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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,000 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 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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1998 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #4

Apr 102005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


I am the second owner of a Passat that had been driven 72000 miles. At that time the following defects were noted and had to be repaired: 1. outer tie rod and cv boot. 2. cooling system: All cooling hoses, oil cooler, water pump, radiator, & associated items. VW of America refused to reimburse for the cost of these untimely repairs that were due in part to faulty information in the owners manual, that states that the cooling system was sealed and did not need any maintenance. These enormous and costly repairs at a mileage when comparable cars of other manufacturers need little or no repairs up to and way past 100,000 miles, are excessive in my opinion. (the first owner gets a warranty of 100,000 miles and 10 years, something that for the second owner is reduced to 50,000 miles/5 years. I wonder if the car is suddenly not as good anymore when somebody buys it from a previous owner?) consumer reports magazine lists repair records for engines and suspension systems of that year and model as being "worse than average, " and I can see why. I would welcome to join others with similar experiences for a possible class action against VW.

- Sonoma, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 132003

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 96,000 miles
Oil pump failure, faulty cd player, inoperative cruise control, ignition module. Many failures for such a new car. Warranty is good for 10 years 100,000 miles for original owner, 5 york 50,000 for second. Car was placed in service 2/19/98 we there fore missed the 5 year coverage by 4 months.

- Coopersville, MI, USA

problem #2

Jan 012001


  • miles
Catalytic converter replaced early on in ownership. Water pump, oil pump, timing belt replaced two months ago. Turbo replaced twice and still defective. Electrical problems with driver's side window, heated seat, trunk light. Suspension system bushings need replacement @ only 56,000 miles. Steering column replaced early on.

- Sussex, NJ, USA

problem #1

Dec 302000


  • miles
Bearing failed in water pump caused timing chain to loosen. This resulted in a valve bending while driving on the interstate highway. There were no warnings prior to engine halting while driving at 70 mph. Dealer ended up replacing engine at no cost.

- Haslett, MI, USA

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