2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Service brakes and structure issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2021 VW Tiguan was a model that hoped to make up for the shortcomings of the previous years. After all, the company claims this SUV is “Refined.” Yet, it seems to suffer from many of the problems of the previous options, including defective service brakes and a poorly-built structure.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018    2019    2020    2022

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Vehicle Speed Control
Power Train
Structure:interior Panels:ceiling
Air Bags

Problems with the Service Brakes

In order to stop a vehicle, the service brakes must be functional and easy to use. Yet, the Tiguan is struggling with this concept.

Car and Driver was quick to point out, “The Tiguan’s brake-pedal action is soft and it doesn’t match up to the firm, progressive pedals we enjoy in other members of the VW’s family tree.”

Not only that, but Tiguan models from previous years have been involved with class action lawsuits over the automated braking system, because it causes the vehicle to slow down or stop for no reason. Additionally, there is an NHTSA investigation into the safety of the Tiguan because during a side impact test, the driver door opened on its own. Hopefully the brakes are working enough to avoid these kind of accidents or Volkswagen will have to “refine” its payouts to injured owners.

Problems with the Structure

Following up on that investigation, it seems that the structure isn’t as good as it is made out to be. VW can’t get most any system in this car right.

Just read this review from a user that rented the Tiguan. It was left on the KBB website. “I rented this car for a week and drove 1000 miles in Arizona. I was surprised when I found out this car is turbo charged. Good thing, but it’s not enough to pass at hwy speeds. The creature controls are confusing. And the entry system is confused. If I opened the passenger door for my guest and went to the driver’s door the doors lock when I place my hand on it. Very frustrating trying to get into a car and it locks when you touch the door handle. The instrumentation is not easy to use or look at features that should be available. How do you view the mileage on the car when it is running? If you select automatic on the climate control, it does not turn on the air conditioning. I guess I don’t know what auto means! Paging through the dash, center instrumentation selections seems worthless. Certainly not a road warriors car. I drive many vehicles plus average over 35,000 miles a year on my own cars. Not a car I will buy!”

Beyond all of these complaints, there have been numerous lawsuits about the sunroof in Tiguan models throughout New York and California. It appears that Volkswagen might have known about defects with the sunroof that was causing it to leak, yet continued selling models to customers anyway. Maybe the company should consider refining the SUV to not include a sunroof. Clearly, VW doesn’t have enough engineering expertise to get this small piece of glass fitted right to ensure safety and that occupants remain dry.

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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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  • Romeo

    From the first week I owned my 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan the car continually hesitated from start I brought the car back and asked her to be returned the dealership and no way was going to help me get out of my lease.I was told to get used to stepping on the accelerator faster so the car would not hesitate. I’ve never had a situation like this occur but truly feel like it was a safety issue I brought my car to three different dealers for their evaluations all replied with the exact same verbiage your car performs within factory specs. As time went by because suddenly started lunging when switching into second gear the odometer would read 7,000 RPM the car would go back and forth and then inevitably catch up with whatever the problem was. Volkswagen customer service was useless in helping me try and get this travel taken care of every time I took it to the dealer the things that was used your car is functioning within Factory specifications. I feel this car is unsafe I’ve emphasize that and multitude of times to various reps service advisors service managers and anyone who would hear my problem. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do about the situation I intend on bringing my car first thing again tomorrow morning to see if they can diagnose this problem. All levels of Volkswagen management from customer service to sales to service are aware of the problems that are going on and refuse to adjust them accordingly.

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