Volkswagen's midsized sedan was optimized for the American market with the 2012 redesign; 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 2018 Volkswagen Passat has been recalled 4 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
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01
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05
06*
07
08
09
10
11
12*
13
14
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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 2018 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

Android Auto

"Android Auto - sometimes doesn't automatically pair when I connect USB. So if using for navigation, I have to retry a few times, or just unplug and put in my lap or in the seat next to me. I assume this is an Android thing that will be corrected in upcoming versions and/or hardware in newer vehicles."

Anonymous, TN (2018 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen freezes up

"Starting ~6 mos into ownership, display would occasionally crash or not start, especially in hot or cold temperatures. This was especially problematic when relying on the backup camera. At times seemed to occur with a hard brake or turn, which made me suspect a wiring connection. However, dealer replaced the head unit. Problem persisted. They reset the entire system a month ago, and it hasn't happened since."

Anonymous, TN (2018 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"It's only happened twice since we purchased the vehicle in April, 2019. Attemping to sync the android phone to the music bluetooth and the screen goes black. Nothing, not even the radio will work. It usually comes back on after about 5-10 minutes."

Anonymous, OK (2018 Volkswagen Passat Unsure Unsure)

"It went blank for 36 hours then resolved itself! Happened once."

Anonymous, NM (2018 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Steering wheel controls

"intermittent ability to set cruise control"

Richard F., SC (2018 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-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

Tire wear is uneven

"This was due to the problem with the front two wheel bearings. See previous comments."

Anonymous, PA (2018 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wheel balance

"Dealer attitude service Attitude service manger not willing to correct problems and not going wheel balancing correctly and even putting correct pressure in tires.Dealership charged for nitrogen as the pressure mean for the tires .Costco service verified the tires had only 77 to 78% nitrogen.The dealership did return the $99.99 charge . The ride doesn’t compare to the ride of the Fusion with 140000 plus miles"

Anonymous, IA (2018 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wheel bearings

"About eight weeks ago, I took my car to the dealer where I purchased it (Piazza VW in Ardmore, PA) which is about 30 minutes closer to where I live than VW of Newtown Square. I had had another problem (wiring harnesses needed to be replaced) a few weeks prior to that, and Piazza had fixed it. This time I took it in because the car had a loud humming noise beginning around 60mph. Piazza did not fix it. In fact, during the next six weeks and multiple visits, they blamed the noise on various things not covered by the warranty, which, following their instructions, meant that I bought new tires - which I didn't really need, had two alignments done, had the wheels balanced twice - and the noise didn't change. Note that I felt that Piazza's prices were high (especially for tires), and I didn't trust what they might charge me for the other things, so I didn't use them for the tires, alignments, etc. But the noise was still unchanged, so I took it back again. At that point I told the rep I had done some online research and that from what I read it seemed like it might be a wheel bearing. He basically dismissed me and said they knew what they were doing. When I went back to pick up the car I asked about the wheel bearings and the rep told me the tech thought they were fine, and he wasn't going to replace wheel bearings that didn't need to be replaced. The noise was still there, though. This time he told me I needed new wheels because the ones I had were bent. So I took the car back to the tire place and they told me the wheels were fine. Went back to Piazza again and they said the wheels weren't fine. Went back to the tire place and they took off each wheel and spun it up - and showed me that the wheels were fine. I even had the tires re-balanced just to make sure that that wasn't the problem. The noise was unchanged, though. At that point, aside from being extremely frustrated with Piazza, I had spent about $1,000 for the tires, alignments, etc., none of which I had expected to spend because I thought that whatever the problem was most likely going to be a warranty repair. I decided to try a different dealer. There are three or four others in the area, so I looked on Yelp and the other nearby dealers didn't have great reviews, but VW of Newtown Square did, so I took my car there. I cannot say enough about how happy I am to have taken it there. They were great - they diagnosed and fixed the problem (front left and right bearings), kept me updated, and got me a rental car to use while they were working on my car. Danielle and Greg were great (and much more pleasant to work with than the people at Piazza), and needless to say, I'll be going to VW of Newtown Square for my service needs from now on!"

Anonymous, PA (2018 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-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

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"The rear passenger side door no longer makes a good seal. Highway noise is prominent only from that door (it is the only door that rarely gets used)"

Anonymous, MO (2018 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

"after about 12000 miles the cabin experienced much more road noise"

Anonymous, (2018 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The seal on the rear passenger door allows significant noise to enter the cabin at highway speeds"

Anonymous, MO (2018 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Interior lights

"The rear interior ceiling light became loose and required a new replacement of the light fixture to secure it back in place."

Omar G., NJ (2018 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"I would drive and try to use my adaptive cruise control, and dash would light up system is unavailable! Also emergency braking light stating system not available would light up. I would clean the sensor in the front to make sure it was clean, but this went on for the first couple of months of ownership. Until I took Passat to the dealer and they reset the system and it has been working great every since!"

Omar G., NJ (2018 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

Refrigerant leaks

"Refrigerant line chafed a hole on a motor mount. Repaired under warranty"

Anonymous, PA (2018 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-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

Engine Minor

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

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.

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.

Brakes

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

Paint/Trim

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

Engine Cooling

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

Drive System

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

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.

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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
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
Aug 15, 2018
The loose brake bracket bolts can allow the caliper to move, reducing braking ability or causing a loss of vehicle control and increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2018 Volkswagen Atlas and 2017-2018 Volkswagen Passat vehicles. The brake caliper bracket mounting bolts on these vehicles may not have been tightened sufficiently.
What should you do:
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the brake caliper bracket bolt tightness, replacing and re-torque the bolts as necessary, free of charge. Additionally brake caliper fasteners, bleeder valve, and brake hose bolts will be checked and torqued to the correct specification, if necessary, free of charge. For Passat vehicles, dealers will also inspect the parking brake cable for proper connection, free of charge. The recall began September 14, 2018. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 46H6.
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: 18V536000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 8416
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
Jun 01, 2018
A reduction of braking performance can increase the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, Passat, Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Golf, Golf SportWagen and GTI and Audi Q5 and SQ5 vehicles. The brake caliper pistons on these vehicles may have insufficient coating, potentially reducing the brake performance.
What should you do:
Volkswagen and Audi will notify their owners. Audi dealers will bleed the rear brakes. Volkswagen dealers will bleed the front and rear brake calipers. Note: Owners are advised not to drive their vehicles until the brake system has been checked. The recall began June 29, 2018. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298 and Audi customer service at 1-800-253-2834. Volkswagen's numbers for this recall are 47N8, 47N9, and 47N6.
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: 18V369000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 10225
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