Volkswagen recall involves the 2018 VW Atlas

Volkswagen is recalling certain Passat sedans and Atlas SUVs because it is possible that their headlights could be misaligned.

A part that prevents headlights from being aimed too far to either side might have been left off during manufacturing. When headlights are misaligned, they may not illuminate the road ahead or they may cause glare for oncoming drivers.

“Altering the horizontal position of a headlight inadvertently may result in light not illuminating the critical areas of the road straight ahead, but casting it to the sides of the road or into an adjacent lane instead,” says Jennifer Stockburger, who heads CR’s headlight testing. “Thankfully, checking the alignment and capping the horizontal adjustment in these vehicles should prove a simple fix.” 

The Details

Vehicles Recalled:

  • 2012 to 2015 Volkswagen Passat sedans manufactured from Dec. 23, 2010, through Oct. 2, 2015.
  • 2016 to 2019 Volkswagen Passat sedans manufactured from April 20, 2015, through Jan. 14, 2019.
  • 2020 Volkswagen Passat sedans manufactured from Oct. 17, 2018, through Dec. 19, 2018.
  • 2018 to 2019 Volkswagen Atlas SUVs manufactured between Nov. 17, 2016, and Feb. 12, 2019.
Volkswagen Road Tests

The problem: Federal regulations do not allow vehicles sold in the U.S. to have headlights that can be adjusted horizontally. Volkswagen is supposed to install a part called a blocking cap to prevent improper horizontal adjustment, but may have neglected to do so during the manufacturing process.

The fix: Dealerships will inspect vehicles to determine whether the blocking cap is missing. If it is, they will install the part. Dealerships will also repair all new unsold vehicles before they are sold to customers.

How to contact the manufacturer: Volkswagen says the recall is expected to begin July 10, 2019. Owners can also call Volkswagen at 800-253-2834.

NHTSA campaign number: 19V389. Volkswagen’s own number for this recall is 94L9.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any open recalls. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly to see whether your vehicle has had a recall issued.

Stay informed about recalls that might affect your vehicle by using our Car Recall Tracker. Create a free account now to become a CR member. 

Volkswagen recall involves the 2015 VW Passat

Headlight Testing

Properly functioning headlights are a vital part of car safety. On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports’ expert Jen Stockberger explains how CR puts them to the test.