Brakes, Electrical and Engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
When it comes to finding a seven-passenger midsize family SUV, many VW enthusiasts were excited to get behind the wheel of an Atlas. Considering the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas was marketed by the company as “I spy something big,” it made sense that growing families would look at this model. While the cargo space and passenger room might be large, so are the problems that come with it. From faulty brakes to a defective powertrain, there’s no end in sight to the malfunctions.
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Problems with the Brakes
While the service brakes are important on any vehicle, there’s something unspoken about how they should perform when kids are in the car. After all, the automaker must take the lives of these innocent children seriously. With the VW Atlas, there are numerous complaints about trouble with the braking system.
Read this one review on Edmunds. “I would definitely NOT purchase this car again. I have about 9000 miles on my 2019 Atlas. About 1000 miles in, the brakes began squealing when backing out of the driveway. Dealer said it was due to cold weather. Then it was described as a “feature”. Metallic brakes that “clean themselves off”. Contacted VW America and only one solution was offered…”drive fast on a country road and slam on the brakes.” Unreal. Make sure you search for owner reviews online before purchasing.”
Despite having more than 150 communications, the automaker doesn’t address these special brake features anywhere. It’s also missing from the list of standard features – self-cleaning metallic brakes that squeak during operation. Frankly, it would be the first time that would be considered a perk in any vehicle. Furthermore, if it is such a benefit, why did the dealer advise her to fix it? It sounds like they are hoping the family gets neck injuries instead.
2019 Volkswagen Atlas Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings|
Problems with the Transmission
Underneath this large family vehicle, there must be a functional and durable powertrain. Otherwise, it becomes challenging to haul all of the children to soccer practice. Sadly, many owners are disappointed in the powertrain performance of the Atlas. Not only does it come across as a poorly constructed system, but it also appears to be defective.
Just read this NHTSA review, “This is a consistent issue and I’m worried powertrain damage is occurring. When accelerating from stopped or at low speed there is a very loud screeching/grinding sound coming from the powertrain/transmission – possibly the torque converter. It happens frequently and is very noticeable, usually when the vehicle starts to accelerate or increases acceleration at low speed then it usually goes away. I described the trouble to two VW dealership service departments and both said they hadn’t heard of that one. I was in for other service and was told they could not replicate the sound. However, it screeched when leaving the dealerships! The VW Atlas forums have many posts on this issue. And lots of folks like myself are not getting any information and are concerned about safety. I did not get any meaningful help from VW or their dealer service departments.”
Would it be surprising to find out that there are also no significant powertrain communications from VW? Again, they have taken the route of silence in hopes that customers will just stop complaining. This plan is backfiring in their faces as more people take to the internet to inform others. Talk about spying something big – how about a massive cover-up?
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Problems with the Engine
When popping the hood of a 2019 Volkswagen Atlas, customers quickly see what appears to be a functional engine. Once driving this SUV, they notice something entirely different. Just look at this brief and to the point NHTSA review. “Engine light came on. Strong gas smell inside car.Took to dealership. Has multiple gas leaks and dealership is replacing the gas tank and lines.”
This is the last thing any family wants to deal with, yet there was a recall related to this situation. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V614000 discusses how an improper weld causes a fuel leak. Not only can that lead to a fire, but the lack of fuel also causes the engine to stall. Hopefully, this doesn’t occur while on a busy road with the kids in the vehicle. It’s interesting that the company didn’t attempt to tell customers that leaking fuel is another feature. It can be called the self-cleaning fuel tank.
Of course, mechanical problems aren’t the only issues this vehicle faces. Online complaint boards reveal a long list of other concerns from owners.
Just read this review on the NHTSA website, “On the tenth day of owning our brand new vehicle, we were driving down highway 74 at 70 miles per hour. It was the first time this vehicle was driven at highway speeds for more than an hour. The weather was sunny and in the low 90s. All of a sudden we heard a loud explosion sound and the front panel of our panoramic sunroof had exploded. The shade was open and the tempered glass fell on our entire family including two children aged 7 and 4. There was no impact from an outside object.”
Again, the VW camp is eerily quiet about any structural issues that would have caused this. Still, we see that the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas simply isn’t safe. Among the fuel line trouble, they have already encountered four other safety concerns that prompted a nationwide recall. One is related to headlights that aren’t adequately adjusted for visibility while another talks about how they installed the wrong side airbags into the SUV. There’s also the chance that the rear coil springs can fracture and damage a tire, leading to an out of control situation. Finally, the company recalled this vehicle for an electrical system malfunction that allows owners to leave the key in the ignition without warning. Maybe they are hoping someone will steal this big headache from the driveway? One thing is for sure – we all spy something big and it’s called a lemon.
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