Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 1
Average Mileage:
20,600 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Volkswagen Passat accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1998 Volkswagen Passat:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

1998 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #11

Sep 282007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles


Sunroof spontaneously opens and closes without warning. When it opens, it is impossible to get it closed with the switch as it never returns to a predictable position based on the markings on the switch. Once open, it may close itself at randomly and unpredictably. When it is open, I'm afraid to get my hand near it for fear it will close and pinch me. It has also spontaneously opened during rainstorms which causes me to divert my attention to the road attempting to close it. The rain entering my car while it happens is also a major distraction. This problem is not unique to just my car. Nearly everyone I know with a 98 or 99 Passat has this problem.

- Galesville, MD, USA

problem #10

Oct 102005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,621 miles
I had the sunroof of my 1998 Passat spontaneously shatter. I was driving 60-65 mph when this happen. The weather was overcast with light rain. The temperature was 37 F. the glass appears to be blown outward. Luckily I had the sunroof shade closed which prevented me from being showered with glass.

- Loveland, CO, USA

problem #9

Apr 012003


  • 53,978 miles
Nar 04/07/2003 Mr. The timing belt, cylinder heads and the mass air flow had to replaced and the consumer is requesting reimbursement. In the past the consumer had to replace 2 window regulators, the sun roof opened and closed for no reason, the rear door would not lock, the windshield wipers did not work.

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #8

Aug 042000


  • Manual transmission
  • miles


Consumer stated the sunroof would not close, dealer replaced the sunroof switch.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #7

Aug 082001


  • miles
Sunroof mechanisms fractured. Sunrrof stuck open in rain. Volkswagen dealer wouldn't repair for two weeks. Took car to auto glass company to have sunroof closed. Mechanic said cause of broken sunroof mechanism was manufacturer defect - has seen a number of these sunroof mechanisms broken on Passats.

- Worcester, MA, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #6

Mar 012001


  • miles
Control arm: Noticed a loud grinding sound coming from front suspension area. Dealer diagnosed as defective lowe rcontrol arm/ ball joints. Lower control arms and ball joints were replaced. Complained to Volkswagen, who covered cost of parts but not labor. After repair learned that a friend had the identical problem in a 1999 Passat at almost the identical mileage. Then saw on this website that about 17 of 160 complaints relating to the 1998 Passat are for exactly this problem. This is clearly an engineering or manufacturing defect. VW should replace this part for all Passat owners and reimburse those who have already had it replaced. Sunroof: Sunroof opens spontaneously when switch is in the "off" position. Problem is most pronounced on warm days when car is driven over sharp bumps. Problem occurs without warning and is alarming to driver and could pose a safety risk. Observed that this problem has been reported by several others already.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #5

Mar 092001

(reported on)


  • miles


Sunroof opens spontaneously while driving with no control over shutting it.

- Imperial, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 062000


  • miles
4 mos. After having sunroof adjusted, sunroof cassette or frame needs replacement. Told that frame was cracked or damaged.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 121998


  • miles
The right front seats would rock whenever vehicle is turning corners or curbs. This also happens when coming to or leaving a stop sign or light. Contacted manufacturer & nothing could be or would be done. Sun roof would open & close on its own. Would have no warning. The rear window looked like it had acid rain on it when bought. Been to dealer & mechanic removed seat & replaced it. No problem found. Checking on other problems.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #2

Jun 011998


  • miles
On several occasion while driving at 65mph, and during rain, my sunroof would open while in off position, I have reported this to southern states Volkswagen and also land Volkswagen, this has been ongoing since I have had this car. It became unsafe while driving in the rain and this has happened more than 15 times in the past year. Dealerships and VW Corp. Are givingme the run me the run around

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #1

May 241999


  • miles
This is the second time sunroof mechanisms fractured. This time they struck the driver while driving (pulling out of the driveway). In both failures, there were fractures of the mechanism. The second occurrence resulted in pieces flying off the car and striking the driver in the right shoulder.

- Gilford, NH, USA

Not what you are looking for?