really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,108 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2013 Volkswagen Passat:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #6

Feb 232021


  • 54,600 miles
As I was turning into the apartment complex I felt my brakes begin to lock up. I pulled into my parking spot and the inside of the cab began to smoke. My car gave me no warning and I could not locate the issues of the smoke. I called my mechanic and got the vehicle towed over there. While the car was getting towed, oil began to fall from below the engine. Mechanic reported the vacuum pump went bad. That it also locked up and was leaking heavily. He also stated this was the worse he has ever seen as well as to report this incident. I will include photos with this report.

- N Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #5

Feb 252021


  • 56,550 miles
The vehicle lost all braking performance while pulling into driveway after commute home. The pedal became extremely hard to push and vehicle would not slow normally. The brake vacuum pump failed to produce vacuum and also produced a massive oil leak. 2.75L of oil was gone after seconds. It was parked and towed to repair facility.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #4

Dec 142018


  • miles
The brake pads and rotors (front and rear) on my 2013 VW Passat 3.6 sel are rusting, and make a grinding noise when I come to a stop. VW service department verified that I have plenty of pads and rotors on my brakes. This is unacceptable, and further confirms a lack of build quality for pads and rotors that cost $1,100 to replace. It's quite obvious the board of directors, and executive team at Volkswagen aren't interested in quality or safety. They are only interested in sacrificing quality and safety to save a dollar.

- Battleboro, NC, USA

problem #3

Sep 242016

Passat 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
The contact owned a 2013 Volkswagen Passat. While proceeding to stop at a red light, the vehicle independently accelerated when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle failed to stop and crashed into the rear of another vehicle. The air bags deployed and scrap metal passed through the rear driver side passenger. A police report was filed. The contact sustained severe injuries to the hand and the passenger sustained a broken rib. Medical attention was required. The vehicle was destroyed and towed. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 16V078000 (air bags). The parts to remedy the vehicle were unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 27,000.....updated 01/11/2017 consumer stated airbag recall replacement could not be completed-part not available- dealer installed "clock spring" as temporary fix until new airbag available- recall spring of 2016- part never made available. VW engineers would examine the car at the salvage site, engineers determined consumer foot was on the gas, not brake pedal and there were no tears in the airbag and therefore not responsible for mechanical failures or personal injuries. Consumer stated foot was on the brake pedal and not gas pedal. Updated 66/22/18

- Palm Coast, FL, USA

problem #2

Oct 302015


  • 52,000 miles
The rear break caliper exploded with only 52,000 miles while driving on the road with two small kids in the back seat. The brakes became unusable, as the fluid was spilling out and we coasted to a stop.

- Homer Glen, IL, USA

problem #1

Jul 062014

Passat 5-cyl

  • 20,500 miles
Our 2013 VW Passat's electrical system suddently went dead while driving at 35 mph on a busy road. We pulled the car to the side of the road and five minutes later, the car started up again. After driving for about two miles, the vehicle's electrical system shut off and again we pulled it to the side of the road where we called for roadside assistance. The car currently is at a local dealership's service center being repaired. Apparently, other VW owners have experienced similar problems with their vehicles. NHTSA, please investigate. Thank you.

- Darnestown, MD, USA