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:
55,167 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 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2001 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #6

Sep 102009


  • 102,000 miles


Heater core failure, plugging up. Vehicle has no heat unable to clear windshield to see. Heater core porses too small and clogged from reaction from anti freeze calcified reaction with metal used in core.

- Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #5

Jun 152006

Passat 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 78,000 miles
Water pump failed on freeway, unable to drive vehicle.

- Pleasant Grove, UT, USA

problem #4

Sep 172006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles
Purchased 2001 Passat in may, 2005. Had same 'non-covered' oil pump problem as many on the list have. Last month, noticed a pool of oil on the garage floor after backing it out. Looked under the hood, noticed that the antifreeze overflow looked like a chocolate milkshake. Oil cooler and oil cooler seals had to be replaced. 76000 miles.

- Grants Pass, OR, USA

problem #3

Apr 142006

Passat 6-cyl

  • miles


2001 Volkswagen Passat coolant warning light illuminated and engine shut off. Once the vehicle was restarted it ran at reduced power. Upon inspection mechanic determined there was a faulty sensor in the cooling jacket. Moisture invaded the sensor, migrated up the wiring harness and destroyed the computer which managed all engine functions. The consumer was billed $3200. The technician at the dealer explain that this was not an uncommon failure. The consumer contacted the manufacturer but they refused to provide any assistance.

- Plainfield, VT, USA

problem #2

Jun 102005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,900 miles
A/C slowly stopped blowing cold air, fumes or smoke began coming out of the vents. Coolant leaked all over the passenger floorboard which is now ruined. Dealer said the heater core needed replaced which was not covered under the extended warranty. Total repair cost was $1700, all this and the car only has 35,000 miles on it. I have heard that this is a common problem according to the dealer. Eyes have been burning lately from the smoke that was being blown through the vents. Dealer replaced heater core and there is still a bit of smoke being blown out. Very displeased.

- Upland, CA, USA

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problem #1

Sep 262003

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 40,100 miles
My 2001 Volkswagen (VW) Passat experienced a problem that is well documented in the Volkswagen Passat user community as frequently occurring and confirmed by VW service technicians as a problem seen often. My service technician reported seeing this problem about 4 times a month. The car contains a pollen filter. The seal around the pollen filter failed. When the seal fails, water comes into the car around the passenger side footwell, flooding both the from and rear of the car, and, in our case requiring about $600 worth of repair. Reported consequences of water coming into the car, include (1) subsequent failure of the instrument lighting N the center console, making the audio, ventilation, anti-slip override and emergency flashers more difficult to access at night; (2) failure of either the airbag triggering mechanism or the airbag warning light, owner cannot distinguish; (3) and failure of the central locking system (doors and trunk -- locked doors cannot be unlocked from outside.) this problem occurs when the car gets wet -- for example when driving in the rain -- and results in failure of systems related to interior lights, electrical components, airbags, and locks -- all critical for safety in either normal or emergency situations. Volkswagen has denied my request for financial relief from the repair costs I incurred fixing the failure of the pollen filter seal in my 2001 Passat.

- Arlington, VA, USA

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