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Volkswagen Passat Hesitation Issue

canouracanoura Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in Volkswagen
Has anybody else noticed that when coming to a stop and just before stopping completely, you decide to hit the accelerator, there is a very annoying transmission shifting delay.

I asked the VW dealer about it and he told me they were aware of it and that it seems to be an issue with the AT software. He had no idea when a fix would be available.


  • tylerbtylerb Posts: 1
    I just bought the car a week ago. The hesitation is annoying. I notice it when starting from a stationary position. I also notice it when coasting into a corner and then reappling the accelerator partially through the corner. It delays about half a second before engaging and accelerator. I have started to drive the car in the Tiptronic manual shifting mode and am not experiencing the hesitation. I'm in a wait and see mode, but definitely feeling slight buyers remorse. I should have stuck with a manual transmission. They are more fun to drive anyway.
  • canouracanoura Posts: 9
    This might be too good to be true but after talking to a friend of mine last Friday that has a 2007 ford mustang, he told me he had the same issue with his car. The ford service department did a throttle sensor reset and the problem went away. So i decided to try the procedure on my car:
    1) insert key but do not start car
    2) wait for all the information lights to cycle normaly, about 30 seconds.
    3) Push the gas pedal all the way to the floor, hold it for about 5 seconds.
    4) release gas pedal slowly.
    5) Start the car (you must do this for the reset to take effect).

    I personally don't notice the delay anymore. good luck.
  • I bought the car the same time you did. I have had the car in 5 times into the shop for the same issue. They finally told me they had a fix for it which I took the car down to them and they updated the software. Well, the throttle is still doing the same thing. I took it back to them one more time and while the car was there they had their sales rep from VW come by and test drive it. He said it's normal for the throttle to act that way. I think we are all screwed. The throttle lag is more than frustrating. I can't stand driving my car. When this car causes an accident because of the major throttle delay then VW may find a fix for it.
  • I am considering get a brand new car and this will be my first brand-new car(my budget is $18000--26000). After looking at the test-drive numbers, I feel passat is a good fit for me.

    I saw the drivers' review saying lows: "1)hesitates on take-off from rolling start; 2)ignition system".

    I am confused by (1) a bit: I saw the acceleration number is very good (3 sec to 30 miles; 7.6 sec to 60 miles), but what does this "hesitate" mean? Also, what the ignition system problem?

    By the way, anyone can give a comparison between passat and Toyota RAV4 V6 (Sports trim)?

    Thanks a lot
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    The hesitation probably references the 2.0t model. Turbos tend to have something called Turbo Lag. When you push the gas pedal down, there is a slight delay. I have a 2004 Passat 1.8t and there is turbo lag in my car, but its not too bad. From what I hear, the 2.0t is better in this respect.

    Comparing the RAV4 and a Passat? Thats like comparing apples and oranges. One is a SUV (small) and one is a sedan (or wagon). Not sure where to start with that comparison.

    Have you driven both?
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    As for the hesitation, go to and in the B6 Passat forum you will see some threads concerning the hesitation problem. It is not turbo-related, i.e. also occurs with the 3.6L. Basically it's a delay in response when you hit the throttle. VW has a software fix for it (apparently) that was just recently released.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Could you share the information with the community right here? That would be great!
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    In a nutshell, here are the main facts (note that this occurs only with Passats with auto transmission):

    1. Owners with the 3.6L initially reported a delay in accelerating, especially when the car was not stopped but slowly rolling with engine at low rpms, and then attempting sudden acceleration. This delay would last 1-2 seconds, where there would be no power. Some thought it could be dangerous when you are trying to turn in front of incoming traffic.
    2. This behavior is now evident with the 2.0T as well.
    3. Many theories abound: turbo lag (but the 3.6L doesn't have turbos!); ecu adaptive learning (but the issue still happens after ecu has adapted); Owners have suggested an overaggressive esp, drive-by-wire, etc. etc. It all points to a ECU algorithm problem.
    4. Owners call up VW of america, who does agree there is a problem. VWoA recently comes out with a software fix that the dealer will apply to the ECU. They need a special CD to upload to your ECU.
    5. There is a technical service bulletion out: TSB 2012778

    As a sidenote, it seems that other cars (e.g. Toyota Avalon) are experiencing similar delays. Might be related to the way the ECU communicates with the transmission.
  • jaylo247jaylo247 Posts: 10
    I have a 3.6 and have scheduled my passat to receive the ECU software update that fixes the slight hessitation lag. This hessitation is noticible from a rolling stop or while trying to excelerate when the car is in motion. It is not terrible, but it is noticable. Anyways, here's a link to the TSB addressing this issue. According to others on VWVORTEX, the software fix works. I'll report back next week and let everyone know. html
  • The "tip lag" has been around as of this writing for 10 years. Audi has it, VW has it, BMW has it, Porsche has it and I assume Mercedes has it and so on.

    Versions of these cars were released that did not have it, however. These versions were usually the sported up versions (the Audi S6 Avant with the 5 speed tip didn't have it, yet the Audi A6 4.2 with the 5 speed tip did.)

    In later years (2002 and beyond or 2003 and beyond) the transmissions were all pretty much reprogrammed with an "S" mode.

    I have been reading these postings here and letters to the Quattro Club of America, bla bla bla for at least 5 years.

    The issue seems to be a program that has as its goal, rapid upshifts and delayed downshifts.

    My 2005 C6 A6 will NOT shift into first gear until I fully stop the car -- a rolling stop, no matter how slow, simply keeps the car in second. Then, it lags when I press the accelerator. My 1997 A8 did this, my 1999 A6, 2000 A6 4.2, 2001 A6 4.2 ditto. This current A6 "is barely noticable" in this regard -- but if I want to absolutely assure it does NOT happen, shift it into "S" mode.

    It ain't broke -- it has been told to do this by a programmer who apparently puts economy above responsiveness.

    My friend sells BMW's -- says the same thing happens to them when left in steptronic full auto non sport program mode. I've tested 5 series and they do indeed have this lag, but with the 6 speed versions, not so much.

    Perhaps VW has an even more agressive economy mode and hence, somewhat like my A6, waits and waits and waits before it will finally downshift.

    Stall speed anyone?

    This is maddening -- or it can be. Flick it to S mode and the upshifts and downshifts happen more like a manual transmission.

    Pray for the DSG transmission to come to these fine cars -- DSG, NOT SMG.

    Of course, if there are indeed software patches, get 'em -- me, I would like the programmer who wrote the program for the RS 6 to make a tweak or two to mine, but overall, this is the best evolution of auto transmissions in the past 10 years.

    More's the pity. :surprise:
  • jpi2jpi2 Posts: 14
    How did your appointment to have the patch go? I also have a 3.6 and had scheduled an appointment, but cancelled once the dealer said that they would "need it all day to see what was the problem and take the car apart." They didn't know about the software patch so I cancelled until a later date. I may go in with the TSB and info from alldata in hand and question them. Kind of scared and concerned that they don't even know about the software fix! They are the VW dealer.
  • Sorry for responding so late, but the patch worked perfectly! Anyone having the hesitation issues with your 3.6, the software fix works and you should have it done ASAP. If your dealership claims to not know about the TSB after they have had time to research it/receive the CD, report them to VWoA. Also, if you are having B-pillar clicking/ticking noises, you are not alone. Apparently there is a fix in the works, but visit vwvortex for more posts concerning this issue. The more people that come forward, the quicker VW will move to issue a TSB. :surprise:
  • Thank you for the info on the Patch fix for the hesitation problems on th 3.6. The other problem i have is the "Tire Pressure Too Low" message keeps coming on with just the slightest bit of temperature change. The service dept says there is nothing they can do, whenever the temp chags the sensitiveity of the mechanism just clicks the light on. Anyone else have this problem?
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 2,282 - html

    If you haven't had it done, I strongly encourage you to do it. It makes a world of difference. With the newly defined VIN range, hopefully dealers won't give people a hard time about it.

    They even mention that dealers should perform it on the cars that they still have on the lot. And if RVU (voluntary recall) is what I think it means, this is now a recall rather than just a TSB.

    Good luck.
  • It is a voluntary recall now and i had it done and it makes a world of difference! thanks for your input!
  • I noticed this immediately when trying out the 3.6 and found it very annoying to the point where I have decided not to buy the car. Has anyone noticed this hesitation with a manual transmission with the 2.0T?
  • gr8daygr8day Posts: 1
    I had the software fix and it helps. Still has a hesitation accelerating from rolling stop. Having the TSB number when I called for service was critical to getting a fix. Glad it was posted. The 3.6 with auto will be Great if I can get this worked out.

    I have the B Pillar rattle but the dealership is not able to hear it. If there is a Service bulletin for this please past the number.
  • i have a manual 2007 2.0T and haven't had a problem at all

    love the car
  • drewwdreww Posts: 1
    I had the software update done last week. There is still a small delay occaisonsionally, mostly coming out of rolling stops. But, overall, the situation is greatly improved. On a related note, though:the car now seems to downshift more readily -- similar to though not nearly so pronounced as with sport mode. I wonder whether this will affect fuel mileage.
  • On acceleration car will completely bogg down at around 40MPH. Let off accelerator and power comes back till you hit 40 again. Thanks for your help. Bill
  • Does it bog down or does it feel like it is trying to push something heavy uphill? Does it go along fine and then suddenly just act like it "hits the wall?" I wonder what model year the car is? How many miles? How about its' last service? When? Any unwise exhaust system modifications? Or engine mods? -- May be a restricted exhaust system, or low fuel quantity delivery?
  • I have an 06 2.0 T with a similar hesitation that you all describe. Does anyone have a delay shifting from park to reverse and then to drive, it doesn't engage in gear as soon as you shift.Dealer said they all do this
  • wozwoz Posts: 3
    I just saw this message board. You mean to tell me that a fix has been out there for almost a year? I've been complaining to my service dept fora year about the problem.
    Several months ago, the re-flashed my ECU but that did nothing for the hesitation.
    Now that I again have the car in for VW to determine why my bi-xenons dip when cornering, my service manager said VW just came out with a fix for the hesitation. He said you lose the gear indicator when you have the fix done. I hate to lose the gear indicator but if the hesitation goes away, it'll be worth it. Is this the same fix you guys were talking about last October??
  • This is a new fix just being made available. From what I hear it is a very noticeable improvement.
  • I, too, have been victimized by VW's incompetence, intransigence, and dissembling. I asked my dealer about this problem months ago and told that there was nothing wrong and even given an extensive (and incomprehensible) printout of the computer assessment. Then, a couple of weeks ago when bringing in the car for its first service at 5000 miles, I was told that they had just received a TSB and that they would fix the problem. In fact, it has now returned the performance in automatic to what I would consider "normal" - no hesitation at all - and there has been no deleterious effect on the sport or tiptronic modes.
  • my car is at the dealer today to get looked at by an area vw rep for the b-pillar noises. i was told that my '07 passat wagon falls within the vin range of suspect cars and that the rep would assess if vw was going to take care of me or not. it is a large undertaking, peeling back the headliner and breaking down the pillars, filling the pillars with some sort of foam to take care of the gaps they left during manufacturing. we have had the car about 6 months and along with the b-pillar noises, it seems to be a bit of a rattletrap. i am waiting to see what vw says about it before making a move, but are others underwhelmed by the symphony of creaks and squeaks coming from inside of their new vw's?
  • I have a 2003 Passat and I've noticed that it seems a little sluggish lately. At lower speeds when I try to accelerate it seems a bit unresponsive and has to rev quite high before it shifts gears. I don't notice it at higher speeds. It's not a dramatic problem, but when I get in the wife's jetta it's like night and day; it's way more responsive. A different car I know...
    It is due for an oil change, and I'm taking it in on Friday, but I was wondering if that or a dirty oil filter could make that much of a difference, or does it sound like it might be more of a transmission issue? It has 45k miles--could a trans flush be on the horizon, or am I barking up the wrong tree?
    Thanks in advance,
    Steve r.
  • I just read your message. I have an automatic 2004 Passat and it has always had an occassional accelaration hesitation at take off since I first bought it (new). What fix do I need to ask about?
  • After complaining several times, the service manager finally told me that there was a recall and a new chip was put in which has eliminated the problem.
  • I recently had the oil changed on my 04 GLS wagon (Valvoline Syntec). Since then, upon accelerating from a stopped position, there is a very noticeable stutter. Can anyone think of any possible causes? Sloppy oil change; poor fitting of the oil filter; topping off of any fluids incorrectly? I'd like to bring the issue up with the mechanic; however, I'd like to be somewhat educated and offer a few suggestions. Thanks in advance for any insight.
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