11 Most Common Volkswagen Taos Problems (Explained)

The Volkswagen Taos is an affordable compact SUV that was first introduced as a 2022 model.

Compared to its rivals, it offers a lot of room, advanced driver aids and many creature comforts.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the common problems of the Taos and their solutions.

1. Laggy Acceleration

Many owners have been frustrated by the sluggish acceleration of the Taos.

While many have blamed the issue on turbo lag, the sluggishness is more likely caused by the mapping or tuning of the fly-by-wire-throttle.

Owners report that they will sometimes have to wait 2 to 3 seconds after stepping on the gas pedal before the car starts accelerating from a stop or at really low speeds.

This seems to affect the 2022 to 2023 models equipped with 4Motion all-wheel drive the most, although several front-wheel drive Taos owners have also had similar issues.

The problem is more prevalent in the all-wheel drive models because it comes with a 7-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission which isn’t as smooth as a traditional automatic at low speeds.  

Here’s how owners on TaosForums.com described their experience:

“I bought a 2023 Taos SE on 12/21/2022 with 11 miles on it. About a month later, I noticed an acceleration lag and it wasn’t long until check engine light #1 came on. Dealer said it was a fuel issue, and “fixed” it. Until March, when the CE light came on, and yes, we were still having acceleration lag issues, along with a new rattle when accelerating.” 

“I have the horrible lagging issue in my 2023 Taos SE. I have learned I can pull out in traffic, because my car may not go and I could get hit. I love the look and feel of the car, but the engine has lots to be desired. This is my 5th VW and by far the worst.”

Other Taos owners on VWVortex.com had this to say:

‘2022 Taos SE FWD w/IQ.DRIVE & Convenience package here. After 2 weeks of ownership and putting 300 miles on the odo, I can attest to the same issue. The vehicle definitely lurches from a complete stop or when accelerating from a near stop. It’s as if the throttle position sensor (TPS) isn’t communicating with the transmission. The issue is consistent and reproducible.”

“Same on my FWD, hit 500 miles and it hasn’t been as noticeable. It was annoying merging off a highway into city traffic (or sets of speed bumps) having no throttle response for a good second and then a burst once the turbo kicks in.”

Volkswagen eventually released a software update, known as the 24IR update, for the Taos to fix a lot of its early issues, which includes the widely reported throttle lag. 

Some owners report that the software update got rid of the throttle lag, while others didn’t notice any difference.

Other suggested workarounds to make the throttle lag less noticeable include switching to Sport mode or manually shifting gears.

Another popular solution is to get an aftermarket tune for the throttle mapping using the Carista app via the OBD2 port.

Using the Carista app shouldn’t invalidate your warranty because it is approved and supported by Volkswagen.

2. Jerky DSG Transmission

The 7-speed DSG (dual clutch) transmission of the all-wheel drive Taos can be a bit jerky at low speeds.

Dual clutch gearboxes are basically semi-automatic manual transmissions which are designed to be more responsive than a traditional automatic.

This tends to result in some jerkiness or lurching, especially when driving at lower speeds, especially if you’re used to driving a regular automatic with a heavy foot.

Several Taos owners have reported noticing the following issues with the DSG:

  • Slow to downshift
  • Jerkiness or lurching when accelerating from a stop
  • Shifts to higher gears too early

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on 

“I’ve had my Taos s 4motion with IQ drive for a month. I am at the point where the transmission is becoming unbearable for me. I just can’t get used to the lag and jerky/jittery ride.” 

‘Loving my new Taos, except for the very jerky transmission at low speeds. As I’m pulling up to a stop sign, the gear holds for a long time causing the car to slow fairly quickly without braking. Then, it finally downshifts and glides to a stop.”

“I just bought a 24 AWD. Wasn’t aware of the whippy take off from a standstill but noticed it right away. For my car it only happens in eco mode. Putting it normal or sport more or less eliminates it.”

For new owners, the transmission should eventually become smoother after a couple of hundred miles as it adapts to your driving style.

When driving any DSG or dual clutch transmission, it’s also better to feather the throttle at lower speeds, just like you would with a manual transmission, to avoid the jerkiness or surging sensation.

Many owners also find that switching to Eco or Sport mode makes the throttle response and shifting smoother and more predictable.

If you’re still not satisfied with the performance of the DSG, a trip to the dealer might be in order. Aside from being able to diagnose any problems, they can also reset the transmission software so that it can relearn your driving style.

Using the Carista app and enabling the direct threshold throttle setting also helps smooth out the transmission’s shifting, in addition to fixing the infamous throttle lag. 

3. Head Gasket Failure

One of the more concerning issues with the VW Taos is the number of head gasket failures that have been reported so far.

Many owners experienced the following symptoms before dealers eventually diagnosed their cars with a bad head gasket:  

  • Low coolant light
  • High engine temperatures
  • Overheating
  • Empty coolant reservoir
  • Smell of coolant 
  • Coolant residue on the engine block

Most of the head gasket failures also occurred at relatively low miles. 

This issue has been widely reported for the 2022 and 2023 model years of the Taos, as well as for the seventh generation Jetta, which uses the same 1.5-liter engine.

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on TaosForums.com:

“2023 Taos blown head gasket 3 months in and out of the shops with low coolant light now and head gasket with no timeframe for parts to be in.”

“My 23 Taos has only 1,700 miles and already has a blown head gasket. The first sign was the “coolant level low” warning light. When I looked at the coolant level, it was practically nonexistent. So it was brought into the dealership and they did a pressure test and found the leak.”

“We purchased our 2022 Taos in December 2021. At 12,600 miles (in February 2023) we got the check engine light for coolant. We took it into the dealer who found the head gasket was blown.”

In August 2023, Volkswagen announced a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) that recommends replacing the head gasket on affected vehicles with an updated part. 

Replacing the head gasket should be covered by the 4-year/50,000-mile warranty. However, many owners report that they had to wait a long time for the parts to arrive.

Once the vehicle is out of warranty, a head gasket replacement can easily cost a few thousand dollars due to the amount of work involved in removing the cylinder head.

4. Premature Brake Wear

The rear brakes of the Volkswagen Taos have a reputation for wearing out after roughly 10,000 miles.

This is quite excessive considering that high performance brakes on many sports cars can last at least 20,000 miles.

Aside from the excessive wear, many Taos owners have also complained about constant squealing and grinding noises coming from the brakes. 

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on TaosForums.com:

“I had my first annual service at 9600 miles and was surprised to find out my rear brakes are worn out and need to be replaced. They are both at 3MM while front are at 11MM.”

“Both rear pads were worn down completely to the metal damaging the rotors. Only 12500 miles. 20 months of ownership. All parts will be replaced under warranty! Fronts are fine.”

“I have a squealing noise from my front brakes on cold mornings. I park in my garage if it matters.c I just have 20k on my taos and my rear brake pads were replaced recently quoting that only 1mm is left and had to pay $600+.” 

“I had to have my rotors replaced around the 15k mile mark because of the awful grinding noise.”

“They replaced my rear brakes and rotors twice and still having the same noise issue.”

The quality of the OEM brake pads are at the root of the Taos’s excessive brake wear.

If the vehicle starts vibrating during braking, it usually means your rotors have also worn out.

Similar issues have been reported for the Jetta, which uses the same type of brakes.

Due to the number of complaints, Volkswagen extended the warranty for the brakes to 2 years or 24,000 miles.

This doesn’t solve the root cause of the problem, but it does save owners of affected vehicles the few hundred dollars it costs to replace the brakes for the first 2 years.

If you want to avoid constantly changing your brake pads and rotors, you can always replace the stock brake pads with aftermarket ones that are designed to last longer.

Related: How Long Do Volkswagen Taos Last? (12 Important Facts)

5.  Engine Stalling

Early builds of the Volkswagen Taos had issues where the vehicle would randomly stall when driving at slow speeds or coming to a stop.

Due to the increased risk of accidents associated with sudden stalls, Volkswagen issued a stop-sale order and recall for the Taos.

According to Volkswagen, stalling issues should only affect the early 2022 models with all-wheel drive. 

However, stalling continues to be reported for the 2023 models, as well as the front-wheel drive variants.

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on TaosForums.com:

“22 Taos S engine stalled out while driving 2nd day in a row. I have a FWD model.”

“My daughter reported her 22 Taos FWD stalled twice on her in a slow traffic. She took the car to a dealer, they kept it for a week and could not reproduce it so returned it. VW has a recall for this exact problem on TAOS (see link below) but her trim is not in the recall.”

“I just purchased a 2023 Taos SE and it stalled twice on me the same day I bought it. Once while I was stopped at a red light and then again while I was driving. Stop/Start was disabled both times. The car has been at the dealer and they claim there are no error codes and that it was low battery voltage which makes no sense.”

“My 2023 Taos SEL lost power mid drive. Had to quickly pull over and shut the car off. It’s happened 4 times.”

When Volkswagen recalled the early all-wheel drive models of the Taos, they updated the ECU software to fix the stalling issue.

Volkswagen eventually issued another recall for the 2022 Taos to replace the fuel pump.

Vehicles not included in the recall will have to be checked out at the dealer for other possible issues like a faulty sensor or fuel pump.

Dealerships can also apply new software updates, if available, that may be able to resolve the stalling problem.

Troubleshooting stalling issues in the Taos can be quite difficult as it usually only happens intermittently and doesn’t produce error codes.

6. Fuel Line Recall

Early builds of the Volkswagen Taos were recalled for a possible fuel line leak.

According to Volkswagen, a quick connector for one of the fuel lines could possibly detach on its own.

When the line gets detached, it can cause the vehicle to stall. The resulting fuel leak is also a major fire hazard.

Fuel vapors can also reach the cabin, which will have a very noticeable odor.

This recall only applies to the 2022 model year of the VW Taos.

Although over 16,000 vehicles were affected by the recall, reports of the fuel line disconnecting on its own were quite rare.

However, when owners took their vehicles in for the recall, many vehicles failed the pressure test that dealers conducted.

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on TaosForums.com:

“My service advisor told me up front today that if the fuel line failed the test they would have to ‘send me home in something else.’” 

“I got the recall notice via carfax email ahead of the actual letter. I dropped it off and within an hour they told me it was affected. They would not allow me to leave with it, and from what I am hearing, that means they put enough pressure to break the fuel line connection.”

“My 2022 Taos was at the dealership for 58 days awaiting the parts for the fuel line recall.”

Most 2022 models would have already had the recall performed by now since most owners would have already taken their vehicles back to the dealer for regular maintenance since the recall was announced.

If you want to make sure, you can always check with your local dealer if the recall work has already been performed on your particular vehicle.

7. Emissions Issues

A number of VW Taos owners have had issues with the EVAP vent valve getting stuck open.

The EVAP system prevents gas vapors, which are harmful to the environment, from escaping into the atmosphere.

When the vent valve stops working, a check engine light will appear. If you scan the car for codes, a P2421 trouble code will also pop up.

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on TaosForums.com:

“My CEL just came back on after being off for 5k miles, same 2421 code so I guess I’ll have the dealer reorder that part. Took about 3 months to get the part in last time, hopefully sooner now.”

“We have the common problem with gas vapor recirc valve getting stuck. It was replaced once and the light is back. it has no impact on driving and I’m sure it will be fixed properly someday.’

“Have only owned our Taos 2 months and it’s back in the shop the second time because the emission light is on again.”

A stuck EVAP vent valve won’t affect the car’s drivability, but you’ll have to take it in to the dealer to get it fixed.

However, several owners have complained that they’ve had the same issue more than once, which can get rather annoying. 

A new N80 vent valve should only cost $20 and any experienced mechanic should be able to replace the old one once your warranty has run out.

Not properly closing the gas cap can also trigger a check engine light, so it’s one of the first things you should check if you get any trouble codes for emissions problems.

8. Radio Issues

Many Taos owners regularly have issues with the car’s infotainment system.

Common radio issues that have been reported include:

  • No sound coming from speakers
  • Takes a long time to initialize
  • Can’t connect to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • CarPlay keeps disconnecting
  • Screen goes completely black

These issues seem to be prevalent in all the model years of the VW Taos. 

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on TaosForums.com:

“Occasionally the sound from the infotainment system doesn’t work after turning on our Taos. No sound coming from Android Auto, from the radio if we switch to that or from bluetooth if we try to play from there. Everything else works, I can see songs playing on Spotify, but we’re getting no sound at all. Turning the car off, walking away with the key, and turning it back on resets this.”

“I connect my iPhone using a wire, it works well most of the time. But on occasions it would lose connection and won’t reconnect on its own. I tried troubleshooting: changed cables, restarted my iPhone, but the only thing that works is restarting the VW infotainment system by holding the power button for 10 seconds.

“I bought a new 2023 Taos in October, 2022. Since October, I’ve had it at the dealer 5 times for problems with the Info/Entertainment system. The main problem is it doesn’t connect to my phone. I have my phone on, it says connected to my VW but my info systems says “no device found”. Or via CarPlay, it will display what’s on my phone but no sound comes out of the info system.” 

“I have a 22 Taos SE purchased last October. I have had no issues with the radio except for the last month or so. Sometimes when I take off the radio goes into a “initializing mode” what seems like forever. The music may come on or not.”

Restarting the car or holding down the radio power button for 10 to 20 seconds until it restarts is the only way to get the sound working again.

This workaround also fixes the CarPlay and Android Auto connection issues owners have been experiencing.

Some owners have even had their head units replaced, but still continue to have the same problems after a few weeks. 

A software update for the infotainment system may eventually resolve many of the reported issues, but it’s still an ongoing problem at the time of writing. 

9. Oil Level Sensor Issues

Several Taos owners have had the “Reduce Oil Level” warning pop up on the dash.

This warning usually shows up if too much oil was added during an oil change.

The Taos’ oil level sensor is also quite sensitive, and even just a small amount of overfilling can easily trigger the warning to appear.

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on TaosForums.com:

“Had the message to reduce oil level. The service advisor told me that the oil level sensor is incredibly sensitive and that idling might introduce enough fuel mixture to “over fill” the oil chamber. And that driving the vehicle evaporates this “excess”. Dealership replaced the oil level sensor, under warranty. That was March 2023. Have not had the warning since.”

“I took my 2022 Taos SE in a little over a month ago for an oil change at 9,000 miles. Shortly after the oil change, I received a ‘reduce oil level’ message. Took it in to the dealer, they said they removed a little bit of oil, and sent me on my way. Fast forward to last week (and about 1500 miles later) I’m getting the same message. I took it on a road trip out of town and got the error message on my way back home.” 

When the oil level warning shows up, dealers will usually just drain out a bit of oil until the dipstick reads just below the maximum level.

In some cases, it’s the oil level sensor itself that’s faulty and needs to be replaced.

10. Lane Assist Errors

The VW Taos will sometimes randomly display an error for the lane assist.

In most cases, this will also make the ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) inoperable and the EPC (Engine Power Control) warning will also light up. 

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on TaosForums.com:

“I have an alert on my dash that says “ACC and Lane Assist Deactivated.” I have tried cleaning my sensors, yet I still have the alert.”

“I’ve had 2 instances where I get Error: Lane Assist not working. Then the car starts shaking and rapidly decelerates mid drive. Had to manage to pull over to shut the car off.” 

Another user on the r/VWTaos subreddit had this to say:

“While driving today I received a warning on my dash that said the Lane Keep Assist was not working and had “EPC” warning on the screen. Everything started working fine after I turned it off and on again.”

The sensor for the lane assist and adaptive cruise control is just behind the VW emblem on the front grill.

When this sensor gets obstructed by debris or snow, the lane assist system will encounter errors and will automatically be disabled as a safety precaution.

If the errors don’t go away after restarting the car, check if there’s anything blocking the sensor and try to clean it off as best you can.

If you’re still constantly getting errors, take your car back to the dealer so they can check if there are any hardware defects or software problems with your car.

11. Start Stop Keeps Deactivating

A number of owners have been frustrated and confused by the Taos’s start/stop system.

Owners have reported that the start/stop system will deactivate on its own at random times.

This keeps the engine running even if you’re idling at a red light.

Here’s how a few owners described their experience:

“I have a 2022 Taos with 14,000 miles. I just bought it 3 months ago and today it started with that same stop/start error message and also a message stating engine on due to system/power needs.”

“I just got my 2022 Taos SEL AWD. I’m really happy about all of it but I found the start & stop function a little weird. Mine will automatically stop the feature roughly after 25 seconds. If I stop at a red light the start & stop will kick in and shut down the engine, but after 25 seconds or so the feature will turn itself off (shows a signal with a slash over “A”) and start the engine again (while my feet is still on the breaks and I didn’t move the steering wheel).

“I just bought an SEL this weekend and realized that the stop/start function turns off whenever I set my air conditioning temp too low. When I raised the temperature to 70, it kicked right back in again and was fine, but if I put it in the 60s the stop/start function turns off again.”

The start/stop system will only be available if certain conditions are met.

Things such as not buckling your seatbelt, an open door, turning the steering wheel, a weak 12-volt battery, or setting the AC temperature too low, among many others, will automatically disable the start/stop system. 

Your owner’s manual will have a full list of conditions that the start/stop system needs to check before it can be activated again.

Volkswagen Taos Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Affordable price
  • Advanced driver aids
  • Comfortable interior
  • Athletic handling
  • Lots of room compared to rivals
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Good ground clearance

Cons

  • Jerky DSG transmission
  • Lots of early issues
  • Noticeable road and wind noise

What Do The Reviews Say?

“We were surprised to find the Taos, one of the larger SUVs in this diminutive class, is also one of the quickest. Credit goes to a fairly high-strung turbocharged four-cylinder engine that whooshes and hisses its way to 60 mph in a respectable 7.8 seconds. That speed, however, is only really achievable if you use the Taos’ launch control, which we imagine few owners will.”

“The Taos handles around corners quite impressively as well, with well-controlled body roll and accurate steering. In fact, the Taos scores high marks in every driving aspect except what’s possibly the most important for this class: drivability. The combination of that high-strung engine and moderately unresponsive seven-speed transmission makes for a jerky affair. Power surges and gear shifts can often feel delayed or clunky, making it difficult to enjoy driving at slow stop-and-go speeds.”

“When it comes to cabin comfort, the Taos does it pretty well. The front seats have a sporty shape and offer surprisingly good support despite not having all the range of adjustments we would’ve liked.” 

“The interior is one of the best in the class, from the ease in which you can step in and out of the large door openings to the generous passenger space. The Taos almost feels like a class size up compared to its competition.” 

2024 Volkswagen Taos | Edmunds

What’s the Resale Value of a Volkswagen Taos?

Here’s a quick look at used car pricing for the Taos on Edmunds at the time of writing.

YearMileagePrice
20241,264$27,990
202314,526$21,498
202228,469$18,450

Author:

  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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