VW Passat Headlight Problems – What You Need To Know

Are your VW Passat headlight problems driving you crazy as they do not properly illuminate the road?

When a driver’s headlights are faint, dead, or fading, they are troublesome and may get you into dangerous situations.

Without proper maintenance, you might face various problems later, from a failed annual car inspection to severe traffic collisions.

This article will help you understand the VW Passat headlights and know what is going on.

What Is Volkswagen?

VW Passat Headlight Problems

Volkswagen, abbreviated VW, is a German automobile manufacturer based in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. It is one of the world’s top vehicle manufacturers and Europe’s largest automaker.

The Volkswagen Passat is a large series of cars manufactured since 1973 and is presently in its eighth version.

The Passat is the world’s most successful mid-size automobile. It is expected to be the first automobile in its class to be sold at 30 million units in 2019.

Elegant and comfy: the Volkswagen Passat has been a real star for over four decades. However, nothing is perfect, and the Passat is no exception.

When it comes to the 2012 and 2013 Passat midsize sedans, they are notoriously known for having a problem with the entire headlight assembly.

So, let’s dive deeper into the 2012 VW headlight bulb failure.

What Is The Most Common Headlight Issues In VW Passat?

The low-beam headlight is the most common issue in the VW Passat, maybe because of bad connections, a faulty headlight switch, or a blown fuse.

Many people have tried to fix it with bulb replacements, but they did not succeed.

VW took action and recalled the headlight for repair at no cost. Besides, people also face the problem of having no blocking cap for the headlight.

2012-2013 Passat

There would be nothing to talk about if nothing happened to the 2012 and 2013 Passat headlights.

After driving the car for a few months, you may encounter a problem with the low beams of the headlights.

The issue is that when the hood is closed incorrectly or falls from a specific height, the pressure and vibration may shut the electrical contact with a low-beam headlight.

The malfunction of the low-beam headlight bulb lighting may cause decreased vision, increasing the chance of an accident.

Fixing the problem is not quite a big challenge, but it is advisable that you take your car to technicians for a thorough inspection.

They will replace a better bulb fitting and, if required, examine and repair the hood bumpers to prevent the hood from collapsing on the entire headlight assembly during closure.

2012-2020 Volkswagen Passat and 2018-2019 Atlas

Another noticeable headlight issue from the Volkswagen Passat is the lack of a blocking cap. The blocking cap function is to prevent the adjustment of the horizontal direction of the headlights.

As Volkswagen announced, some cars in this model may not have installed this component.

In fact, it may not affect the driving experience a lot. However, these automobiles do not meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 108.

What Are The Actions From Volkswagen Recalling Passats For Headlight Problems?

Volkswagen has made an announcement to recall certain 2012 – 2013 Passat models built between January 2011 and November 2012.

According to VW, if the low beam fails to connect electricity, the driver will be notified by a warning light in the car instrument panel.

VW claims there have been no collisions or injuries as a result of the issue. They will reach out to customers, and technicians will change the bulb holder at no cost.

The recall is set to commence in May 2014. You can reach them at 1-800-822-8987. Volkswagen’s recall number for this campaign is 94G8/7V.

There is also a recall for some Volkswagen Passat and Atlas models from 2012 to 2020 with the blocking cap issue. You can contact customer service if you face this problem.

The recall number for this Volkswagen problem is 94L9. The repairman will examine and, if needed, block the horizontal adjustment of the headlights at no cost. The recall started on July 16, 2019.

Real-life Report For VW Passat Headlight Problems

Real-life Report For VW Passat Headlight Problems

Here are what people found out about the problem. They both have the same trouble, but the symptoms and how they found out are different.

Let’s read their story to know how they handle the situation.

Lights Suddenly Stop Working

On March 21, 2021, when I was heading home on a freeway at about 7:30 p.m., my car’s side lights abruptly stopped working.

A warning appears, instructing the user to check the right defective headlights.

To fix this problem, I googled the mistake and purchased a new headlight bulb from O’Reilly. The side lights remained inoperative after the bulb had been replaced.

The next day, I phoned the VW dealer to make an appointment to repair the issue.

Meanwhile, I conducted more studies on the issue. I learned that VW issued a voluntary recall on the Volkswagen Passat 2012-2013 due to the headlight (low beam).

Smoke From The Low Beam Area

My vehicle alerted me yesterday morning to check my left low beam. I went to a parts store to get a new bulb to replace the old one.

Yet, I received the same message when I switched on my car this morning. As I stepped out, I realized that the light bulb was not working.

When I lifted the hood of my car, I saw a small amount of smoke coming from the low beam location.

After investigating, I discovered that many people were experiencing the same problem, which turned out to be a loss of connection.

I was fortunate to get the base out in time. A fire may have sparked if I hadn’t unzipped my hood.

Other Volkswagen Versions Have Headlight Problems

Reading other problems from different VW car versions helps you figure out your car’s headlight better. You know whether the issue in your car is not the manufacturer’s fault.

VW Jetta Headlights Not Working

Some people report that there is a problem with the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta headlight bulb. The cause may be because the bulb is burned.

The only solution is to replace it; if it doesn’t work, you can now consider a bad wiring or fuse problem.

Besides, the headlight fixture works but looks too dim, just like the 2015 Nissan Altima.

The cause can be bad bulbs and foggy lenses. You can try replacing the bulbs and cleaning the headlight lenses to fix them.

2008 VW Beetle Headlight Problems

Like the Passat, you will also face problems with high and low beans in the headlight beetle. But, in this case, it is not the manufacturer’s fault.

You can check the fuse box to find the problem. It is positioned in the dashboard on the passenger side. To gain access to it, you must first unlock the passenger door.

Use a flathead screwdriver or a comparable instrument. Once inside, you’ll need to check a few fuses.

High beams are 18 and 19, low beams are 20 and 21, and parking lights are 22 and 23.


VW Passat headlight problems can become serious in certain situations. If you constantly drive at night, call customer service now for more information.

They will help you fix the issue at no cost if it is the producer’s fault.Unlike Passats, the bulb failure light on Volkswagen Jetta and Beetle is not initially from the manufacturers.

You can follow the instructions above for repair. However, it is advisable you take your car to a technician who can provide a thorough inspection for you.

2 thoughts on “VW Passat Headlight Problems – What You Need To Know”

  1. I am having a different issue with the drivers side low beam, theres no power to the headlight assembly jack. I have switched assemblies and the headlight works on the passengers side, but not the drivers side. I can not find a fuse nor fusable light on this dam car. I have heard the headlight wiring goes into a control module thats under the drivers footwell under the rug, but no dice. Ripped up the rug and no module. I am really hoping NOT to have to bring it to the dealer as the car is not worth the otragious fees that the dealership will charge me!

    • Hi Chris,

      I understand your frustration. In my point of view, you should check all related parts, and accessories first such as bulbs, relays, wiring, switch, etc. After checking all the above parts, and everything is good to go, it’s time to use OBD to scan if is there any error code on your car.

      Tell me if it helps.


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