You Can Buy a VW Taos Again But Do You Want To?
It’s been almost a year since a Volkswagen stop-sale order was issued for the 2022 VW Taos. It’s time to ask, how is the Taos faring now?
The Volkswagen Taos is the smallest SUV in the VW lineup, offering customers SUV capabilities with a lower price tag. The Taos debuted in the US with the 2022 model, but was quickly hit with a VW stop-sale order and recalls. Though sales have recommenced, the Taos has not managed to impress in its debut year. It failed to get either the recommendation of Consumer Reports or a Top Safety Pick rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
What led to the Volkswagen stop-sale?
The Volkswagen stop-sale order issued in August 2021 was for the all-wheel-drive (AWD) 2022 Taos models only. FWD sales continued. Volkswagen reported that the AWD system in the Taos sometimes “shut off unexpectedly when coming to a stop.” A specific software version installed in the engine control unit (ECU) of the AWD Taos could, under specific conditions, such as high ambient temperatures, high engine load, or with the A/C on, cause the vehicle to stall when coming to a stop, increasing the risk of a crash. In October 2021, owner notification letters were mailed informing owners that they could have the ECU software updated free of charge to repair the problem. This fix appears to have worked as complaints about this issue have slowed.
However, this wasn’t the last sign of the 2022 VW Taos problems.
August 2021 saw another recall for the Taos shortly after the Volkswagen stop-sale order. The recall served as a notice to customers regarding a leaky fuel connection which increased the risk of a crash AND the risk of a vehicle fire. VW told its customers that the underhood fuel supply quick-connector may detach from the fuel supply line causing a fuel leak in the engine compartment. A fix has been issued by VW.
A third recall in March 2022 affected the Taos (MY 2022) and the Tiguan (MY 2021 and 2022). In this recall, the 2021 Tiguan and 2022 Volkswagen Taos problems stemmed from the fact that they were assembled with incorrectly manufactured rear knuckles. The left or right rear suspension knuckles can corrode, crack, and break causing instability in the rear suspension, and increasing the risk of a crash.
What is the situation now for VW Taos owners?
Currently, there are 3 outstanding recalls on the AWD VW Taos and the FWD VW Taos (all listed above.) Volkswagen has released a fix for each of these problems although there may be delays in getting the parts needed for the repairs.
Consumer Reports awarded the Taos a lower-than-average predicted reliability score of just 2 out of 5. Despite this setback, the brand and automotive market hope for a better future and that the next version of Taos will perform better. Consumer Reports noted the lack of safety features on the Taos base model, including automatic braking, blind spot and rear cross-traffic warning, and forward collision warning. Of all the Volkswagen vehicles, Consumer Reports only recommended two vehicles in the German automaker’s lineup – the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) did not name the 2022 Tao as a Top Safety Pick. In order to make the IIHS list, an accolade often considered one of the best recognitions in the auto industry, a vehicle must earn a “good” rating in each IIHS category but the Taos failed to earn a good rating in the passenger-side small overlap and head restraint tests. This is an obvious disappointment for VW who will likely lose buyers to other manufacturers producing small SUVs with better safety ratings, like Subaru.
What can VW Taos owners do?
If you own a VW Taos, you should check for current recalls on your vehicle (whether or not you have noticed any problems.) Recalls are available on the NHTSA website, and you should also have received an owner notification letter for each recall. If there is a recall on your vehicle, your dealer should repair the problem free of charge.
If you are experiencing other 2022 Volkswagen Taos issues, you should bring the vehicle to your dealer for repair as soon as possible. Many of the problems with your new Taos should be covered, and repaired for free, under your new vehicle warranty. Some of the defects that we hear about in the VW Taos are:
- Infotainment system problems, such as a blank screen
- Backup camera malfunctions
- Failing Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
- Stalling engine
- Jerking transmission
- Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) issues
If your dealer is unable to repair the defect in your VW Taos, or there are unreasonable delays to your repair (even for a recall), you may be entitled to compensation or a replacement vehicle under your state lemon laws. Lemon laws protect owners of recently purchased defective vehicles from being stuck with the defective vehicle. Owners can bring a lemon law claim against the vehicle manufacturer, and if successful, may be awarded a replacement vehicle or a full refund of the purchase price, and ALL attorneys’ fees. You can find out more about what you can get from a lemon law claim here, and more about the manufacturer’s liability to pay your attorney fees here.
If you have a defect in your VW Taos or have questions about lemon law, contact one of our experienced lawyers at Timothy Abeel & Associates. We will review your case for free, and answer any questions you may have at no cost to you.