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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,250 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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1998 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #8

Oct 012010


  • 110,000 miles


ABS module appears to be faulty. ABS and brake light remain on/flashing. Loss of ABS could cause collision, dealer wants $1000+ for the part and does not guarantee it will fix the problem.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #7

Dec 092008


  • 68,000 miles
The ABS light comes on, followed by the brake light blinking the engine oil light comes on and the tachometer goes to 0 and stops working even though I am accelerating. There are many others with this same issue it can be researched on

- Skokie, IL, USA

problem #6

Feb 152007


  • 90,000 miles
ABS module in operative ABS system.

- Clear Lake, MN, USA

problem #5

Sep 012008


  • 175,000 miles


The ABS module in my 1998 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T has gone bad. This fault came without notice of any symptoms and completely unprovoked. The warning lamp and tone appear every time I start the vehicle. This is a known issue with many independent Volkswagen mechanics and many Passat owners.

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

problem #4

Jan 012008


  • 150,000 miles
ABS computer failure 98 VW Passat... complete absfailure all the time.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 012004


  • 60,000 miles
ABS brakes ceased to function after approx 60K miles. Because of the expense to fix (dealer quoted $2400, indie mechs about $1400), they remain non-functional (my car is now 95K miles).

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 022008


  • 101,000 miles
ABS/ brake light are on and 3 chimes sound when vehicle is turned on.

- Bolingbrook, IL, USA

problem #1

Apr 042004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Like many, many others, my 1998 VW Passat 2.8 liter with tiptronic (automatic) transmission has the following problems: 1) ABS light on (ABS not working); 2) brake light on (both before and after all rotors & pads were replaced and fluid changed); 3) tachometer not working; 4) oil light on (but oil level and pressure are okay). This was an intermittent problem that began early this year but is now almost constant. All problems appear to be caused by a bad ABS controller, which is also used in Audi A4 models (part # 8E0 614 111R). VW dealership quotes over $1000 for the part alone. Sometimes, if the car has been sitting a few days or if it is cold outside, the lights do not come on and the tachometer works correctly for awhile. Then, all of a sudden, all the above-mentioned problems happen. Or, I will be driving the car with the problems, then the tach jumps to life and all the warning lights go out. As I said before: There are numerous people who have the same problems. This is a safety issue (no ABS could lead to accidents) as well as a quality issue: ABS controllers should not fail so frequently on such relatively new vehicles. A recall should be performed by volkswagon and Audi to replace defective ABS controllers in their 1998-on Passat and 1996-on A4 models. Thank you, marc jacobi.

- Bridgeport, CT, USA

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