2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Fuel propulsion, acceleration, and various related hesitation issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

2023 is the 24th model year for VW’s Tiguan, a sophisticated, family SUV which is the automaker’s best seller. A second generation model, the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan is said to be “Designed to fit your life.” But owners are complaining about acceleration, transmission hesitation, and fuel starvation, none of which fit their lives.  

Click on other model years to view more problems: 2019   2020   2021   2022

Most Common Problems

Complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan focus on acceleration failure and hesitation issues. These are categorized by owners as being related to fuel/propulsion, faulty powertrains, and problems related to vehicle speed control. Other components and systems that are named by those issuing complaints to the NHTSA are the electrical system, engine, equipment, and seat belts.

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Fuel/propulsion System
Electrical System
Power Train
Unknown Or Other
Vehicle Speed Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Fuel System, Gasoline

Acceleration and Transmission Hesitation

The problems highlighted by owners of the 2023 VW Tiguan are similar, if not the same, as those 2022 VW Tiguan owners have been complaining about. Lemberg Law is already investigating hesitation-related complaints about the 2022 model. So, if your 2023 model has the same problems, we’d like to know about them. We are also aware that owners of earlier models, from as far back as 2018, have experienced the same issues.

Is Fuel/Propulsion the Problem?

A typical fuel/propulsion complaint comes from a Virginia owner. “Acceleration fails or hesitates on acceleration from zero mph.” This is a recurring issue. “It feels like it is going to stall out, but so far it has not. Each time I accelerate for the first time, my car makes a jerky start. It usually goes away after I’ve been driving a bit. I’ve tried letting it warm up (for) a couple minutes, but that does not seem to matter.” The dealer couldn’t duplicate the problem and advised the owner to use B&G gas additive.

Unable to find this brand, the owner used “Gumout gas treatment and it did not make a difference. It is a safety issue because when I need to accelerate even moderately to get onto the street, the car bucks enough that another car coming could hit me because I was expecting it to accelerate.”

An owner from Illinois states that there is “an issue with fuel/acceleration. When pressing the gas through an intersection, the vehicle seems starved for gas and does not accelerate and almost stalls.”

Another complaint from Illinois states: “I often experience inconsistent acceleration/power while driving at low speeds.” These feel similar to an engine misfire and are dangerous. “We instinctively push down (on the) gas pedal to overcome lack of power. It causes the car to rocket forward as too high (a) throttle has been opened and one can easily lose control and crash.”

The description, “vehicle stutters or hesitates when accelerating from a stop,” is also typical. Describing it as a “major safety issue,” the owner says “the car just lurches forward initially before then finally just taking off. It’s almost as if there is a delay in fuel being sent to the engine to move it forward.”

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Inconsistent Acceleration

A complaint that regards the powertrain and vehicle speed control to be the problem states that there is “wildly inconsistent acceleration from a stop.” Worse still, when it’s cold, the vehicle often doesn’t move for seconds after accelerating. “We’ve nearly been t-boned on several occasions because the car’s acceleration is erratic. I’ve taken the vehicle to the dealer for service, they replicated the issue and said there is no fix.”

Another complaint listed as being a vehicle speed control problem states that “sporadically,” the gas pedal doesn’t respond. “I learned of this issue first while attempting an unprotected left turn to exit a parking lot.” There were lots of cars approaching fast, but the driver wasn’t able to respond to the gas pedal. “It almost caused a large crash. The lack of response seems to only happen when starting from a complete stop. The Volkswagen dealership, service manager, and the cashiers all said they’ve received numerous complaints or experienced themselves, but no one knows how to fix it. I was just told ‘be safe’.”

Other Problems

Bizarrely, an owner from Florida finds that when clicking the button to start the SUV and then switches quickly to reverse, “the system locks up. It’s a safety hazard. It’s happened to me 4 times.”

Another owner finds that the vehicle shuts down and reboots randomly, “shutting down all functions.” The dealer diagnostics showed no issues with the software or firmware. But, when “using NAV or phone-related functions the unit will also shut down randomly and reboot. In some cases, the unit will (shut) down and not respond to a hard boot by holding the power button down for 20 seconds. The power to the infotainment could cause the dash to shut down.”

A complaint listed as being an “unknown or other” problem reveals that the digital instrument cluster did not display anything. While it resolved itself the next day, the dealership was unable to shed any light on the problem. “The dealership said that they will not be able to diagnose the problem unless I bring it to them in the “unworking” state. However, the vehicle would be undriveable in that condition.”

Another weird problem reported by an owner in Puerto Rico states that when the front passenger seat belt is in use the system activates the alarm. The issue seems to be that it doesn’t recognize that the seat belt is in use.

There are also reports of the roof-mounted console detaching and falling down.

What if your Tiguan is a Lemon?

Are any of these vehicles lemons? Those that display recurring problems that affect the use and value of the SUV may be.

If you think you have a lemon, the best thing to do is consult with a lemon law firm like Lember Law that will help you ascertain whether it is or not. After all, the law makes Volkswagen pay legal fees.

Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of owners who have found themselves with lemons. All you have to do for us to assess your case for you is call our Helpline or fill in a contact form. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

See more posts from Sergei Lemberg

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