Introduced for 2012, Volkswagen's midsized sedan was redesigned and optimized for the American market; that is to say, it grew larger than most competitors, lost some of that crisp European driving feel, and became less expensive. Since then, continual changes have tweaked and honed the Passat.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2016 Volkswagen Passat has been recalled 4 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
00
01
02
03
04
05
06*
07
08
09
10
11
12*
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20*
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 Volkswagen Passat owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

Apple CarPlay

"Apple CarPlay intermittently works with iPhone."

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Passat SE 3.6-L V6)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"Backup camera does not always turn on when I need it"

Anonymous, OR (2016 Volkswagen Passat SEL 3.6-L V6)

"sometimes to just doesn't work."

Anonymous, OR (2016 Volkswagen Passat SEL 3.6-L V6)

"VERY SLOW TO RESPOND. Useless, since it only works after a minute or two of driving. It is a safety concern."

Anonymous, MB (2016 Volkswagen Passat SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Hardware replacement

"The touch-screen ability on part of the main screen became inoperative on a portion of the screen. I asked the dealer about it, and their solution was to replace the entire dash unit including screen for $2000. I decided not to repair the issue."

Anonymous, NC (2016 Volkswagen Passat SEL 3.6-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Has a very sensitive touch screen that is difficult to use. especially difficult to use as the passenger in a moving car."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Volkswagen Passat)

"perplexing to use, not intuitive at all"

Anonymous, OR (2016 Volkswagen Passat SEL 3.6-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Pulsation or vibration

"Second time I have had this problem, had to change rotor on one of the front brakes because of pulsation, seems to be a weak point on this model-year"

Anonymous, BC (2016 Volkswagen Passat Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rotors

"Vehicle needs second set of rotors at 45000 miles. Neither VW or dealer will contribute to the repair nor have a reason. Dealer paid for first replacement at 27000 miles. Speaking of the front rotors only."

Steven C., CT (2016 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Replaced third set of front rotors in 24 mos. The first two were covered by vw but refused to pay for the third. Accused me of aggressive driving. Ceased my six year relationship as a result. Had an independent repair facility turn the rotors 5,000 miles ago. Ok so far."

Steven C., CT (2016 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"premature rotor warping at 30K. very unusual as I had a VW Sportwagen TDI with 190K original brakes and rotors. Replaced rotors with non VW aftermarket rotors. No problem at current 98K mileage."

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

"Improper bolts on driver's door"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Passat SE 3.6-L V6)

"Top trailing edge of drivers door about1/8 to 1/4 inch proud, allowing air and water ingress. Repaired under warranty."

Anonymous, ON (2016 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Both front doors were installed with the incorrect sized bolts. Dealer replaced with correct bolts."

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Passat SE 3.6-L V6)

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

Body control module

"The top-of-the-line Passat SEL Premium comes with power folding mirrors that fold-in when locking the vehicle and unfold when unlocking the vehicle. The issues I've had (still unresolved because the source is unknown) have to do with an intermittent situation where the mirrors do not unfold when unlocking the vehicle and the driver side mirror loses its memory position. Neither of these things keep the vehicle from driving because the mirrors can be unfolded once the vehicle is running using the mirror control switch inside the vehicle and the driver side mirror can be adjusted, but it is fairly irritating and I've had the vehicle back to the dealership multiple times and multiple parts have been replaced in an effort to resolve the issues. Part of the problem is that no errors/faults are stored in the BCM and the concern is intermittent, so finding the source is tough. That being said, VW North America and the VW dealership itself have both been very accommodating and have offered good customer service while attempting to find the source of the problem."

Samuel R., CA (2016 Volkswagen Passat SEL 3.6-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Turn signal bulb went out. There is NO easy way for owner to change. No info on internet even. Manual says see dealer, which is ridiculous. This is a safety feature that should be readily replaceable by owner."

Marc B., CT (2016 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Interior lights

"Trunk light control had to be replaced."

Lawrence K., SC (2016 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"The visual symbol in the mirror is very difficult to see on a bright sunny day. THE MAIN ISSUE I HAVE WITH BLIND SIDE DETECTION SYSTEM HAS NO AUDIBLE WARNING IS A CAR IS IN YOUR BLIND SPOT AND YOU TURN ON THE TURN SIGNAL. I HAVE COMPLAINED TO THE DEALERSHIP, A VW REPRESENTATIVE AND INCLUDED MY THOUGHTS TO VW CORP. IN A SURVEY TAKEN SHORTLY AFTER PURCHASING THE CAR. I SAID IT FORCES THE DRIVER TO TAKE HIS EYES OFF A VERY BUSY ROAD WHEN HE WANTS TO MAKE A TURN OR LANE CHANGE. IT COULD BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SAFE LANE CHANGE AND A VERY SERIOUS ACCIDENTAL, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A FATALITY. I ALSO TOLD THEM (VW) IS THE MAIN REASON I WOULD NEVER BUY THAT CAR AGAIN. I HAD REQUESTED THEM TO CONTACT ME ABOUT THIS DANGEROUS FLAW IN THEIR DESIGN. UNFFORTUNATELY IN THE PAST 2 YEARS THEY NEVER CONTACTED ME."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Volkswagen Passat)

"Rear tire sensor"

Anonymous, PR (2016 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

"The VW dealership did a complementary wheel alignment check at 30,000 KM. They said that the rear wheels were out of spec and the cost to bring them back into spec would be $400. I have not done anything about this and the car seems fine on the highway and in the city. I don't think a car this new should have this issue and I told them that."

Dennis L., ON (2016 Volkswagen Passat 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Steering wheel vibration

"Vibration and clicking noises from steering column. The steering wheel collar had to be replaced."

Anonymous, TX (2016 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Minor squeaks or rattles on the dash, especially in cold weather, other than that the car feels very solid."

Anonymous, NB (2016 Volkswagen Passat S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The car feels and drives solidly, but sometimes the is some plastic noise and squeaks in the top dash area. The car is quiet and solid otherwise. In our rural area the roads are somewhat bad with potholes and the surface is rough, so that might be factor..."

Serge B., NB (2016 Volkswagen Passat S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Coil

"AT FOUR MONTHS AN ENGINE COIL FAILED AND THE CAR HAD TO BE TOWED TO THE DEALER FOR REPAIRS"

F P., MA (2016 Volkswagen Passat SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

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

Drive System

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

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Major

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

Engine Cooling

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

Engine Minor

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

Climate System

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

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.

Compare 2016 Models

Similar Cars
Audi A6
BMW 5 Series
Buick LaCrosse
Cadillac CTS
Chevrolet Malibu
Ford Fusion
Honda Accord
Hyundai Genesis
Hyundai Sonata
Kia Optima
Lexus ES
Lexus GS
Lincoln MKZ
Mazda 6
Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Nissan Altima
Subaru Legacy
Toyota Camry
Volkswagen Passat
This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
UNKNOWN OR OTHER
Sep 16, 2020
Vehicles that do not meet all regulatory requirements may have an increased risk of a crash or injury to vehicle occupants.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2018 Volkswagen Golf R and Atlas, 2017 Golf Alltrack and E-Golf and 2016-2018 Passat vehicles. These internal use vehicles were sold without confirmation that they were built to all applicable regulatory requirements and may have been modified prior to sale. As such, these vehicles may fail to comply with the requirements of various Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
What should you do:
Volkswagen will notify owners and will repurchase the vehicles. The recall began October 6, 2020. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 01E9.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 20V561000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 23
EXTERIOR LIGHTING
May 22, 2019
Without the blocking cap, the headlight aim can be adjusted out of specification, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2012-2020 Volkswagen Passat and 2018-2019 Atlas vehicles. The blocking cap disabling the adjustment of the headlight's horizontal aim may not have been installed. As such, these vehicles fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment."
What should you do:
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, as necessary, block the headlight horizontal adjustment, free of charge. The recall began July 16, 2019. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-253-2834. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 94L9.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V389000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 662185
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Jun 06, 2016
A fuel leak, in the presence of an ignition source, can result in a vehicle fire.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2016 Jetta vehicles manufactured October 31, 2015, to January 21, 2016, 2016 Passat vehicles, equipped with 1.8T engines manufactured November 13, 2015, to December 9, 2015, and 2016 Golf vehicles manufactured November 5, 2015, to November 11, 2015. In the affected vehicles, the fuel rail may detach from the cylinder head and result in a fuel leak.
What should you do:
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the cylinder heads, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-822-8987. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 15F7.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V403000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 55
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING, SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
Oct 26, 2015
If the camshaft lobe shears off there would be a loss of brake assist, lengthening the distance needed to stop the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Jetta, Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Passat, Golf and Golf SportWagen vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the camshaft lobe that drives the brake vacuum pump may shear off, resulting in a loss of brake assist.
What should you do:
Volkswagen dealer will update the engine control module (ECM) software. The recall began March 2016. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-822-8987. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 23R1.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15V705000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 91867
Check Vehicle for Unrepaired Recalls
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Change Vehicle