2022 Volkswagen Atlas Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brake, electrical system, and forward collision avoidance issues are among the top complaints reported by vehicle owners to the NHTSA

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2022 Volkswagen Atlas is a three-row SUV that is designed for the whole family. Volkswagen states that it is meant to “bring everyone along for the ride.” But when there are defective brakes, issues that affect safety on the road, and electrical problems, it’s not surprising that some owners aren’t keen to continue with the ride.

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Most Common Problems with the 2022 VW Atlas

Dozens of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas highlight issues about faulty brakes, forward collision avoidance issues, and problems with the vehicle’s electrical system. There are also problems that relate to airbags, backover prevention, the engine, fuel/propulsion system, brakes, seats, steering, and visibility.

The NHTSA has 2 files for the 2022 VW Atlas, one that is specifically for the Cross Sport models. But unsurprisingly, major complaints are very similar. Similarly, both feature complaints that are combined in these problem areas. For example, brake issues are often also seen to be forward collision avoidance problems.

There are also 6 recalls that affect all 2022 VW Atlas models. These relate to:

  • The delayed deployment of the front-side airbag
  • A missing fuel injector filter that may cause a fuel leak
  • Faulty rear view cameras
  • Trailers with loose hitch bolts that can cause the trailer hitch and trailer to separate
  • Damaged connecting rod bearings
  • Trailing arm bolts that aren’t properly tightened

These issues can either increase the risk of a crash, fire, and/or injury.

2022 Volkswagen Atlas Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
Back Over Prevention: Warnings

Problems Relating to the Brakes

Random emergency braking and horrible grinding, squeaking, and squealing noises are the most common problems reported to the NHTSA. Whatever the problem, many owners believe it isn’t safe to drive their vehicles because of this. There are also other issues that they report that may or may not be related.

An owner from Illinois reports there was initially a low coolant level alert. The coolant was low with signs of leaking. Then he noticed that the brakes made “a metallic scraping/grinding sound when coming to a stop downhill at a slow speed.” Additionally, the infotainment system kept freezing.

An owner from Arizona states that the brakes sound like metal on metal, “grinding and squeaking. The dealership says that it’s a known problem but they have no fix.”

An owner from Oregon states that the emergency brake engaged when the Atlas was entering an intersection, almost causing an accident. “I believe this issue is part of recall 97GF which only lists airbags as a result of faulty wiring in (the) door harness. The e (emergency) brakes engaging while driving needs to be added as another safety risk – it was a frightening experience for me and my kids.”

An owner of a 2022 Atlas Cross Sport from California states that the brakes on the SUV “constantly grind and are extremely noisy. There have been a few occasions where they barely stopped the car before we hit another car. We have brought the car in for service several times and the dealer is unable to repair the vehicle. The service reps tell us this is a known problem with this car. Then they tell us they did not find any issues.” The complaint adds that the dealer has “claimed to have replaced the brakes but the issues still persist.”

Could the Brake Problem Be a Defect?

An owner from Texas states that “the brakes squeak and grid a lot.” When it rains, the brakes don’t perform well, probably because a lot of debris from the brake pads get stuck. This owner maintains that a VW-certified technician told him “it is (a) manufacturer defective brake system and it needs replacement, but they refused to replace it under warranty,” even though the issue was evident within a week of purchase.

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Forward Collision Avoidance Problems

It stands to reason the forward collision avoidance problems could be related to brake and electrical issues. This is what it looks like from NHTSA complaints.

An owner from North Carolina tells how the emergency brake “engaged for no reason” at a low speed in a driveway. “It jolted the car back and I had to put (the) car in Park” to be able to continue driving. His concern is that if it had happened anywhere else, it could have caused an accident if he had been rear-ended. The next time, while driving on the interstate at about 65 mph, the forward collision warning symbol came on “seemingly out of nowhere and then was gone several minutes later. There was no reason for this to occur. These issues are a major safety concern and we do not feel safe driving our brand new Atlas at this time.”

Another owner tells how just two hours after purchase, the stop/start failure notice displayed and the vehicle “died.” There were no brakes and they were in the Atlas in the middle of the road. The dealer “replaced a valve stating a flap wasn’t closing correctly.” But 3 weeks later, the same thing happened. They were traveling at 70 mph, with “cars swerving behind us to avoid hitting us as we were in (the) middle lane.” The check engine light and stop/start error lights came on and stayed on until they got to a dealership. On arrival, the vehicle stalled again. At the time of the complaint, the owner was waiting for the Atlas to be inspected.

An owner from New York tells how his Atlas Cross Sport constantly triggers pre-collision warnings when nothing is in front of the vehicle. “The service department claims the vehicle is working as it’s supposed to.”

Electrical System Problems

In addition to the electrical system being implicated in brake and forward collision avoidance problems, there is another major problem that is evident from complaints. Oddly, the windows of the SUV roll down on their own! Another issue is the door wiring harness that appears to be connected to stalling and initiation of the emergency brakes.

For example, in a complaint listed as an electrical system and forward collision avoidance issue, an owner from Texas states that the door wire harness failed. The failure, which happened at a stop light, “caused a stall and (the) initiation of (the) emergency brake.”

Windows with a Mind of Their Own

As mentioned above, numerous NHTSA complaints focus on windows that literally roll down on their own.

An owner from California tells how after the Atlas had been parked overnight, all the windows had rolled down on their own. After this had happened twice, he received a notification for a system update (not a recall).

An owner in Washington received crash warnings while driving at 60 mph with no car nearby to trigger the warning. At the same time, the vehicle’s rear passenger side window rolled down on its own about 5 inches. On the same trip, the rear driver-side window rolled down about 5 inches.

Is your 2022 VW Atlas a Lemon? Here’s What To Do:

Do you think that your 2022 VW Atlas may be a lemon? If so, Lemberg Law has a team of lawyers available to assess your problems at no cost to you. The fact is that every year manufacturers like Volkswagen end up settling lemon issues that relate to problems you may be experiencing. And the law says that they must pay the legal bills.

So, if you’d like Lemberg Law to assess your problems free of charge, fill out a contact form or call our Helpline for more information.

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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Cesar E

    I bought a 2022 atlas in November 2021. A couple months ( May 2022) later engine has no oil. Now I have a blown engine and I need to replace it. It did not read it needed oil. Do I have a case? I paid $1300.00 to have it checked and they charge me $15,000.00 to put in a new engine.

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