2019 Volkswagen Passat Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, fuel system, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

When it comes to midsize sedan models, there aren’t many top choices on the market anymore. However, the 2019 Volkswagen Passat continues to sell well because of its reliable reputation and long-standing history of being a dependable vehicle. For the newer models, the automaker claims that the Passat is “well-crafted exhilaration,” but nothing seems to be constructed properly. From the electrical system to the engine and the visibility to the powertrain, this vehicle could have been put together by a kid.

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Problems with the Electrical System

Volkswagen is quite proud of all the standard features the newer Passat cars come with, but many customers are struggling to make anything work correctly.

Here is an example from an Edmunds review. “Remote start doesn’t work, no current solutions to fix it, navigation system goes dark, very loud ride, you need the music 1/2 way to max in order to drown out the road noise, skip this car folks!”

Some people have complained that the remote start stopped working within days and VW hasn’t done anything to fix the situation. Among the 35 communications focused on the electrical system, the majority of the bulletins are related to the remote start system, including #PSS-2052984. Even with all of the investigation, Volkswagen can’t seem to figure out how to make this system work the way it should. If the Passat was so “well-crafted,” this simple system would be able to start the engine as it should.

2019 Volkswagen Passat Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Power Train
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance
Fuel System, Gasoline:fuel Injection System
Fuel/propulsion System
Unknown Or Other

Problems with the Engine

Volkswagen has been known for powerful engines in the past, but lately, the company has dealt with several defective motors across the entire lineup.

Here is an example from an NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2019 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated while driving at various speeds, the vehicle idled with the EPC light and the Check Engine Warning Light illuminated. Additionally, the vehicle was belabored while shifting gears and at low speeds. There was an abnormal sound coming from the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis and repairs. The contact was informed that the fuel pump module and fuel injectors needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure but offered no assistance or resolution. The approximate failure mileage was 6,000.”

Sadly, there are no communications that discuss concerns with this engine. At this point, Volkswagen has spent too much time under the microscope for defective engines and the automaker is likely just trying to escape any more scrutiny. Considering exhilaration is defined as “a feeling of excitement, happiness or elation,” most people can agree that the Passat doesn’t offer these sensations at all. Instead, it just brings woe and agitation for many owners. Maybe the tagline should be “well-crafted disappointment” instead.

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Problems with the Wndshield Cracking

Aside from the mechanical construction, the structure plays a part in satisfaction as well. There are numerous issues with the visibility and lighting on the Passat.

Here is another NHTSA complaint. “Windshield began cracking in the middle from passenger side toward driver side. No rock or other debris hit windshield. It is a continuous crack that is a fine link crack that continues to spread.”

Aside from the auto glass, there is a recall related to the lighting, which is also part of the visibility. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V389000 states that more than 662,000 vehicles might have a missing blocking cap on the headlights, which allows them to be adjusted out of specification. With the reduction of visibility, accidents are more likely. To be considered “well-crafted,” manufacturers can’t be missing vital components that are essential to safe operation, yet this Passat does.

Problems with the Transmission

To end the evaluation of the Passat, one has to look at the powertrain as well. This vital system handles the overall feel of the drive.

Another Edmunds review states, “The transmission is a bit jerky at slow stop and go speeds due to the gas-saving 6 speed transmission.”

There aren’t any communications worth noting from VW related to the powertrain. Likely, Volkswagen doesn’t want to own up to any more troubles, but customers don’t need the acknowledgment to know that this model is a lemon. With all of the major systems causing trouble, it might be best to have a vehicle built by LEGOs instead of from this German automaker.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes VW pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.


Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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