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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,325 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.

2001 Volkswagen Passat brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #16

Dec 202010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 118,200 miles


ABS light came on.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #15

Sep 032009


  • 106,000 miles
I brought my vehicle into Firestone for a rountine tune-up and to replace my axle. Because of firestones mis-diagnosis of the tune-up, they determined it was the engine coil. My vehicle had to be towed to Audi of brookline for a complete diagnostic and they found this.....a pre-existing condition - E.C.M..the engine coil was only a symptom of the bigger problem in the faulty E.C.M. misfiring. Prior to bringing my vehicle into Firestone, it was operable. Because of their tampering with the ignition coils; my vehicle was subsequently destroyed. Regarding the diagnostic report, the current and passed condition of my vehicle, which is normally a healthy, safe, vehicle, is as follows: "fuel delivery inspection at present time, ignition system check, and power provided to coils tech found no communication between engine control module (E.C.M.) and a.B.S. control module because a.B.S. control module was disconnected. Reconnect and access a.B.S. system and fault detected customer aware of the a.B.S. problem and warning has been on for a while. That is true, and not the reason for this letter. Continued: Found E.C.M. fault for #3 ignition coil open circuit. Pin check wires on #3 ignition coil plug #3 post from connector to E.C.M. found height resistance in wire, replaced #3 connector and re-tested ok. Also clean and replace terminal on top of valve cover for proper ground. Start engine and road test vehicle, found engine misfire on #1, #2, #3, #4 ignition coils". I have to replace all 4 ignition coils, catayltic converter, and E.C.M. this is the second ignition coil replaced in the 1 year I've owned the vehicle. This car has more mechanical errors than imaginable. The estimated cost of repairs is in the thousands. I can't afford to maintenance this tempermenatl vehicle. I will have to junk the car. I refuse to fix this vehicle. Pushing for a recall!!

- Roslindale, MA, USA

problem #14

Mar 052009


  • 144,000 miles
Failure of the ABS control module in my 2001 VW Passat.

- Oviedo, FL, USA

problem #13

Jan 012008


  • miles


Brake alarm light on all the time and flashing ABS light as well as stop. Brakes have been checked and are fine. Dealer says it needs a replacement ABS control module - $1800. Have been researching this problem and many owners of VW's and Audi in my year range having same problem.

- Berwyn Heights, MD, USA

problem #12

Jan 202008


  • miles
Failed ABS module at 120,000 miles. Typically a $1000+ repair.

- Martinez , CA, USA

problem #11

Oct 172007


  • 44,600 miles
The brake lights on my 2001 VW Passat stopped working. I checked the fuses and the light bulbs; and both the fuses and bulbs are good. VW of America recalled several VW models in 2007 for brake light failure due to a faulty brake light switch. However VW of America did not recall the Passat. I when on line to a VW blog; and found lots of other VW Passat owners who have the same problem with their brake lights. I also found out that VW will not replace the brake light switch free of charge on the Passat, because the Passat was not recalled. I will have to pay out of pocket to get my Passat repaired.

- Collierville, TN, USA

problem #10

Oct 182008


  • 68,400 miles


ABS module faulty in 2001 Passat station wagon; brake fault/ABS warning lights came on repeatedly.

- Weaverville, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 102008


  • 106,000 miles
ABS and brake lights came on at no warning and unexpected. Each time ignition turned on it beeps 3 times and the ABS and brake light remain on. This should not be failing this bad. I just got the car for less than 10 months with 106,000 miles on it and I am the 2nd owner.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #8

Aug 152008


  • miles
Normal car operation. ABS lights came on - diagnosed as failure of ABS control module. ABS brakes no longer work! VW wants $1600 for repairs. After some research determined it is a fairly common failure on my car, 2001 Passat that VW has yet to acknowledge or address.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #7

Jun 012008


  • 110,000 miles
ABS control module has failed, resulting in warning beeps and flashing lights. Brakes will operate (?) however ABS is now disabled resulting in a dangerous driving situation. This problem is absolutely very common across all years Passats and is a very expensive repair. VW does nothing and makes money for the repairs.

- Hamden, CT, USA

problem #6

Sep 062006


  • miles


2000 1.8L Passat, brake fault on screen, stop on screen with brake light flashing and ABS warning light on. Brakes sometimes very difficult to press with no stopping power.

- Excel, AL, USA

problem #5

Aug 012006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
For the past 2 years I have had an ongoing problem of not having any brakes after my car sits for more than 8 hours. It is currently in the shop at the dealership for the 4th time with the same problem.

- North Richland Hills, TX, USA

problem #4

Jul 022001

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Brakes problems - less than a year old, if drive 40 mph and up, and if the brake pedal is applied, the vehicle would accelerate for a brief second before it decelerates (very scary and dangerous). Four years old: ABS lights on and if the brake pedal is applied, the vehicle would shaking. Reported to Volkswagen, but no cares has taken. Seat belts problems: Two and half years old: Front passenger seat belt doesn't recoil.

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #3

Sep 082004


  • miles
Volkswagen Passat glx 2001, defective brakes. On several occasions, the brakes locked up and the front wheel overheated and started to smoke. The brake booster and master cylinder was replaced.

- Reseda, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 212004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While approaching an intersection, the driver applied the brakes and pedal went to the floor. Placed both feet on the brake pedal the vehicle continue to accelerated. The driver pulled the emergency brake up, and down shifted in order to stop. This caused tread separation on both driver and passenger side tires. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic informed the driver that the problem could not be duplicate. Please fill in additional information.

- Holmdel, NJ, USA

problem #1

Mar 012004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
The consumer stated that the vehicle burned oil too fast. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who determined that the gaskets were leaking. Consumer made two oil repairs and headlights needed replacement on vehicle. Also, vehicle's rear brakes needed replacement.

- Great Neck, NY, USA

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