Releasing and retracting a factory-fitted towbar on a Volkswagen Tiguan

This post is probably of limited value because it only applies to a factory-fitted retractable towbar on certain Volkswagen models (mine’s a Tiguan Sport) but, being a towbar newbie (I don’t tow but I do want to fix a decent bike rack onto my car!), I wanted to see how to “fold out” the towbar (and to retract it again).  The driver who delivered the car didn’t know how, there are no instructions in the handbook, and googling didn’t turn up much either but it’s quite straightforward once you find out how…

  1. Lift the rear hatch (boot) door and look out for a cover on the top-left of the rear bumper.
  2. Lift this cover by tucking something into the hole and prising it off (the car key works well for this) – there is a “knob” underneath.
  3. Give the “knob” a good tug and the towbar will be released. Pull the towbar it out until it locks into place.
  4. To retract the towbar repeat steps 1-3 but push the towbar back in under the bumper.

5 Comments

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  • Laura
    Wednesday 20 June 2012 - 13:08 | Permalink


    Thanks so much for this – we are thinking of getting a factory fitted retractable bar for our CC so this has been really informative. Can you tell me – can you definatly fit a tow bar mounted bike rack to a retractable bar?

  • Thursday 21 June 2012 - 9:51 | Permalink


    Hi Laura – you certainly can. I had my Halfords tow-bar-mounted rack on my VW Tiguan’s retractable bar earlier this week. Just watch out that the weight of the bikes and rack doesn’t exceed the towbar’s maximum limit. I think that was 100kg for me on the Tiguan, but from memory it would have been lower if I’d got another Audi A4. Your dealer should be able to confirm. I wrote another post recently about my experience as a towbar newbie – if you haven’t seen it already, it might be worth checking out. ^MW

  • Guy
    Saturday 27 October 2012 - 18:12 | Permalink


    Not limited value at all!! I found myself trying to pull someone out of a ditch last night, with them having gone off the road in the snow. Spent ages looking for a towing hook, with no luck, then found a reference in the handbook to screwing in a towing eye, but having opened the hatches and found the towing eye (in the snow in the dark) we realised there was nowhere to screw it in. After a bit of playing today in daylight, I found what looked like a tow bar tucked up under the rear bumper, and that led me to your blog – Many thanks and problem now solved. Shame I didn’t know that last night and that there was nothing in the handbook!!

  • Saturday 27 October 2012 - 18:35 | Permalink


    @Guy Glad it helped, albeit after the fact. I think I did find something in the handbook later, but under a nonsensical heading that makes it difficult to find!

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