Introduced for 2012, Volkswagen's midsized sedan was redesigned and optimized for the American market. In other words, it grew larger than most of its competitors, lost some of that crisp European driving feel and became less expensive. Passat buyers who prioritize fuel economy tended to go with the diesel-powered Passat TDI, delivering an excellent 37 mpg overall in our testing.
Alerts
There are 10 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
NA
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard; available in rear side from 2006. Head protection air bags standard from 2001. ESC available from 2002, standard from 2006.
Road Test

Introduced for 2012, Volkswagen's midsized sedan was redesigned and optimized for the American market. In other words, it grew larger than most of its competitors, lost some of that crisp European driving feel and became less expensive.

Passat buyers who prioritize fuel economy tended to go with the diesel-powered Passat TDI, delivering an excellent 37 mpg overall in our testing. While very efficient for this amount of space, the Passat TDI isn't a runaway fuel economy champ. It only beats the most efficient non-hybrid midsized sedans by four or five mpg overall. Where the Passat TDI really shines is on long highway road trips, with an amazing 51 mpg. 

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Sequential
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbodiesel (140 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 5 (170 hp)
  • 3.6-liter V6 (280 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Volkswagen Passat owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Ad blue pump failed and was not covered by the emission warranty. Bad juju for VW"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Warning light, sensor for additive in fuel tank. Replaced sensors, took 3 days to fix"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Ad blue light came on. Needed sensor replacement"

Michel P., QC (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Blue Fluid sensor seemed to have an issue despite plenty of fluid in the reservoir"

Anonymous, NH (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"diesel emissions system fail due to soot build up causing flap to stick"

Richard M., NH (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"AdBlue system gave a fault and I had to visit two dealers 7 times to get the problem fixed"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The "Ad Blue" system was completely clogged with crystallized fluid and failed. The entire system had to be replaced, just after the warranty expired"

Daniel H., FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Urea pump problems with diesel emission system. Multiple trips to dealer and multiple debates as to cost. Over $1000 to repair, then back again to face the same thing. Don't have confidence dealer knows what he is doing, but replaces parts and charge"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"TDI's being fixed or bought back due to the failure to meet US emission standards"

Frederick F., OH (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"TDI. Need I say more?"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"VW install emission "defeat" software"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"VW engineering cheated the public in regard to emissions which is well documented"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"emissions light went on and it was covered by the warranty"

Anonymous, CT (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"DEF heater malfunctioned but covered by power train warranty. DEF sensor malfunctioned and it was not covered by warranty. It cost me about $750 to fix it with parts and labor. The most frustrating thing is that DEF malfunction was not detected or prevented by a regular check up by VE dealership which is expensive"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"This is part of the recall/lawsuit against VW. This is the single item that has caused issues in the car"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI)

"1. Obviously this is a vehicle which falls in the VW emissions control cheating scandal. 2. The AdBlu heater malfunctioned. Is a problem with these models. Required full day service (under warrantee) to replace and recharge AdBlu system (AdBlu is a urea compound used with diesel motors)"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"We all know about the VW emissions scandal - the shame of it all is this vehicle is the best vehicle I've ever owned. VW didn't have to screw around with remissions. If I got 1-4 mpg less I'd still love the car. I had to replace a diesel add blue heater which cost me $1,000.00 - in in Florida why and when would I need to heat the additive? If I didn't repair it the vehicle would have shut down on me within 50 miles"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"ad blue heater"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"VW TDI emissions recall The upgrade was done"

Anonymous, OR (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Fuel injection system

"fuel injection system failed because of water in the diesel fuel causing microruptures to system. covered by warranty and repaired very quickly"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Fuel pump

"The entire fuel system needed to be replaced at a cost over 6k which fortunately was covered by warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Mil light came on couple times. Was reset and given back during warranty period. Then car had starting problems dealer wanted to charge for new pump then honored warranty as documented problems"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Fuel Pump failed at 32,000 miles then again at 62,000 miles!"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"This is the second time for the sensors to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat S 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Sensor that monitored fuel malfunctioned which was replaced by factory"

Kevin M., NY (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"wiring harness was burned.. needed to replace oxygen sensor and Nox sensor"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Nitrous Oxygen sensor went - $800. It's covered on new cars with 100,000 mile engine warranty but VW would not cover it on my 3 year old car with 95,000"

Robert N., CT (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Adblu refill indicator would not shut off. Vehicle sensor system had a number of sensors that were burnt out for unknown reasons causing failure of sensor system"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Warning lights coming on when there was no issue"

Anonymous, NS (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"VW tech discovered a nonworking sensor when the "check engine" light came on. The replacement cost was over $1000 which VW covered under warranty. This was the fourth time the "light" came on when the diagnosis was finally made"

Anonymous, NS (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"O2 sensor failed within a few miles over the covered warranty. VW decided to cover the repair which was something like $700"

Rick W., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Nox sensor malfunction after TDI emissions fix. Was easily repaired by dealership & covered under emissions fix warranty. This TDI Passat is, hands down, the best, most reliable car I've ever owned."

Joe B., OH (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Tail light and blinkers on both sides have burned out"

Kevin K., AL (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"driving light blew out"

Kenneth G., NY (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"daytime running light is very difficult to change, resulting in damage to the light socket which cannot be replaced as an individual item necessitating the purchasing of a complete headlight assembly"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"License plate light burned out"

Beth R., WA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 3.6-L V6)

"Poor design for running lights, tab breaks off and entire assembly must be installed $$$$&"

James W., WA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Headlights

"one of the complete headlight modules had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Dealer suggested replacing the entire headlamps due to moisture in the lens, for a parts cost of $900. I refused on the grounds that the lamps were not broken and if they need replacement it was due to poor quality. I'm still using the"defective" la"

Frank B., TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Known recall issue where headlights failed (happened twice). Covered under warranty"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Warranty recall on headlights"

Lou D., BC (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Heated or cooled seats

"The electric seat motor began to fail and so I replaced it"

Stephen R., NY (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The heater drivers seat doesn't heat."

Carlos R., TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 3.6-L V6)
Keyless entry

"Keyless entry quit working (would not open when door handle was touched but would open when key fob button was pressed). Dealer fix was to reset it, no parts replaced, no reason for failure - cost $100"

David-Ann P., MN (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Does not always work, so I have to dig the key out of my purse to open or lock the doors. Very annoying. Haven't had it fixed yet"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"left rear door will not open every time. Right rear door unlocks at red lights and re locks when up to speed for the doors to auto lock. Appears to be weather related Cold weather is when it happens"

John C., NS (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"doors would not lock, ECM or ECU replaced $600"

Derrick C., QC (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Water was able to get into the drivers door, freeze and cause failure of electronic door mechanism, locking the driver in. (a major safety problem) When I took the vehicle in to get it repaired, there was another Passat with the identical problem behind me. The dealer denied any manufacturing fault, yet later years of the vehicle had a remedial measure built in"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Short in the wiring caused keyless entry to trunk to fail. Went beyond that to use of interior switch to open trunk."

Christopher W., OH (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Remote engine starter

"In for service twice for this condition. The first time it was under warrant and they said it was a software problem. The second time was 200 miles after the warranty and the told me it was a hardware problem and the cost to fix would be $900.00. I"

Cheryl F., WA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Tire pressure monitor

"When it's too cold the tire pressure warning light comes on"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Volkswagen Passat S 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Warning lights

"Tire pressure warning light comes on repeatedly, even after serviced and/or new tires. Very annoying"

Kevin K., AL (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Engine warning remains on, can not be turned off by dealer"

James W., WA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Had to change a sensor very expensive"

Michael P., LA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Sunroof leaking into rear floor area"

Anonymous, NE (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Due to age, the drains for the sunroof became damaged, and was leaking water into the passenger footwell and behind the dashboard."

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"plugged drains in sunroof system. Backed up and caused some damage to headliner."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Drain tubes constantly plugged Floor underneath and behind drivers front seat fills with water!"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"Now have rattle in driver door in addition to rattle in dash. Also had to replace the headliner (warranty)"

Wade R., NC (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Squeaks between dash and windshield after dealer replaced windshield. Dealer improved but did not completely eliminate. Lease was almost up so traded in this month"

Emmett S., AZ (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"In cold temps the dash area make cracks and pops. Not that it is warm it only does it when going over rough roads or any bumps"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Car is very lound on the road. Lots of rattles and wind noise"

Joshua F., FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Plastic trim inside bottom of windshield. Crackles if air is too hot or too cold. Have had it replaced once and still does it infrequently"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Volkswagen Passat S 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"The car has rattles coming from the dash"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 3.6-L V6)

"Interior rattle above the passenger seat that's been difficult to track down"

Beth R., WA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 3.6-L V6)

"This Passat is just like the Jetta that I owned in that, after a couple of years, the suspension starts to squeak and rattle. This requires replacing the shocks and bushings"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Popping noise from front end. Determined to be subframe clunking. Multiple trips to multiple dealers has improved the issue, but still not fully resolved"

Anonymous, NE (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Wind noise

"passenger sideffront at 75 plus KM/HR"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Persistent wind noise from driver door"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 3.6-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen freezes up

"The entire Infotainment system will shut down for no reason and do a re-boot multiple times a week"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Antenna Error message pops up when I start the car and no music or functions of the Nav or Radio/ Satellite will work until I rest the entire radio!"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Every 15-30 minutes the system freezes and restarts. This effects the Sirius satellite radio and nav system"

Charles S., TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Continuous stopping of music being played resulting in having to press the play button to resume music which is still playing on the Bluetooth device. Problem is not encountered if iPhone is plugged into the system with the cable"

Anonymous, LA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"system was out off date it did not have new roads in the system"

Anonymous, AR (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The system has had flaws from day one and the dealer has admitted that it is a system with problems. VW refused to give the software update for free within the warranty period but later offered it for $99. This solved some issues but the system has s"

Ben G., AL (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Failed at warranty end. Dealer replaced for free"

Anonymous, OK (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Nav system froze. Needed replacement unit 1 day before warranty expiry"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Has stopped functioning for no particular reason; needed to be re-set by removing unit and re-plugging"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat S)
Radio

"While driving, radio would shut down for approximately30 seconds, then restart"

Jack S., MN (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Radio includes GPS, Bluetooth, etc. Entire system had fatal crash when VW technician attempted to pair my cell phone to Bluetooth. Dealer insisted it was my fault and I had to fight with Volkswagen Canada to get reduced price on a brand new system"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Voice control commands

"Voice commands rarely give the expected result.As an example, I tried to call Diane and it asked, "Did you mean Dry Ash?" When you say no you are directed to select from a list on the infotainment screen. Poor results and an unsafe solution"

Diane L., PA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"Was aligned when front passanger struts were replaced, but then had to be realigned again"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"The specifications for alignment, which when done cause rear tires to wear out on the inside edges. The shop said that is because the car uses a "sport" setting"

Daniel H., FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"Power steering unit needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

"Struts needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"shock clunk from rear shock absorbers"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Volkswagen Passat S 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"The drivers side shock was defective so vw replaced it"

Herbert C., FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 3.6-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"power amp failed, stability control bars worn, rear springs worn"

Derrick C., QC (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Needed stabilizer bar bushings"

Jeff F., ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"FRONT AND REAR TORSION BARS NOISY AND NEED TO BE REPLACED THE PASSENGER REAR DOOR WILL NOT LOCK AND THE LOCK/DOOR CATCH HAS TO BE REPLACED FOR $700 THIS LOCK HAS BEEN A PROBLEM SINCE VERY NEW BUT NEVER REALIZED THE DOOR WOULD NOT LOCK. THIS IS A COMMON PROBLEM FOR VW'S"

B B., ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"it was the stabilizer bar that was rusted out. Due to the fact that it was a specialized part, my garage could not get it. I had to bring my vehicle to the dealer."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Noticed fluid leak on garage floor. The power steering rack and suction hose had to be replaced"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"The whole engine needed to be replaced, the dealer did it for free as we had only had the car a few months"

Jennifer T., NY (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL)
Turbo or supercharger

"It seized at about 28000. Was replaced"

Chris W., MA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Turbocharger failed resulting in a loss of vehicle power. It was replaced by the dealer under warranty"

Matthew N., OH (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Turbine Wheel failed causing metal to recirculate to engine thereby scoring cylinders causing engine to fail"

George S., AL (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"While traveling on two different occasions, we had problems with the turbo charger. Had it fixed in Texas and again in Colorado. Finally had the turbo charger replaced at no cost, however, the first repair cost us over $800 and we felt that the turbo"

Ann S., CO (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Turbo failed twice in a 12 month period. Required replacement. Covered under warranty and warranty was extended on turbo to 187,000 KMS. VW claims it is due to weather conditions in Southern Ontario"

Paul V., ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"accellerating and severed the impeller on the turbo"

Anonymous, NH (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Turbo failed with less than 10,000 miles on the odometer"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"System quit providing cold air. Compressor was replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat S 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Problem caused by road debris piercing the compressor"

Anonymous, KS (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Compressor would not work when hot"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The AC stopped cooling last summer. The problem was an unrepairable refrigerant leak from the compressor located deep inside the dash. The repair was difficult for the local VW dealer but was done successfully over several days"

Anonymous, NS (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"was told that due to age it is common for VW air conditioning systems to become less effective over time, and will eventually require an new compressor or rebuild. was told that it is a certainty that the compressor will completely fail eventually"

Joseph B., TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

"Problem was determined to be a blocked heater core which was replaced and resolved the issue. Based on research this appears to be impacting the 2012-2014 models"

Philip O., MA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"could not adjust autotemp level intermittently"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Volkswagen Passat S 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

"Something was wrong with the calipers which caused overheating to the pads. they replaced all the calipers. They didn't say it was a recall but they knew about the problem. When I complained about them still squeaking they said I would still be cove"

George R., WA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Parking brake

"parking break system seized up through no use and age"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Pulsation or vibration

"needed to have front break pads replaced"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Rotors

"Rotors are getting wrapped under normal driving conditions"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Volkswagen Passat S 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Squeaking

"When I first complained about the squeaking they worked on the brakes and said they has solved the problem. After the overheating problem the brakes started squeaking again. When I took it in they said everything was OK, however I would be covered by"

George R., WA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"backing up when cold brakes squeak. Lately queak when stopping front"

Anonymous, NV (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"squeaking brakes started at around 10000 miles and VW will not do anything to correct"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"In first gear when cold car leaped like a rabbit. Mechanic changed pressure plate clutch etc"

Robert W., QC (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"clutch completely failed at 57000 kms"

Michel P., QC (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Fifth and Sixth gear was "grinding" at low rpm and dealer determined fault and replaced with new transmission"

Gary G., WI (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"new DSG transmission needed replaced under warranty"

Richard M., NH (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"DSG gearbox was replaced at 35k miles just got rid of the car as the replacement gearbox has failed at 70k mile unacceptable that VW DSG gearbox only lasts 35k miles and costs 6k usd to replace"

Richard M., NH (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Shifting became difficult and there was transmission slippage. There were also leaks, which turned out to be tranmission fluid. I turned out that the whole transmission and clutch needed replacement because the leaking transmission oil had destroyed the clutch and bearing in the transmission had popped out of place, damaging the cover to the transmission which required a complete transmission replacement. The overall cost was CAD$4000, of which Volkswagen agreed to pay half of the parts cost"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"Serious "clunking" sound coming to a stop"

William M., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Transmission light was on and took to the dealership 4 times to repair. finallyon the 4th time they fixed the intale manifold length"

Joshua F., FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Had the car check for rough shifting on hills, dealer says they adjusted"

Jeff C., GA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 3.6-L V6)

"When decelerating the transmission "clunked" when dropping to 1st gear. Resolution: software upgrade and adjustment required. All has been fine since"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Transmission computer

"Car would not go into reverse and kept dying when you would go forward. Had to get the car towed to the dealer to fix. Thank goodness it was covered by warranty, otherwise the repair would have been over $1000"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"Pretty sure this is what they replaced to fix the issue, or maybe it was some kind of other mount?"

William M., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"driver door would not latch"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Volkswagen Passat S 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Locks and latches

"In extreme cold the drivers door lock mechanism froze and would not allow the door to be unlocked. According to the dealer this was a design flaw which has now been fixed by the dealer"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Rear seat back latch would not release"

K M., NH (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Drivers door would not stay shut so a new door latch was installed"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Volkswagen Passat S 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Windows

"Right side power window would not raise-to-close and would go back down"

J B., SC (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Engine computer had to be replaced at 35000 miles"

Javier G., TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The emission control software was designed to fool diesel exhaust test equipment"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"MAP Sensor began to go, engine light went on. Mileage decreased to 24-25 mpg. With repair, mileage went back to 28 mpg"

Diane K., IL (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Fuel leaks

"Fuel leak from fuel filter caused damage to serpentine belt and timing belt, cuddling engine damage"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Oil leaks

"Vacuum pump leaked oil."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"Headliner above driver's side window was frayed and detached...it took two attempts to fix and the problem still exists. Appears that headliner was too small by about 1/4 of an inch"

James S., VA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint started to "bubble" through and crack the clear coat - dealer repainted entire rear passenger side of the car (door, fender, trunk, bumper, roof, side pillars)"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"The paint is not of great quality. It has faded on the door posts, front bumper area and around the mirrors. It started pealing on the hood and I have had to have that area repainted. My car is black and that does show flaws easier than lighter colors"

Anonymous, UT (2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 3.6-L V6)

"Paint chipped with moderate contact with snowbanks"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"This vehicle was part of the Takata airbag recall. I purchased the car with an (unknown at the time) open recall. Volkswagen contacted me regarding the recall, repaired the airbag when I arranged to do so."

Linda H., PA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"airbag was subject to a recall. Dealer fixed the problem at no cost."

John W., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"Airbag recall. Have had an airbag problem with every VW I've owned"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

"had a recall and took forever to get it fixed at dealership"

Michael P., LA (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

"Alternater failed which killed the battery"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Alternator failed and damaged the battery"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Ignition switch

"The switch is getting sluggish. We called the dealer and they indicated that the switch should be replaced for $275. It is irritating that the switch even wears out. Keys never did"

Ann S., CO (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"4 Glow Plug failures"

Javier G., TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Stability control (ESC)

"Momentary loss of steering if you hit a bump while in a curve. Two different dealerships have been unable to solve the p"

Anonymous, LA (2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"water pump was leaking"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
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