Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Volkswagen Passat saloon?
The interior is durable and hard-wearing, but you should check all the electrical systems thoroughly. It’s also worth checking the suspension carefully, especially if you plan to carry or tow heavy loads.
The steering system can also give problems, so make sure all power assistance feels even and consistent, and keep an ear out for any unusual noises. The DSG auto gearbox can also be a cause for concern, but this should be covered under warranty. Volkswagen as a brand scored above average in our most recent customer satisfaction survey and the firm’s products have a good reputation for reliability.
Too little engine torque at low speed
A software update is required on examples made between 9 October 2018 and 28 May 2019 in order to increase the amount of torque the engine provides at low speeds to improve drivability.
Airbag and seatbelt tensioners
A problem with the airbags and seatbelt tensioners on examples made between 1 May and 31 October 2016 could mean that they don't perform effectively in a collision, increasing the risk of injury to occupants. Check with your dealer to find out if this recall applies to your car because all the faulty parts will need to be replaced.
There have been two recalls related to head restraints. The first is for a faulty spring in examples manufactured between 5 to 18 May 2018, and the second is for the locking mechanism in the front headrests that might not function correctly in examples made from 14 Feb to 31 March 2018 and will need to be replaced. Speak to a Volkswagen dealer for further information.
Lights may fail without warning
An issue with the programming of the onboard supply control unit means the driver may not be warned of a light bulb having failed in some examples constructed between 1 June 2015 and 31 October 2016. It’s also possible for a message to pop up suggesting there’s a fault when there isn’t. Find out from your nearest dealer if your car is affected because new software will need to be installed to fix the problem.
Child lock failure
The child locks on some examples made between 25 November 2015 and 14 April 2016 might disengage without warning and allow occupants to open the rear doors. If your car is affected, a technician will need to inspect the locks and install new ones if they’re found to be faulty.
The anti-trap feature on the panoramic sunroof may not kick in if the glass panel is being closed from outside the vehicle when using the global close function from the key. It applies to Passats fitted with a panoramic roof that were built between 17 February 2015 and 15 February 2016, and cars that are affected will need to have the global close function removed from the panoramic roof in order to prevent possible injuries.