Blog

Is the Volkswagen Atlas reliable?

  • Case: Client v. Volkswagen
  • Claim Type: CA Lemon Law
  • Vehicle Year: 2018
  • Vehicle Model: Volkswagen Atlas
  • New/Used: New
  • Contract Type: Lease
  • Specs: N/A
  • Defects & Repair Attempts: 
    • Check Engine
      • Our client went to the Volkswagen dealership when their vehicle’s check engine light had turned on. After a few days in the dealership, the vehicle was given back to the client. But, the check engine light turned on again just four days after, and the client took it back to the dealership where the car’s fuel pump was replaced and it was kept for more than two weeks.
    • Vehicle Startup
      • Likely a victim of the defective fuel pump, our client noticed that the car would take far longer than normal to start up. This has been noticed in other Volkswagen vehicles too.
    • EPC Light
      • The EPC, or Electronic Power Control warning light, turns on in a Volkswagen car when there is an issue with the throttle system. Our client noticed that this light had turned on in their vehicle and that it was rougher to drive.
    • Acceleration Pedal Unresponsive
      • The client believed that the acceleration pedal would seem unresponsive when they were driving at high speeds on a freeway. Despite the EPC warning light being on previously, the dealership believed this was not an issue and issued no repairs.
    • Coolant Light
      • The client noticed the coolant warning light would constantly come on and would not turn off despite adding coolant to the engine twice. When taken into the dealership for repairs, no issue was found.
  • Lawsuits: 
    • Cole et al v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Case: 4:20-cv-02085-KAW)
      • Alleges that Volkswagen vehicles have defective sunroofs that leak water and that Volkswagen had knowledge of the defect and didn’t take action.
  • Recalls: 
    • Airbags (20V057000)
    • Airbags (18V537000)
    • Airbags (18V375000)
    • Electrical System (18V824000)
    • Exterior Lighting (19V389000)
    • Fuel System, Gasoline (18V284000)
    • Fuel System, Gasoline (17V766000)
    • Seat Belts (18V380000)
    • Service Brakes, Hydraulic (18V536000)
    • Service Brakes, Hydraulic (18V369000)
    • Suspension (18V904000)
    • Tires (21V142000)
    • Unknown or Other (20V561000)
  • Investigations
    • Fuel Injector Leak (PE21008)

Is the Volkswagen Atlas reliable?

Volkswagen has had its fair share of controversies. Most notably was when the company had lied about the emissions of their diesel vehicles by equipping them with a “defeat device” back in 2015. Their reputation took a massive hit after this scandal, and it has yet to recover. But, the company has taken many steps to win back its customers and reputation, such as getting a new CEO, extending its vehicle warranties, focusing on electric vehicles, and changing their marketing strategies. This has partially worked, and many customers are now considering purchasing new Volkswagen vehicles. But, with their shady history and poor reputation, potential customers usually ask themselves, “Are Volkswagen vehicles reliable?”

To answer this question, it would be good to look at an experience one of our clients had with their 2018 Volkswagen Atlas (or the Teramont outside of the U.S.). After leasing this vehicle in late 2018, many problems and defects started appearing. These defects include: 

  • Check Engine – Our client went into the Volkswagen dealership when their vehicle’s check engine light had turned on. After a few days in the dealership, the vehicle was given back to the client. But, the check engine light turned on again just four days after, and the client took it back to dealership where the car’s fuel pump was replaced and it was kept for more than two weeks.
  • Vehicle Startup – Likely a victim of the defective fuel pump, our client noticed that the car would take far longer than normal to start up. This is rather common and has been noticed in other Volkswagen vehicles too.
  • EPC Light – The EPC, or Electronic Power Control warning light, turns on in a Volkswagen car when there is an issue with the throttle system. Our client noticed that this light had turned on in their vehicle and that it was more rigid and rough to drive.
  • Acceleration Pedal Unresponsive – The client believed that the acceleration pedal would seem unresponsive when they were driving at high speeds on a freeway. Despite the EPC warning light being on previously, the dealership believed this was not an issue and issued no repairs.
  • Coolant Light – The client noticed the coolant warning light would constantly come on and would not turn off despite adding coolant to the engine twice. When taken into the dealership for repairs, no issue was found.

Despite multiple repeat repairs and issues clearly linked to each other, Volkswagen failed to repair the vehicle properly. Some of the issues were very dangerous for our client and could lead to accidents, which meant that the client had to take a gamble every time they drove their car.

During one of these repair attempts, the dealership also had to fix the sunroof of our client’s vehicles. The sunroofs on Volkswagen vehicles were subject to their own controversy. The class-action lawsuit, Cole et al v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Case: 4:20-cv-02085-KAW), was filed by two customers who had noticed that their sunroofs would leak water whenever it rained, causing mold in the car. The lawsuit continued to allege that Volkswagen had knowledge of this issue and was trying to cover it up and downplay rather than trying to get it repaired. The vehicles that were involved in this class action were:

Model & Make Year(s)
Audi A1 Mk2 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Audi A3 Mk3 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Audi TT Mk3 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Audi Q2 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Audi Q3 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Volkswagen Arteon 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Volkswagen Atlas/Teramont 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Volkswagen Golf 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Volkswagen Jetta 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Volkswagen Passat 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Volkswagen Polo 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Volkswagen Tiguan 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Volkswagen Touran 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas has also been subject to a staggering 13 recalls. These recalls are for anything from airbags (20V057000, 18V537000, 18V375000) to the electrical system (18V824000), exterior lighting (19V389000), the fuel system (18V284000, 17V766000), seat belts (18V380000), brakes (18V536000, 18V369000), suspension (18V904000), tires (21V142000), and prior modifications (20V561000). Along with this, there is an open investigation into the fuel systems as well (PE21008). Although newer models of the Atlas have been slightly better in terms of recalls, the reliability and safety of these vehicles is clearly not the best. 

There are many cases, such as our clients, of vehicles not being safe and being subject to multiple unfulfilling repairs. If you are in a situation similar to that of our client, you can make sure you are properly compensated for the risks posed in your life and the time and money spent on repairs. Many states have a Lemon Law, which allows customers to get compensation for defective vehicles. In California, the Margarian Law Firm specializes in Lemon Law, as well as Dealer Fraud, and Consumer Class Actions. If you believe that your vehicle is a Lemon, you can get compensation in the form of a buyback of a defective vehicle, the payment of attorney’s fees, or a cash settlement. Make sure to stand up for yourself against vehicle manufacturers by contacting the Margarian Law Firm at (818) 553-1000.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now Skip to content