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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,259 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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1998 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #7

Nov 052005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 135,500 miles


Had a creaking sound in the front end of my 1998 VW Passat 1.8T. Took it in to the dealer and was told the left front upper control arm tie rods were bad (and dangerous) and had to be replaced at my cost. Did this and 6 weeks later the upper control arm on the right front side failed while driving and caused me to have an accident. Dealer "fixed" this problem at no charge and now 4 months later the same sound is back and now the dealer tells me that the majority of the front suspension must be replaced and expects me to pay for it.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #6

Sep 162003


  • Manual transmission
  • 12,000 miles
The vehicle made a loud noise. The dealer stated it was the control arm bushings.

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #5

Jul 262004


  • miles
1998 VW Passat: Heard loud clanking noises especially when turning vehicle. Reported to VW service department local dealership. Advised the the upper control arm joint is worn and need replacement. Further, both left and right tie rods are totally shot and need replacing. Checked and found that the tie rod problem was recalled by NHTSA Sep. 1999 (99V-248) but that my vehicle was not included in recall. Do not know why as the problem described is the same. Additionally, numerous complaints about the control arms have been noted on this site, yet VW of America, who advised me are aware and sensitive to the problem, refused assistance in repairing the vehicle. Also the recalled tie rods replacement was refused to be fixed by them. Please follow up and investigate VW of America for these very important safety issues since I was told that they can cause serious driver accidents. I am also wondering why the brake rotors needed replacement when new brakes were installed. Do not trust VW to be a safe vehicle at this time.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 302004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 71,315 miles


I purchased a pre-owned 1998 VW Passat sedan with 36,000 miles on it in 2002 which was a great deal!! or so I thought. Since that time I have started hearing a noise coming from the front right tire.. or suspension.. like a creaking, crunching, knocking noise. I took it to a VW dealership and was told that the control arms on the right and the tie rods needed to be replaced. I found out that the tie rods had been recalled and the ones on my vehicle had been replaced under that recall in 2001, but had again worn out. I find it hard to believe that tie rods would wear out over a 3 year period since the car barely has 70,000 miles on it. I have viewed this website and found over 200 complaints concerning this problem and am curious what VW plans to do.. wait until someone dies when a control arm snaps? VW needs to recall this item now!

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #3

Oct 012001


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
When turning wheel there was noise at the front of vehicle, dealer determined that the bushings needed to be replaced.. consumer states he replaced the tie rod end.

- Bemus Point, NY, USA

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problem #2

Mar 232001


  • miles
The authorized VW dealer was aware of the problem on 03/23/2001 and recommended 2 upper control arms be replaced. I contacted VW with this information during this time (VW case case# 10272316). Instead of repairing the upper control arms VW replaced the lower control arms. The car is still in need of upper control arms and VW will not cover it.

- Walden, NY, USA

problem #1

Nov 101999


  • miles
Front suspension is making crunching noises, esp. At lower speed. The right steering control arm was changed under warranty and squeeking noises dissappeared, but still very noisy when driving at low speed. Car was serviced by an authorized VW service station, but different from dealership.

- Shaker Heights, OH, USA

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