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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,576 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 #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: 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

problem #50

Feb 132017


  • 80,600 miles
On Monday evening 02/13/2017 in downtown denver, co, I started my car and pulled into traffic when the car began to jump violently and all warning lights went on. I shut the engine off and it wouldn't start again. I had it towed to the garage where it had been serviced the preceding week.the mechanic called later to say that the engine was damaged because the timing mechanism had slipped but that he would have to pull the engine to evaluate the extent of the damage. Later on the next week, he reported that the engine was damaged beyond repair and that I would need a replacement engine. There was a wait of several days and time to do the work. I got my car back in running condition on 2/24/2017 after paying $6776.94 for the repairs.

- Lakewood,, CO, USA

problem #49

Feb 132017


  • 80,600 miles
I was in downtown denver, Colorado on 2/14/2017. I started the car, pulled into traffic and the car started jumping, all warning lights went on and I turned off the engine. It wouldn't start, was towed to a garage where the mechanic reported that the timing mechanism had slipped and damaged the engine. When he examined it further he realized it was beyond repair and that I needed a new engine.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #48

Apr 272017


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan. While at a traffic light, the contact noticed that the vehicle would not idle. When the failure occurred, the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the timing chain failed and the engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and provided case number: 170410920. The contact was informed that the vehicle had no recalls for the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 93,000.

- Archbald, PA, USA

problem #47

Mar 202017


  • 125,310 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle stalled and all the warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed a loud noise, no compression, and a metallic metal to metal noise coming from the engine. The engine would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was serviced per NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V441000 (fuel system, gasoline) and 13V569000 (electrical system, exterior lighting). The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 08V235000 (engine and engine cooling). The failure mileage was 125,310.

- Three Rivers, MA, USA

problem #46

Mar 302017


  • 67,000 miles
67,000 miles on an 8 year old Tiguan major failure of the rear main oil seal, followed 3 days later by the failure of the timing chain and tensioner. Both the seal and the tensioner are noted points of failure and vwoa is not standing behind the known issue and or quality issues regarding these parts. Rear main seal broke during a highway drive, no check engineer light appeared, oil was almost completely drained from the car and no low oil pressure light came on. The only indication of the failure was the pool of oil under the car when the car was parked. After repair of the rear main seal, car ran fine for 3 day and then the timing chain slipped causing sever engine shake. Car was station are when this occurred and car was immediately towed to the deal for diagnostic. Failure of the tensioner on the timing chain was the contributing factor and low oil pressure can cause the failure according to research of this particular issue. The failure of the rear main seal could have caused engine failure at a high rate of speed and with no waring lights or check engine lights the drive is unaware of the condition. In discussion with vwoa they are not interested in standing behind the quality of the engine and offer not assistance to help cover the cost of the defective, internal parts, that a consumer would have no understanding of how to check or confirm condition without either the manufacturer or the dealer making a point to check during normal service intervals. The tensioner has an existing tsb noting the propensity of the timing chain to slip and the tensioner to fail.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

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