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

Powertrain & Steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

There may not be as many sedans as recognizable as the 2022 VW Passat, but that doesn’t stop VW from pushing it with drivers. This particular model is praised as providing “well-crafted exhilaration,” but customers are telling another story. It seems that the defective powertrain and malfunctioning steering are helping owners leave the brand.

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Problems with the Powertrain

It isn’t just the customers complaining about the 2022 VW Passat. Even the top auto publications are sounding the alarm.

Car and Driver points out, “Its four-cylinder powertrain operates without fuss, but it’s notably slower than rivals such as the Honda Accord, and VW doesn’t offer all-wheel drive or a hybrid variant like many of its classmates.”

Browsing through the manufacturer communications, it’s clear to see there are some real mechanical issues. Service Bulletin #V001713203384614 discusses how a fuel additive can be used to prevent misfires. However, the obvious question never gets asked – why is a new sedan suffering from misfires in the first place? This would be something that should be examined if the car is ever to provide any form of “exhilaration” that involves more than visiting the dealership for repairs.

Problems with the Steering

Being able to control a car seems like it should be a given without much thought. Yet, some Passat drivers are struggling to keep the car where it belongs.

One NHTSA complaint states, “The steering tightens up at times when decelerating between 30 – 42 mph. This has occurred three times now since purchase of the vehicle new. My vehicle database feedback notes no repairs needed; just check of vehicle at 20,000 miles and oil change at 10,000 miles. I am subscribed to the vehicle’s car-net data monitoring system since purchase of the vehicle new from the dealership. The monitoring system notes GPS location, speed travelling, etc. When this steering condition occurs it is as if power to the steering is lost for about 0.7 – 1.2 seconds. It is as if driving in a vehicle that has an electrical system controlling the power functioning of the steering and there is a loss of electrical feedback to the steering. I have driven over 100 vehicles and this vehicle does have a problem with the steering system. There is a noticeable pull back on the vehicle when the automatic shifts down and this steering issue may or may not be related to the automatic transmission downshifting mechanisms.”

Another aspect of controlling a vehicle comes from the brake system, which appears to be just as defective. Service Bulletin #V461901201024528 talks about how the brakes pulsate, vibrate and make noise while in use. Maybe VW just wants people to remember how truly “exhilarating” the ride is by offering a little excitement when they are trying to stop. After all, what could be more fun than a symphony of sounds and shaking motions while trying to avoid another car on the road?

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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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1 COMMENT
  • Tamika D

    New 2022 Passat purchased in December 2021. Brakes started grinding at 600 miles. Have taken to vw service 8 times. They resurfaced the rotors at 6k miles. Still not fixed and now in addition to the embarrassing loud grinding noise when braking the car shakes when braking. VW mechanics at Findlay VW in Vegas are still giving the same story of waiting on a fix from VW. They claim that the brake pads contain too much heavy metal and that’s causing the problem. Now I’m at 20k and the brakes are still messed up. They claim it’s safe to drive and there’s nothing they can do. I’m beyond fed up and this is beyond deceptive. It should be criminal.

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