According to VW their timing chains should last at least 120,000 miles, but the ones in the 2-liter EA888 engines break a lot sooner. The issue is the subject of multiple class-action lawsuits.
The Worst Volkswagen Vehicles to Own
All cars and trucks have problems. These just happen to have the most.
What about specific generations to avoid?
Most people have heard of the generation gap because, let's face it, who hasn't blamed something on a millenial? But not everyone knows that cars and trucks have generations too. A vehicle generation is a design lifecycles, with only minor changes from year-to-year.
By grouping vehicles together by their generation, we can more accurately predict which model years will give the most headaches.