3rd Generation (1981—1990) Vanagon Problems

This generations ranks 14th out of 45 Volkswagen generations in reliability and is one of the safer bets out there. Owners have the most complaints about the hvac (50%), cooling system (50%), and the We've listed some of the most recent complaints below, see them all on CarComplaints.com.

  1. Overheats 1 complaints at an average of 30,000 miles in the 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon.
  2. Heater Is Not Working 1 complaints at an average of 130,000 miles in the 1981 Volkswagen Vanagon.

What Vanagon Year is Most Reliable?

Generations are a good baseline for prediciting reliability, but there will almost always be year-to-year differences. We've calculated a reliability score for each model year within this generation, but we've based that score on how the model year compares to all Volkswagen model years.

Watch out for the 1990 model year which has the highest PainRank™ score in this generation.

Year Complaints Recalls TSBs PainRank (?)
1990 1 2 2 1.13
1981 1 2 1 0.23

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