VW Atlas battery died twice in two months

Asked by Dilip Dec 02, 2017 at 08:19 PM about the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE 4Motion

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I own a VW Atlas which is 6 months old. Battery died all of a sudden 2 months
back. Could not even jump start the vehicle. VW service team had to replace it.
Couple of days back battery was complete down again. For the first time i
thought it could be a one-off battery issue. But do you think there might be
some problem with car itself as the replacement battery also went cold in 2
months? I used the car just 4 days before battery went cold.

62 Answers

40

I have had the same issue. Battery not replaced et but died twice, ten minutes after last being used. Had a similar issue with a German Ford a few years back which was the on board computer not turning off. Required a firmware upgrade, needed to go to several dealers to find one that had the firmware update. Suspect this will take VW a few months to work out.

4 people found this helpful.
90

Hi so how is your atlas running now after the battery replacement. Same thing happened to me tonight, the car is 10 days old and the battery died . The whole system shut down gave me a 12v low battery message, then died.

9 people found this helpful.
50

Same thing happened to my Atlas. The dealer said the ignition on and off is too much on the battery. So I manually shut off the on/off each time i drive the car. Unfortunately, I have not found a way to permanently shut off the ignition on/off so it must be done manually. Battery is fine. VW will need to figure out how to deal with this for future models.

2 people found this helpful.
60

Happened to me as well. First time was 3 months ago, car wouldn't start and lights kept on flashing. VW assistance had to jump start the battery and it started. Dealer kept the car for 10 days and changed the onboard computer. 2 days ago, same problem... I hope they find a solution soon!

4 people found this helpful.
30

Four or five times now car hasn't started. Bought it 11 months ago. Need a solution before my 12 month warranty expires at the end of the month!

3 people found this helpful.
50

Same situation happened to me. Dealer also said the ignition on and off is too much on the vehicle. They replaced the battery. VW is working to fix the issue for future models. I manually turn the ignition on/off OFF each time I drive the car and the problem is gone. I’m hoping the have a fix for this problem soon.

3 people found this helpful.
160

My battery died at an intersection when I was waiting at the light. I had no warning what so ever. The car was brand new. VW was no help. I had to tow the vehicle myself. They replaced the battery and said there is a new manufacture of the Atlas batteries now. The first ones were faulty but there is no recall. He said the start/ stop function are too hard on the battery.

6 people found this helpful.
200

Sam your experience is much like ours earlier this week. Our 1 year old Atlas died in an intersection in four lanes of traffic in rush hour. It was very dangerous. Called the dealer, they were completely dismissive. Told me to call the 800# and ask for assistance. Called roadside assist and they said 90 mins to 2 hours. I lost it then. Customer service refused to cover the cost of the rental I needed to get home and to work the next day even though this is a warranty issue. My useless car is still sitting at the dealer because they have no batteries and don’t know when they’re coming. As a consumer I’ve never been treated so poorly by a company and its collective employees in my life. This should be a recall. The situation I was in was very dangerous. Hazard lights wouldn’t work. Couldn’t even open the back hatch to try to indicate the car was dead. People coming from behind couldn’t see the hood was open. Really the whole thing is outrageous.

21 people found this helpful.
160

There have already been 5 recalls on the vehicle. Please file a problem. https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

6 people found this helpful.
160

What do people mean by manually turning the ignition on/off?

16 people found this helpful.
90

To GuruXVN6B: Exact same thing happened to my three days ago. Stopped at a light in the middle of a busy street during rush hour, and then Atlas would restart when the light changed. It was stuck in the middle of the road for three hours. Car was totally dead, and seemed electrically possessed. I couldn't even get it out of Park to load it on the flatbed tow truck. It was a very dangerous situation. The car's currently at the dealer's and I'm waiting to see what they say. But I'm not confident that just replacing the battery will fix this long term. Without any real warning, then car was completely disabled.

9 people found this helpful.
20

own atlas for 1 year, battery died twice, the first happened few months ago and had to call AAA, waited two hours for jump start. Then learn the lesson and always keep a jump starter in car, today is second time battery died, lucky to have this tool in car, just used it right away, no need to wait. Hopefully VW can fix this problem, otherwise, it is not fun battery died without warning sign, particullar in freezing cold night in rural area with no cellular signal

2 people found this helpful.
30

Same happened to me. Died in intersection with no warning. 100$ to tow to dealer. Sure hope this is covered!

3 people found this helpful.
60

My second battery in my Atlas died this week. The battery died rather abruptly was completely dead after a 10 minute stop. The first battery died over a couple weeks with some messages saying the battery was low. I doubt the start stop feature is the culprit because that feature hardly worked during the 4 months the first battery was used. The start stop only works if there is enough battery energy. This week my VW dealer replaced the failed battery with an AGM battery so that is the likely solution. You can search on AGM batteries if you are interested in their benefits.

3 people found this helpful.
50

This has happened to me twice now. VW Atlas is 15 months old. Both times the car completely shut down in the middle of a busy intersection. Display lights coming on and off until the battery was drained. The first time someone gave me a jump start and I was able to drive the car home, but the car would not go faster than 20 miles an hour, which was a safety issue in itself. The next day, car had completely recovered and it drove fine for two weeks. I did take it into the dealer that day, and they kept it for a few days, but couldnt recreate the problem. The dealer hoped that one of the 9 recalls they fixed would have resolved the issue, but it happened again yesterday. This time I had them tow the car to the dealer to prove the shutdown. I have no confidence they will know how to fix the problem. If it happens again in the next 3 months, I will hire a lawyer and invoke the lemon law.

5 people found this helpful.
30

Our 2018 VW battery died randomly after being parked for 5 minutes running an errand. It got jumped and ran fine for about two weeks. Two weeks after the first fail, it would not start first thing in the morning and it would not respond to jumper cables. Had it towed to the dealer and they said they've had this problem with other Atlas'. They do not have a battery, saying they are on backorder across the country and the have no expected availability date. The dealer has had my vehicle for 11 days with no end in sight!

3 people found this helpful.
70

This just happened to my wife last night! At 5 pm rush hour on one of the busiest intersection in my city, I went to meet her but could not jump start it with my starter. She had two of our kids with her 4 and 2, and I had to leave her there to get the kids out of the dangerous situation because she could not take them as doesn't drive standard and that's what my car is. The hazards died and the Atlas is Black so not very visible in the darkens of PM on Dec 19. VW Roadside took over 90 minutes to sent help, and it was useless because it was no a Tow Truck, but a jump starter car. Eventually, she had to pay for her own tow truck, to get it towed. The dealer is still troubleshooting and refusing to even give us a rental. This was a very dangerous situation and from the comments here it is very common. There should be a Class action lawsuit against Volkswagen. This company should be ashamed of themselves.

7 people found this helpful.
160

HI Matt Sounds awful. I completely agree with you. You buy a new car, you don't expect it to break down and leave you stranded. Please file a report. https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/ After a month, a rep contacted me and I have submitted documentation. Something needs to be done. VW does not care.

4 people found this helpful.
70

Hi Sam, I opened the case with Volkswagen Canada customer relations and told them I want to return this vehicle, it's unsafe, not to even have hazard lights working. They are selling unsafe vehicles and know about it and don't care. But what do expect from a company that cheated on emissions for years! So you are right they don't care. I just want to get out of this lease as I am paying for a vehicle that my wife is afraid to drive. I didn't even mention that this vehicle had 2 other problems within the first year of ownership! And yes I bought it because I wanted my family to be safe, apparently brand new 7 seat VW SUV does not provide that. I tried submitting the complaint as per the link you provided but I'm in Canada.

60

Try sending an official complaint by mail and threathen to take them to court, I live in Canada too and they refund me one month payment... I would have prefer a cancel of the lease but the payment was a good deal also

2 people found this helpful.
200

Andre and Matt I am GuruXVN6B from above. Also from Canada and I posted my problem above. They had our car two weeks before getting a battery in. The most I could get out of them was a $70 gift card for service in their absolutely terrible dealership. I refuse to drive the car as I’m on the road all day long and I can’t trust it. My husband drives it now. I’m also stuck in a lease and want out. Andre where did you mail your complaint letter to? We need to find out the regulatory body that we should be filing a complaint with.

70

Hi Andre, thank you for your advice. And you are right I do prefer to cancel my lease as you did, one-month lease payment I guess is better than nothing but it's not enough when your wife is scared to drive this vehicle for the next two years! Getting out of this lease would be much preferred!

Same thing has happened with my 2018 atlas that I’ve had for 17 months. Just started doing this about a month ago and I’ve had to jump start it 4 times now!

Just took our Atlas in to the dealer this morning. We had an issue with the engine light coming on sporadically, apparently an issue with the catalytic converter (which is on backorder for a few weeks now). My husband drove it and has had lights and on things coming on over the last couple weeks, but it always started. I tried to drive it yesterday morning and it wouldn't start, random lights came on, low 12 volt message came on,then nothing. Husband came home to jump the battery. We drove it to the dealer today so we will see what they say. Same situation here, recently traded in an older vehicle because we have small kids and wanted a newer, safer vehicle. We've had it about 15 months and wouldn't expect to have this many issues with a new vehicle. My 11 year old jeep at least started when it was supposed to! Not feeling very safe with the amount of people that have said it just wouldn't start or shut off in traffic at a light. Also put in a complaint at the link listed above.

10

hi, I am joining the club too. My 2018 atlas battery died 3 times within the past 2 months. I live in Toronto @Andre/Matt, did you just send a letter to VW customer complaints @ AJax office? did you hear anything back from them since?

1 people found this helpful.
60

Hi, as mentionned they got back to me and paid me one month of lease

60

The AGM battery used to replace the second battery failure in November has been working much better. The main thing I noticed is that the Start-Stop feature is working at lower temperatures than last winter. Last winter the start-stop did not work much when temperatures were below 40 degrees. We've been getting subzero temperatures the last few days and the engine is starting OK. Also after the engine warms up the start stop feature works. It looks like there is hope for the Atlas if the battery is replaced with an AGM battery.

3 people found this helpful.
20

I've recently started having the same problem with my 2018 Atlas. I've had it since October 2017. The battery has died 5 times in a week and 1/2- 3 since VW replaced the battery. Multiple odd messages but always the 12v battery low message. Now it says that I have no airbags. It's not cold weather related since I know 3 people with older model VW's and all their vehicles started fine. Just wondering if any other Canadians who've had this problem entered a defect complaint with Transport Canada? It's too early for me to put in the complaint since it's been less than 2 weeks.

20

To any Canadians having a problem with the Atlas and VW has not been able to fix it, you have to issue a defect complaint with Transport Canada. https://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/7/PCDB- BDPP/fc-cp.aspx?lang=eng

Today my 2018 Atlas left me sitting for the second time. I have an appointment with VW for next week. We’ll see what they say but after reading all of these posts I’m not too hopeful. It’s no wonder mine came with a road side assistance kit and brand new jumper cables. This sucks.

40

Hi All, I have a 2018 VW Atlas SE V6. Our battery died twice. We had it to the dealership once. They replaced the battery and the ECM. They told me the battery was bad and it fried the ECM. So far, the car has been starting in -15 degree F weather in Chicago. I often turn off the auto start stop (button right next to the hazard lights). I believe the issue has been remedied by the new ECM. Moreover, the computer on board seems to be working much faster when I plug in my phone for apple car play- it's instant. Maybe this is a firmware issue? Anyway, I love this car. I hope this annoying issue can be remedied for everyone. I will update here if it dies again and try the AGM battery. If you have not replaced your battery and ECM, the car will continue to die.

4 people found this helpful.
30

Have had my atlas since Jan of 2018. Am German background, speak the language etc and have never been more disappointed. First new car and dreamed of owning a VW since I was a small child when my dad rolled up with the new 84 Gold diesel in white. My car had the same battery issue twice as well. Even better, I have had to bring it in for repairs 11 times for everything from my infotainment system not turning on to issues with my passenger side mirror to the kick trunk sensor not working. I have visit #12 scheduled as soon as a new part comes in. At this time they are going to repair my passenger door panel that has come loose, issues with both rear doors which leads to interior frost on the windows as well as leather creasing around the horn. Oh and it also has a bubbling rust spot on the back of the trunk and flaking of the clear coat on the front of the bumper. Both of these are supposed to get repaired in the future too. After visit number 8 I called vw customer care and said I wanted my money back and they could have the car. I bought it outright with the 10 year warranty and all. After some back and forth I was told as long as the warranty repairs are being done then all is good and also they weren't going to take the car back. When I mentioned my wife would like our friend to design big decals for the car with a big lemon on it and words to the effect not to buy vw if you want quality, they came back and offered me a $300 gift card to spend at VW. LOL. Also I let them know when I would be bringing it in for repairs with those big decals they could rest assured that I wouldn't be driving it down into the service bay at downtown toronto vw but parking it at the front entrance right where the sales people are looking to close deals. Anyways after visit #11, I called back customer care and found out it is actually just a third part call centre working for VW. With that in mind and tired of the issues with this lemon and a substandard response to what has been an extremely unreliable car, I called the Manager of P.R. Thomas Tetzlaff as well as the CEO of VW Canada, Daniel Weissland and left a message on each of their voicemails about my concerns and that considering the situation I thought it would be imperative I get a response from headquarter lest I call Wolfsburg directly and also go there in June when I am in the area. Within 48 hours I got a call and have received what has so far been the service I expected from the beginning. I am supposed to receive a call this week after they have reviewed my file. I requested my money back or a new 2019. Interested to see where this goes.

2 people found this helpful.
20

I've filed an official defect complaint with Transport Canada but they need to know that it's not a one- off situation. You need to give details of what happened, when and how often and if you were in a dangerous situation because of it. I've also filed a complaint with VW Canada but haven't heard back at all- it's been a month. VW dealer has had my Atlas for 2 weeks and are now telling me that it's fixed (again- 3rd try).

2 people found this helpful.
30

I called Transport Canada yesterday. Thanks for the tip.

1 people found this helpful.
20

I have had my VW Atlas for 10 months and the battery is dead. Even though I used it the day before with no problems. I recharged the battery got the car to start and measured the voltage on the battery at 15.8 Volts. This is defiantly an over charging situation which shortens battery life considerably with a gradually diminishing charge capacity. Normally this should be an easy fix and with all the complaints VW should have responded by now with a recall.They haven't so I guess they don't care! As for the collision avoidance system I disabled it after the first few weeks as it it down right dangerous. It is an example of how bad these systems can be. My car has less then 6K miles and I am going to off load this POS once I get it towed to the dealer. I have one need for a car and that is that it starts in the in morning to get me to where I am going and in the evening when I go home. This may be a generational thing but you can take all these bells and whistles and shove them. In this car they are distractions and hazards.

1 people found this helpful.

My car wouldn’t start as well They replace the ECM 3 weeks ago. Yesterday battery while running an errand. It’s at the dealer now waiting for a replacement battery. They told me it was a batch of bad batteries.

50

The battery in the 2018 Atlas does not have the capacity needed to meet the demand. After multiple dead battery calls, and dealer saying everything is fine, I replaced the battery with a much bigger AGM battery and registered it in the computer. No problems since. Car cranks faster and start stop works every time. It didn’t before because the computer saw that the battery was low.

30

I am having the same problem. Battery died twice in a month. The second time I was stranded in traffic. Car is now at the dealership. They say the batteries are on back order and may take a week. I really like my Atlas but this is frustrating and dangerous.

2 people found this helpful.
50

After being stranded twice with a dead battery and being told by the dealer that nothing is wrong, I upgraded the battery to powerful AGM battery to handle the load. No problems since and start stop works much more often. VW needs to come to grips with the fact that the batteries are too weak for this application.

2 people found this helpful.

Dead battery left my wife stranded at the local YMCA. Boost wouldn't work initially. Later we boosted and it started. VW dealer replaced battery under warranty no questions asked.

I have had my Atlas since November 2018. I have had it stop 4 times now in very dangerous situations. The first time I was getting on to the freeway, in heavy traffic, with semi trucks behind me, and the car died. I panicked but was able to coast to the side, put my car in park, and restart it. At first I thought my puppy had stepped on the start button. Looking back, I believe this was a battery failure. The 2nd time I was excelling up a hill on the freeway and again the car died. Luckily that time I was able to coast to the side. Wait a few minutes, and start the car. The 3rd time, was just a day ago. I pulled into a rest stop on my way home, a 3 hour drive, and the car died before I had even parked! I somehow managed to start it and continue my drive home. Then at the gas station, in line, it died again. The next morning when I tried to start it, it would not start. When I got home from work, it was absolutely dead. All the random warning lights flashed and then everything was black. I had a tow truck come, as recommended but the manager of the service department where I bought the car. The kind gentleman charged the battery enough to get the car started and out of my garage. I spent all day on the phone with the dealer. Needless to say, they were not helpful. They told me to call roadside assistance and the care number. I opted not to have it towed to the dealer, that night since it was so late, and thinking it was a fluke. I have been making calls all morning and doing my research. The mechanic at the dealer actually told me he hadn’t heard of this problem. This is absolutely bogus. I bought this car, thinking it would be my last new car and wanting something safe. After reading all these posts, I feel anything but safe. I love this car but am overwhelmed with the thought of having to fight this battle. Coincidentally, just 2 days ago, I spoke to a woman who had an Atlas. I asked her how she liked it. She told me hers was a 2019 And that she had “battery problems” with her 2018. Until that moment, I hadn’t even put 2 and 2 together. I live in Oregon. Who do I call for help?

30

I had the same problem. Car went dead at a traffic light. Took it to the dealer who said it was a faulty battery. Unfortunately the batteries were on back order. They gave me a loaner Jetta and replaced my battery in about 4 days. No charge. Go to different dealers till one replaces your battery. I love my Atlas, though the battery issue has made me have second thoughts about getting another VW.

1 people found this helpful.

I have the same problem. Parked in a friends driveway for 20 mins and came out to a dead battery with lights flashing on console and 12 V charge message. Over the winter it had a bunch of hard starts and I didn't really pay attention until this happened and now I think it' all connected. It's at the dealer and they first told me it was the battery, than the alternator, now the battery monitor and something with the computer... Needless to say I don't have a car currently and they don't have a fix... I want out of my lease - especially after reading all of these complaints.

20

The solution to this problem lies with VW. If you charge these lead acid batteries at 17 volts there life will be severely shortened. The other problem is that the sense wires for the voltage are not connected directly to the battery. Next problem when starting the car only momentarily depress the start button. Hold it down will only delay ignition draining the battery. This could be avoided by electronically by only delivering the short pulse to the starting system. The next thing you can do is turn off the auto start-stop. Unfortunately you have to do this every time you get into the car. Next problem is that the software does not reset itself if the battery voltage falls below a certain level making the car impossible to start. Most computer systems have at least two types of reset, power on reset (POR) and auto reset. Of all the cars I have owned the Atlas has the most poorly designed electronics and software. That extends to the lane assist and collision avoidance systems.

1 people found this helpful.
20

Dmurray6 what battery did you use for a replacement? I have the 2019 Atlas V6 SE with 4 motion, I drove a little over 600 miles and yesterday the car wouldn't start in my driveway. Had it towed to the dealership, waiting to hear back from them. I've never had a brand new car have a problem like this. I told the dealer about these comments and replacing the battery, if they don't do it I'm happy to replace it myself if it resolves this problem. I almost always disable the start stop since I don't like it.

50

I installed a Duralast Platinum battery model H6-AGM. It’s from Autozone. You will hear the difference in how the engine cranks the first time you use it. The dealer will need to register the battery in your cars computer so it charges properly. You won’t have the problem again.

1 people found this helpful.
20

Do you have to have them install it or just install yourself and then have them register it?

1 people found this helpful.
50

I installed my own because we were stranded and I needed to get home. Most of the auto parts stores will do the installation for free but they can’t register the battery in your cars computer. Dealership did this for free. I couldn’t arrange a convenient time for about 4 weeks after I installed the battery but no ill effects. AGM batteries can be damaged if you don’t register them in the computer. That was 14 months ago, I trust the car again.

20

Turns out something happened to my battery, they attempted to charge it and could only get it back to 50%. They replaced it with a stock battery it looks like the atlas has 2 part numbers for stock batteries and one is AGM, not sure which one I have. I'll see if this resolves the problem if not I'll replace with a third party battery,

I had a similar problem with my Atlas. It turned out that the purge valve needed to be replaced -- haven't had battery issues since then.

Have a 2019 atlas with 3,000 miles stopped at a store on a road trip wouldn’t crank when I walked out epc and check engine light were on finally cranked with the remote 30 minutes later. Dealership ship said there’s no stored codes

20

I just hit 3000 and still no problems, I did disable start stop with carista though... don't miss that at all and I suspect it harms the battery.

1 people found this helpful.

Alsgov1 I'm a little upset that I wasn't offered the Road side kit and jumper cables.

+1 2018 VW atlas V6 died on my wife at an intersection. A mechanic was luckily nearby who assisted and jumped her. The dealer says it is faulty battery that will cost $350 plus tax.

I thought I would provide an update. After showing the dealer that the warranty on 18-19 Atlas’ had been extended they warranties the battery and cleared all low voltage codes. Since it has been running as it should, but as soon as we start it we turn the auto shut off, off. I contacted the highway safety administration and filed a complaint. They called to follow up but I was unavailable and have been unable to reach anyone. Below is the link that got my battery covered. https://vw-audi.oemdtc.com/446/12-volt-battery-limited-warranty- extension-2018-2019-volkswagen-atlas

I also was at an intersection in December 2019 when it auto stopped but would not auto start. I was able to get a boost to get me home. I brought my Atlas to the dealership and they replaced the battery. Fingers crossed it doesn't happen again!

Second time this has happened. I drove the car for 2 miles to do some Saturday errands. I returned to my Atlas about 15 minutes later to find that the vehicle wouldn't start fully. It runs for 5 seconds before turning off. I have never experienced anything like this. VW needs to fix the computer/electrical component that is responsible for the battery failure and upgrade the battery at the same time to redeem itself.

10

We have had this happen to us twice. Car is currently in the dealer. I believe it is the function that turns the engine off while stopped. I believe it doesn’t allow the battery to charge correctly or consistently. Starting and stopping the vehicle so often would drain the battery. Dealer says that is not the case, but who knows. They haven’t been able to give me a better explanation other then it was a bad battery.

1 people found this helpful.

Just purchased a 2018 VW Atlas, certified pre-owned. The battery died within 2 days of owning it... Any updates on this electrical issue?

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