really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,156 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.

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Volkswagen Tiguan Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Dec 302015


  • 50,000 miles


At around 50,000 miles I was told by my VW dealer and vwoa that my direct injection engine needed to have its intake valves cleaned due to carbon build up. And it would be labor intensive, as the manifold had to be removed and walnut shells needed to be sandblasted into the valves to remove the build up. The vehicle was experiencing misfires due to the build up. This carbon build up is a known negative result of a direct injection engine, and I'm not the first to experience it. My dealer added a fuel additive two different times to try to remedy the solution, at vwoa's advice, but that did not resolve the problem--and really, how could it since the direct injection engine does not let fuel into the valves (where firing would burn off the carbon build up). The direct injection engine seems fine from an mpg standpoint, but the costs associated with regular cleaning are very expensive and a known problem that VW and other automakers should at least disclose at purchase, or resolve via engineering.

- Hyattsville, MD, USA

problem #20

Mar 022016


  • 60 miles
My car had two recalls and I brought it in as VW of America recommended and I did have oil change at the same time on 2/19/2016. I went on vacation and when I came back I notice the vehicle drove rougher then before this service. On Wednesday 03/02/2016, I was on the freeway and notice my car lost brake function, I try using emergency brake and try down shift nothing work. I feel bless that I manage to avoid two car accident and it would of been my fault. I manage to hit the curb to stop the vehicle. I shift my car to park and shut the engine right away. Lots of icons indicator was on (airbag, ABS, engine...) and I took a video of the dash. I then call my insurance had it towed back to the dealer service. Next morning I was told that it's going to cost me $3K+ to fix all the stuff they telling me the found and claim it has nothing to do with the recalls or oil changed they did, prior to service I had no problem with my vehicle. I have contacted VW America they said they would look into it and have called them a few time now and nothing word on what they going to do about it. I don't feel safe to get back in my vehicle and also not sure they ensure my vehicle is safe to operate plus they asking for $3K+ to address something clearing defective.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #19

Apr 122013


  • 20,000 miles
While driving on a highway at approximately 35mph the vehicle shut down. I tried to re-start the engine and it did not start. The vehicle came to full stop. It took a while to re-start the engine. The first incident was repaired by a VW dealer, but I never got a clear explanation of what happened. The second incident happened last Sunday on a high traffic local road at about 45 mph. The vehicle shut down and again came to a full stop. It will not re-start.

- Guaynabo, PR, USA

problem #18

May 012015


  • 40,000 miles


The coils keep going bad. Replaced all four coils twice with in a one year time frame. Two coils went bad, replaced them and then the other two would go bad. Went approx. Three months with no problems before they went bad.

- Phila, PA, USA

problem #17

May 092014


  • 8,949 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan. While driving at various speeds, the engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The contact was unsure about what part needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 8,949.

- Fullerton , CA, USA

problem #16

Dec 252014


  • 26,141 miles
Two separate failures of engine ignition coil. Vehicle all of a sudden ran rough and lacked power (4 cylinder). First incident christmas morning; dealer found non-functioning ignition coil and replaced -under warranty. Some thirty days later similar problem. Dealer diagnosed another ignition coil failed. Consumer requested VW replace all four (4) coils at this time without charge. VW provided replacements at no cost to owner.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #15

Dec 272014

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles


We recently (12-23-2014) brought the car in for the August 11th 2014 recall of the Tiguan ECM/air bubble issue related to the fuel pump in the cars. Our car was not experiencing any issues relating to the recall and described, but due to potential issues decided to bring it in to have it applied anyways. Upon leaving the dealership, the car was accelerating funny, and we noticed gas mileage had gone down. Due to ECM being reflashed as a part of the recall, we chalked it up as the computer needing to re-"learn" driving habits, shift points, etc.. about 25 miles later we were on the way home from an event about a few miles from home. We were on a very busy 6 lane highway when the car lost all engine power. It put us in an extremely dangerous position, 4 adults in a car on a busy 6 lane highway. We managed to coast over to the shoulder and to an offramp. The car restarted and the epc and check engine lights came on. The car was able to run, but only in limp mode, enough to get us the final couple miles home. Took the car to the dealership the following Monday. Issue was a failed high pressure fuel pump, needs to be replaced. It apparently is a very common part to fail, and at low mileage on cars, in any condition. It failed after the "new car warranty" but was replaced under the extended warranty provided by VW. Due to it's high failure rate at low vehicle mileage, and the impact it can have on safety, the fuel pump recall from August 11th should be expanded to cover the fuel pump replacement and extend the warranty of the part.

- Goodyear, AZ, USA

problem #14

Jun 272014

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
The brakes first appeared to be sluggish as I was stopping for a light. Once the car finally stopped, the catalytic converter warning light began to flash and the engine died. I put the car in park, turned off the ignition, then turned it back on, and put the car into drive. The engine started, but the car shuddered. It drove less than a mile before the engine died again. I went through the same sequence in order to restart the car, but the engine kept dying. In all, it died five times in five miles, dying faster and shuddering harder upon restart. Now, this car is like new. It was bought brand new 2.5 years ago and has less than 4000 miles on it. It had a clean inspection three months ago, and up until today never showed any mechanical problems. It has been in no collisions. The problems began suddenly without warning. And now the car barely functions. If I had been in fast-moving traffic, I could have been killed.

- Dpo, AA, USA

problem #13

Jun 232014

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Tried to start the vehicle and it turned over but would not run. Cranked enough to get a sound like a bicycle wheel with baseball cards in the spokes along with a flashing check engine light. Has been diagnosed as a failed timing chain tensioner and slipped timing chain due to faulty sprocket where teeth were rounded off, requiring a complete engine rebuild or replacement in spite of recommended oil changes having taken place.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #12

Mar 192014

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
My first complaint is the A/C unit went out in some time after Oct.2013 when we purchased the car. And no one wants to respect the fact it had only 30,000 miles on it. The second complaint is the engine cuts out every so often about once every month after you start it put it in gear and begin to roll the car just shuts off. It happened three times in one parking lot while in Texas for cancer treatment! I love my car but not the fact no one wants to take responsibility for the errors in it's systems.

- Madison, MS, USA

problem #11

Feb 032014


  • 19,000 miles


The car engine and power has shut down 5 times while driving. Four times on side streets as well as once on the highway. When this occurs the car must be placed into park to restart vehicle. The car looses all power except radio stays on. Highway incident the brakes had to be pumped. We have taken the car into the dealership to be fixed each time it has happened. First time we were told a computer update was needed. Second time the wiring harness and this third time the fuel pump. There are times it happened before we were able to get the car into the dealership. Second time it happened right after I pulled out of the dealership.

- Orem, UT, USA

problem #10

Nov 012013


  • 45,000 miles
Several times, after starting my Tiguan and backing out of a parking space or driving out of my driveway within minutes of starting the engine, while in reverse or in drive, the car just turns off with it in gear, so then I have had to restart the engine to continue on with my travels. This appears to happen after the car has been running for awhile, then is turned off for about a half hour and then I go to drive it somewhere else, so it is warmed up. I have brought it to my local VW dealership two times now for this issue. The first time, they suggested replacing the fuel pump module, which we did do, however it is occurring again. I brought it back to VW and they can't seem to find out what is wrong with it, but have suggested replacing the fuel pump itself, for a mere $600 or more, which I have not opted to do yet, as I don't feel I should have to replace this costly part for something that seems to be a recurring issue with many Tiguan owners. I think Volkswagen needs to step up and issue a recall on these fuel pumps if that is the case. The vehicle is only 2 years old and I have read of several people complaining of the same issue with their Tiguans. It appears that there is something drastically wrong with these cars, whether it be the fuel pump or what not, but no one seems to know. This is a huge safety hazard as the vehicle just turns off while in drive or reverse in public places, hoping that someone can look into this issue and take the appropriate action to rectify it.....updated 02-28-14. The consumer stated the problem was rectified and would like to withdraw her complaint. Updated 03/07/14

- Rehoboth, MA, USA

problem #9

Oct 152012


  • 9,000 miles
Engine stalled approaching stop-sign rear ended vehicle in front of us. This was the third time this has happened with a stalling issue not accident, seems to be at lower (under 30mph) speed often as you start to slow for a stop sign or stop light. It now has happened again yesterday exiting an automated car wash. Have taken it to Volkswagen three times, once they changed the electronic (brain) box they said but no failures or codes were recorded, so they were just trying something, after doing some online research it seems there may be some issue with fuel pumps/ fuel pressure to me. Very disappointed in Volkswagen once we had an accident they no longer wanted to talk to us about the issues. I will not purchase a Volkswagen again. We had a similar issue with a 2009 Ford escape with a throttle body issue that turned into Ford extending and replacing the part at no charge, Ford was very proactive/helpful un like Volkswagen.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #8

Sep 102013


  • 6,000 miles
While driving on highway going approximately 55 mph car would not accelerate any further. Cars were speeding by and I could not accelerate. Epc light came on. Had to get off the road and turn the vehicle off. Car has done this multiple times in the past year that I have owned it. Epc light resets after car sits off for a few minutes and problem goes away. Dealer says nothing they can do because the light goes off before it gets to the dealer. When this happens in the middle of the highway, it is very dangerous because you cant accelerate and move to a safe side of the road.

- Fort Wainwright, AK, USA

problem #7

Oct 262013


  • 27,000 miles
While driving on highway going approximately 50 mph in a merging lane, car would not accelerate any further. Cars were speeding by and I could not accelerate. Epc light came on. Had to get off highway and have car towed to dealership.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #6

Apr 082013

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
Car stalled while moving. After driving for 30 minutes I parked the car for 20 minutes and when pulling out of the parking space the car completely died. I put the car in park, turned the key and there was not a sound. I took out the key and reinserted and the car started. The identical situation occurred 11 days later. Took the Tiguan to VW. They said they could find nothing wrong with it and to keep them posted. Looking at forums the consensus is there is a problem in the fuel pump area but VW is hesitant to replace them. There are multiple reports of the same stalling issue from other 2012 Tiguan owners.

- North East, MD, USA

problem #5

Apr 102013

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • miles
While out driving with my parents we just crossed over a very busy intersection, turned into wawa food store and it installed, as a big Cadillac escalade was entering the other entrance, as he almost hit me. I finally came to a stop and I was scared and very shocked as to what just happened. I call the dealership while in the parking lot very upset, as I already had an appointment for them to replace my nav system, already, yes that wasn't working right.. took it on April 11 and they still have it. The service department was surprised that it happened and made me go outside with him and show him what exactly what it did. Really, like this is new news to them. I have been so upset and really don't want to drive it again and have this happen. I want to know what VW is going to do to fix this problem before any one is hurt or killed in an accident.

- Collegeville, PA, USA

problem #4

Feb 022013


  • 12,000 miles
Several times while driving my SUV many failure indicator lights indicating epc failure, tire monitoring system failure, license plate light not working, left turn signal not working, brakes lights do not light up, ESC not functioning. Trunk also will not unlock. It seemed like every system warning light this car has came on showing system failures. Everytime this has happened my car loses power and barely wants to move or stalls all together having the automobiles behind me almost rear end my SUV. This SUV with these problems is a accident waiting to happen & someone if not me driving these SUV's will get into an accident if VW doesn't find the right problem to correct this safety issue so many owners are having the same electrical problems I read online plus the ones who have filed a complaint already.

- Tamworth, NH, USA

problem #3

Dec 282012


  • 17,000 miles
2012 Tiguan (~18,000 miles) has stalled at low mph four times. The check engine light came on one occasion but not the others. At each time the vehicle would restart after putting it in park. Took it in to dealership and they could not find anything wrong, told me to make note of temp, mileage, gas level if it happened again. Thankfully this only happened when other cars were not near enough to cause harm.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #2

Aug 142012

Tiguan 4-cyl

  • 8,748 miles
I was making a right turn on a red light and the vehicle turned off almost mid turn, forcing an incoming car to swerve quickly to the next lane. This stalling has occurred about 4-5 times in a 6 month time lapse. Mainly it has happened when I've been moving slow in traffic, going through speed bumps and local parking lots, but the most serious was the one I mentioned earlier. This is my second Tiguan, the dealership had changed my first one because of the same issue, but now it's happening again with this one; both have been new and have had low mileage. The problem seems to occur when your traveling anywhere from 10-20 mph and all of a sudden it dies out and you have to turn it off and on again to start it.

- Miami, FL, USA

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