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I haven't heard anyone else claiming the atlas is in the wrong gear at that point. You seem to have yourself convinced that it's in the wrong gear and I disagree so I'm not going to waste any more time arguing opinions. Maybe when it's warm again I will open my windows and put some more time into observing it.
You need to read this whole thread and some other threads. It’s a mapping issue with transmission. Apparently the VW design is to keep the car in the highest gear possible for fuel efficiency. That’s why remaping as suggested by some people in this thread will force the recertifications of fuel efficiency which VW is not willing to get into at all...that’s majoritys’ understanding
 

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You need to read this whole thread and some other threads. It’s a mapping issue with transmission. Apparently the VW design is to keep the car in the highest gear possible for fuel efficiency. That’s why remaping as suggested by some people in this thread will force the recertifications of fuel efficiency which VW is not willing to get into at all...that’s majoritys’ understanding
I've read it all. I still don't agree that the transmission is in the "wrong gear".
 

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Having a vehicle in third gear at a near-stop is "in the wrong gear" if you try to accelerate and is why the vehicle makes this noise (torque converter is where it is originating from) - it should drop to second. Can you imagine trying to take off in a manual in third gear? I realize the Atlas tranny is an 8 speed so compared to a typical 5/6 speed manual, third will be lower but still, not that low. If you put it in manual mode and drop it to second in that situation, you will not hear that noise. It's a very simple fix to the transmission shift mapping. The Atlas is not the only vehicle that does this and many modern vehicles with autos in an attempt to maximize mpgs will always try to be in the highest gear possible. I can't remember if I posted the Audi video in this thread or not that talks about this issue and the centrifugal pendulum absorbers making noise under certain conditions.
 

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Having a vehicle in third gear at a near-stop is "in the wrong gear" if you try to accelerate and is why the vehicle makes this noise (torque converter is where it is originating from) - it should drop to second. Can you imagine trying to take off in a manual in third gear? I realize the Atlas tranny is an 8 speed so compared to a typical 5/6 speed manual, third will be lower but still, not that low. If you put it in manual mode and drop it to second in that situation, you will not hear that noise. It's a very simple fix to the transmission shift mapping. The Atlas is not the only vehicle that does this and many modern vehicles with autos in an attempt to maximize mpgs will always try to be in the highest gear possible. I can't remember if I posted the Audi video in this thread or not that talks about this issue and the centrifugal pendulum absorbers making noise under certain conditions.
I totally agree.
Based on my testing on a flat road, the car almost never goes to 2nd gear. It either wants you to completely stop and it goes to 1st gear. Or it wants you to keep pushing on gas pedal hard so it accelerates (With noise) until the car’s speed is appropriate enough for 3rd gear and the noise stops...
 

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I totally agree.
Based on my testing on a flat road, the car almost never goes to 2nd gear. It either wants you to completely stop and it goes to 1st gear. Or it wants you to keep pushing on gas pedal hard so it accelerates (With noise) until the car’s speed is appropriate enough for 3rd gear and the noise stops...
My same observation......
 

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Having a vehicle in third gear at a near-stop is "in the wrong gear" if you try to accelerate and is why the vehicle makes this noise (torque converter is where it is originating from) - it should drop to second. Can you imagine trying to take off in a manual in third gear? I realize the Atlas tranny is an 8 speed so compared to a typical 5/6 speed manual, third will be lower but still, not that low. If you put it in manual mode and drop it to second in that situation, you will not hear that noise. It's a very simple fix to the transmission shift mapping. The Atlas is not the only vehicle that does this and many modern vehicles with autos in an attempt to maximize mpgs will always try to be in the highest gear possible. I can't remember if I posted the Audi video in this thread or not that talks about this issue and the centrifugal pendulum absorbers making noise under certain conditions.
see, I've never noticed it behave that way....usually I noticed it accelerating from a stop. As it is winter I don't open my windows and haven't heard it in 3 months! I'll have to report back in the spring.
 

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I'm adding some thoughts from my reply to hydroatlas post on this ISSUE. And thanks to all who are posting on this issue!

From senior to junior members, and Atlas Guests, if you are experiencing this noise, the point is, THIS IS AN ISSUE!! Any way you look at it, this is an engineering fail - albeit may not be causing any mechanical issues, or is it? That should be everyone's concern - owners, dealers, and manufacturer because everyone has something at risk here regardless of the annoyance factor. I personally love my Atlas, and have been drivign in manual mode to get around this - BUT WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO?? Sorry I'm yelling at VW not you the reader


So keep posting until VW takes notice and fixes it. The more posts - the more people will know. I've decided to take it to the dealer to get a "Customer Concern" service record on record, suggest all do the same.

VW - If its as simple as a software update, then just do it. Start listening, and then start talking to your customer base!
I agree. I have a 2019 Atlas SEL 6V. I have heard the noise at low speed and gear and at accelerating. I will call VW. Also I have noted that the low gears at low speed shifts are jerky. I have read in VWTorque that the vehicle needs adjusting to the driver, and that the shifting will get smoother. My vehicle has 1200 miles and occasionally shifts are jerky on low speed and low gears... we shall see.
 

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I agree. I have a 2019 Atlas SEL 6V. I have heard the noise at low speed and gear and at accelerating. I will call VW. Also I have noted that the low gears at low speed shifts are jerky. I have read in VWTorque that the vehicle needs adjusting to the driver, and that the shifting will get smoother. My vehicle has 1200 miles and occasionally shifts are jerky on low speed and low gears... we shall see.
I've always called "BS" on the whole "the transmission learns and smooths out" - I do believe the TCU will have some adaptation but it's not to you/the driver. Some good googling.

 

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Discussed ad-nauseum here, on vwvortex, and the FB groups. Do some searching...you will find all sorts of info that will tell you nothing...not a single person has had an actual issue related to it AND no dealer that I have found through researching this issue (I have it too) has done a thing about it b/c I don't think there is anything wrong. Lots of speculation but again, zero issues but a noise that can be somewhat annoying. The tranny just needs to kick down to 2 vs. hanging in 3 which is the source of the noise and I speculate they just need a tranny re-program to sort it out. Here's a video of mine:


Noise after shut-off is related to the start/stop system and is not an issue. Search etc. will find info again, that points to no issue/they all do it/it's normal/move along.
I have this EXACT issue since I bought it. Low speed noise. Taking it to the dealer on Monday.
 

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I have this EXACT issue since I bought it. Low speed noise. Taking it to the dealer on Monday.
I also have this issue on my v6 atlas. I am going to test the sport mode to see if I can make it go away that way. Also I will be mentioning it to the dealer when it goes in for it's first service.
 

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I drive an Atlas 3.6, 2018 model (approx 9K Miles). Since the day I've driven the car, I hear a sort of grinding noise of metal plates while suddenly accelerating on lower gears . Also I hear this grinding noise, while I switch off the engine. Anyone, with the same experience???
Same noise here!! And ours started after only 1 week of owning the car (2019 SEL V6 w/4-Motion). I am taking it to a second dealer today for another opinion. All I've heard on these forums is that it's the Torque Converter. Sounds like VW has a problem brewing with this car, and we can only hope they issue a recall before long. Our Atlas also shifts / accelerates like sh__ in the first 4-5 gears, and getting worse (not better). Are these issues related??? Maybe.
 

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This is hardly a class action lawsuit here....it's a noise that only is made once in a while under certain conditions and I've not read one forum/FB post about someone that had a physical tranny issue pinned to this. What will the lawsuit seek to accomplish?
I agree. There is not nearly enough here for a class-action lawsuit. But, we all need to call VW Customer Care... get a Case Number (I've done this)... take our Atlas' to VW service departments... and complain (without getting angry :) They need to know we are not going away. Maybe, just maybe, we can be the ones who get them to consider a recall.
 

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Yes, like most, I have this expensive car that makes heads turn whenever I go up a slight incline. I have taken it to dealership and of course they could not replicate it. I suppose I'll have to make a full time job of taking care of my Atlas issues.
Ditto! Heads are turning at stop lights as I accelerate from a stop (or rolling stop). I think they expect to see a 20-year-old truck... but instead they see this brand new (40K!) Atlas from VW. Thanks Volkswagon. I'm embarrassed to have people see me in this, much less take them for a drive.
 

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I've got a 2019 Atlas and have a grinding issue as well (existed the day I got it, of course didn't figure it out until after I drove off the lot). The noise sounds are identical to the noise in the video posted on this thread earlier (12-30-2018, 07:45 AM). Frequently occurs when going up hills under 30mph under slight acceleration. I've actually recreated my grinding sound without the vehicle moving. I put one foot on the brake, put the car in drive, and slightly press down on the accelerator - this causes the grinding to occur, but only at the sweet spot of just a little bit more than barely pressing the accelerator. What's bizarre is that while doing that (and while the grinding sound is occurring), if I move the shifter to the right (put in manual shift mode) then the sound goes away - if I put the shifter back to the left (automatic shift mode), the sound returns. I can go back and forth with the shifter and the grinding sounds comes and goes consistently. I've tested and confirmed this occurs in Economy, Normal and Sport modes. I know there's been talk about this occurring when the car is in a specific gear, but for the grinding issue I have, I believe I have eliminated a specific gear(s) as the cause of the problem. Also believe this eliminates my initial theory that the transmission was just at the point of a downshift when the grinding sound occurred. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

I'd appreciate it if anyone who has the grinding sound can confirm if they can also recreate it following the steps I've outlined. I've got an appt setup in a few weeks at the dealership...I'd like to go there armed with a bit more info on what others are experienced.
This is fascinating. I will try to "Sport mode" test today before I take it to the dealer this afternoon! VW mechanic says it (grinding noise) is the Torque Converter. He says that VW is telling them – it is not an issue. This is impossible. No other car on the planet makes this noise (intentionally), and no manufacturer would design something that only happens sporadically, and gets worse over time. If it was intentional, it would happen all the time at the exact same rate, frequency, etc. Let's all get case numbers from VW Customer Care and push VW to make this right.
 

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Who says this is a problem? Just because a vehicle makes a noise etc. that your'e not used to doesn't mean anything is actually wrong...
2 questions for you KarstGeo — 1) I am unaware of any other car that makes this noise – intentionally, and 2) If it is just a normal noise, why is it getting worse with time?
Some other VWs are showing the same symptom. A local VW mechanic says the Jetta is coming in with this issue as well.
 

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Discussed ad-nauseum here, on vwvortex, and the FB groups. Do some searching...you will find all sorts of info that will tell you nothing...not a single person has had an actual issue related to it AND no dealer that I have found through researching this issue (I have it too) has done a thing about it b/c I don't think there is anything wrong. Lots of speculation but again, zero issues but a noise that can be somewhat annoying. The tranny just needs to kick down to 2 vs. hanging in 3 which is the source of the noise and I speculate they just need a tranny re-program to sort it out. Here's a video of mine:


Noise after shut-off is related to the start/stop system and is not an issue. Search etc. will find info again, that points to no issue/they all do it/it's normal/move along.
I would like to test this theory on a steep hill (very hard to find in Eastern VA :) If this is true, you would think one could put the car in manual mode and try going up the hill in 3rd gear, and then try it in 2nd gear.
 

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The Atlas transmission doesn't shift down to appropriate gears as it should at certain speeds and that is due to its design for "fuel savings," per a very reliable source! I have driven in my 45 years driving career many types of vehicles mostly Mercedes and BMW, and raced Rally cars as well in Europe, and I have to say the Atlas Premium SEL, which I own, and perhaps all of the Atlas models, have the issue with the gear shift in Drive (automatic) mode. Now you can test this, slow down to 15 mi/hr and shift over to Sport mode (manual) and see what gear you're in on the dash. It will show 99% of the time gear # 3. The gear at that speed should be in 2 not 3!!!!! I don't care what anybody says! I use my vehicle 90% of the time in Sport mode (manual shifting), and this problem with the gears goes bye-bye. The 8 speed transmission is a long way downshifting from 8 to 2 in Sport mode, that's the only problem. This is not a Ferrari, it's a VW SUV, but it's okay. Also, if you drive at 40mi/hr and shift over to Sport mode you can check what gear the transmission is in, and I can tell you, most of the time the gear will be already in 7 or 8 already. Again, "fuel savings," which is not true! I tested mine driving in Sport mode (shifting manually), and my fuel economy is better than in Drive (automatic) mode and as soon as I start the vehicle I turn off the start-stop mode feature. I don't like it and I don't think it's good for the engine stopping and starting in traffic 30x in 5 min. Also, in South Florida is 100F so we need the A/C going at all times! In the city I like to drive in manual (Sport mode) and never shift above the 6th gear unless drive over 60mi/hr. This vehicle was made to go 130mi/hr no problems and the high gear ratio was designed to reduce tear and wear on the engine running smoothly at low RPM.
This is a great analysis. Thanks! I've tried the same thing and you are absolutely correct – this transmission is a a race to reach 8th gear! Manual mode is fun and drives 90% better than any three of the auto modes. BUT, I don't want to drive in manual all the time. Battling VW Customer Care now. We'll see.
 

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Thank you for sharing, I hope VW will find this "noise" is more than an annoying issue and will provide a fix for all Atlas owners. Currently, I absolutely hate getting behind the wheel of my Atlas, I live in a twisty road, hilly area - it's complete madness hearing and feeling (car does not correctly accelerate) this major issue - the car cannot make it up a hill or slowly drive thru town without feeling herky-jerky and turning heads with the noise. It's not normal and should not be acceptable.
This is EXACTLY what our 5 week old Atlas is doing. It drives TERRIBLY. PERIOD. VW says all is "normal", which is BS. I have VW Customer Care on speed dial, but I am just one customer trying to get the largest car company in the world to change their tune and admit there is a systemic problem with the Atlas.
 
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