Broken Panoramic Sunroof


Jun 20, 2015
Fort Mill, SC, USA
2011 Sportwagen TDI DSG
I have found that 100% of the panoramic sunroofs on the sportwagens I have driven have problems. That is 2 for 2. I test drove a 2 year old TDI Sportwagen and the sunroof opened but would not close for the salesman. I did not buy that car. Later I did buy a 2011 Sportwagon TDI. I have had it for about 4 years. The sunroof was leaking when I bought it. I thought that I had unplugged the rear drain tubes, but very soon after noticed that water was still running in.
I used to hear water sloshing around in the back. Once while braking on a downhill a wave of terrible smelling water from the spare tire well washed up under the back seat and ended up on the floor where rear passengers would put their feet.
There is a small rubber drain under the spare tire but it is so small that any rust or algae will plug it up. A .30 caliber hole placed through the floor under the spare tire will allow water to run out faster than it runs in.
While driving uphill I can see water running in and dripping through the ceiling. When not driving, the water seems to run on top of the ceiling and finds its way to the spare tire well. I keep a blue tarp in the back in case of rain. At least I can cover a suit case and keep the water off of it.
More recently the sunshade jammed. It is tucked up so it does not hang down. I have been reading here how to go about trying to fix that.

One idea which no one has mentioned is to possibly find a Sportwagen in a salvage yard with a good steel roof. Has anyone tried cutting the roof out of a wreck and welding it in place over the top of the panoramic sunroof? That would keep the water out permanently. Then as long as the sunshade was in place the sunroof would be mostly hidden and that problem would be solved. There are two u-pull it yards near here but so far I have not seen any Sportwagens yet.

Has anyone tried welding a roof from a non sunroof sportwagen onto a sunroof sportwagen?


Well-known member
Feb 17, 2002
Cary, NC
2014 Jetta Sportwagen
You guys have me terrified to ever open the sunshade or the sunroof ever again...:eek:


Well-known member
Oct 20, 2004
Sudbury, MA
2011 TDI Sportwagen 6MT
Unfortunate to hear of all these horror stories. But at the same time, I feel those with the problems will be more vocal than those who are not having problems with their pano roofs.

As for the spare tire well being filled with water, I too, had that problem. It turned out that one of the drain tubes that feed into the rear wheelwheel was routed into the spare tire well. As these vehicles are not built in Germany, I can only imagine a sub-par workmanship, and for a drain tube to specifically be positioned in such a manner is not the result of car vibration, but lousy QC at the vehicle production plant. I corrected the routing, dabbed some silicone caulking, and it's been fine since.

I have mentioned in the other pano roof posts, the sunshade fix is a bit of a challenge, but doable. The first time around I guided the fabric incorrectly into the rails; that whole procedure took the better part of the day. The second time replacing the fabric, I think I cut it down to a third of the time.

I am glad to have a panoroof in my JSW, and it's one of the features I really praise.