles and was driven to the mechanic, as we already had an oil changed scheduled. When the mechanic went to start the car to replace the cam sensor (what the computer/engine indicated was the problem), the car wouldn't start. I then had to have the car towed to local VW dealer, where they tried to get me to buy a new car. When I called VW America, they refuse to acknowledge the fact that the tensioner has a faulty design and only say that they cannot help with the cost of the repair since the car is outside its warranty.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #55

Sep 052017


  • 93,500 miles
Timing belt tensioner failure, causing catastrophic engine failure at just over 93,000 miles. This seems to be an all too common problem with this vehicle. A newer model of timing belt tensioner has been used since December 2011. Mine has the old style. Vehicle was in motion when engine light popped on, indicating the issue.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #54

Jul 102017


  • 90,000 miles
The timing chain tensioner in this vehicle is known to fail and destroy engines. They have issued technical service bulletins on the issue, but have done nothing to resolve the issue for owners. My wife and child were in the car and the tensioner failed and the engine stopped in the middle of a busy freeway causing them to almost get rear ended by a semi truck. You can find the technical service bulletins here: www.carcomplaints.com/Volkswagen/Tiguan/2009/tsbs/. I had to replace the engine due to a known issue. A recall is truly needed on this issue. Many others have had the same issue happen to them. Also my driver's side airbag failed and VW refuses to address this safety issue.

- Huron, OH, USA

problem #53

May 032017


  • 28,000 miles
2009 Tiguan 2.0 tsi all wheel drive in 2012 I discovered some wetness in the Tiguan floor mat. (less then 3 years old car) I took it to VW dealership, they found a malfunction of the roof drain hose. The estimate was so high $700 that I figure well, I can live with a little wetness when it rains hard. 2012 to 2015 the car was at pizza ardmore VW several times (the same dealership) due to an ongoing red and orange warning lights on the dashboard. "check engine" including malfunction of the airbag. In May 2015 the engine completely stopped running. "you need a new engine" I was told, without providing me with any explanation in spite of my request. How come 25,000 mile engine brakes? nearly $8,000 for a new engine on a six year old Tiguan. Two year later, the car stopped running again, the engine will not start, all electric are shot, no radio, no light, no airbags, no power, all gone. Back to piazza ardmore VW,   the car was then declared total loss, it was too expensive to fix. It all happened for two reasons. The VW manufacturer production defect of the drain hose. And lousy piazza VW dealership neglected to detect and fix the problem twice before it was declared a total loss.  

- Wynnewood, PA, USA

problem #52

Jun 152017


  • 95,400 miles
When driving vehicle stopped running while on the highway. Would not start. Towed to dealer and told the engine was no good and needs to be replaced. Timing chain failure is the reason. Unable to fix as cost to repair is $7000.

- Kansasville, WI, USA

problem #51

Jun 122017


  • 127,000 miles
The timing chain tensioner failed causing catastrophic damage to the engine. The cost to repair my engine is $8,000. I was lucky that I was parked, it happened when I started the car. Others have failed while driving causing loss of control of the vehicle. The vehicle cannot be driven after the failure. Volkwagen is aware of the issue. They currently are producing the 4th version of the part. The current part number is 06K-109-467-K.

- Littleton, CO, USA

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