Common 2018-2021 Volkswagen Atlas Problems

Some of the worst issues 1st generation Atlas owners have to deal with.

  1. Atlas Fuel Injector Leak

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into leaky fuel injectors in the 2018-2020 VW Atlas. The investigation was opened after owners reported smelling gas in their vehicles and seeing fuel leaking from the engine com…

    Continue reading article "Atlas Fuel Injector Leak" An Atlas SUV with an illustrated fuel pump inside a red flame behind it.
  2. What Are We Missing?

    We know there's more problems than this. Let us know which one you'd like to see us cover next.

    Continue An Atlas SUV with an illustrated fuel pump inside a red flame behind it.

What Owners Complain About

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

What Breaks the Most

Years to Avoid

1st Generation (2018–2021) Atlas Key Numbers

  1. 4 model years

    Grouping all models by their year can reveal some baddies.

  2. 57 complaints

    Running tally of owner grievances filed to

  3. 33rd in reliability

    Overall reliability rank out of 46 eligible generations.

Recent 1st Generation (2018–2021) Atlas News

There's a lot of news out there, but not all of it matters. We try to boil down it to the most important bits about things that actually help you with your car problem. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts over at

  1. Volkswagen is recalling 6,300 vehicles after their supplier informed them the rear coil springs they provided weren’t ready for production.

    Um, whoops? If the coil spring breaks it will cause an unsettling noise (bad), a sagging backend (worse), and can even puncture a tire leading to a sudden blowout (holy smokes terrible). Owners of the 2018-2019 Atlas, 2015 Golf SportWagen, and 2019 Jetta should be on the lookout for a recall notice in the mail.

    VW Coil Spring Recall

    keep reading article "VW Says Supplier Sent Coil Springs That Can Snap, Crackle, and Pop the Tires"
  2. You know that annoying-but-useful chime that comes on every time you open the car door with the key still in the ignition?

    Turns out it might not be working in the 2018-2019 Atlas and 2019 Jetta. VW determined a data container wasn't coded correctly, something that will cause a failure of the instrument cluster to provide an audible warning when the driver opens the door with the key still in the ignition.

    That’s a federal safety no-no. To fix the issue, VW has scheduled a recall for January 18, 2019.

    keep reading article "These VW Vehicles Won’t Alert You When You’ve Left the Key in the Ignition"
  3. The 2018 Atlas has been recalled because a twisted A/C evaporator tube can drain water onto the floor of the SUV’s cabin.

    Not only are wet carpets stinky, but they can also damage fragile electrical components underneath. You know, like the mini computer that controls your airbags and whatnot.

    Volkswagen first checked into the problem in August 2017 after complaints about wet carpets, illuminated airbag warning lights and deactivated airbag control units. VW didn't see it as relevant to safety and issued a service campaign.

    10 months after sweeping the problem under the (soggy) rug, a control unit fizzled out and inadvertently deployed an airbag in a 2018 Atlas. Luckily no-one was hurt.

    It’s almost as if those WARNING lights were trying to tell VW something a year ago.

    keep reading article "Atlas Recalled After a Control Unit Gets Wet and Inadvertently Deploys an Airbag"

What Atlas Owners Say About This Generation

Does the 2018-2020 Atlas Have Leaky Fuel Injectors?

We got our Atlas 12 months ago in December 2018. The check engine light came on a few weeks ago, so we took the car in. The dealer claims that we got a batch of bad gas that ruined the fuel injectors which they now recommend replacing for $2500. I'm very skeptical of the bad gas claim, since the dealer doesn't offer any evidence to support the claim and Shell denies it. Seems like an obvious ploy by VW to get us to pay for an expensive repair on a 1 year old vehicle.

Atlas Owner

Does the 2018-2020 Atlas Have Leaky Fuel Injectors?

Fuel injector cracked at 21k miles while on the highway. Fuel was spewing all over the engine and ground. There was a burning smell and loud winding noise as well. Also loss of power and acceleration. Had just enough power to get off of the highway. Was very worried. Possible fire risk

2019 Atlas Owner

Does the 2018-2020 Atlas Have Leaky Fuel Injectors?

Started the car to come home from the park 2 miles away from home and halfway home the car started cutting out, had very limited power, epc light came on followed shortly by the engine light and a fuel smell. Shut the vehicle off and restarted it while someone was looking in the engine compartment. It was immediately seen that a massive amount of fuel was dumping from the fuel rail/injector area at the front of the engine.

2019 Atlas Owner