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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,200 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

Oct 122005

Passat 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,360 miles


Cowl drain became clogged for no apparent reason. During heavy rain the passenger compartment became flooded and the dashboard electronics became flooded resulting in over $2,000 worth of damage. Please note that I am filing this complaint on behalf of my parents who are elderly and frail.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #9

Feb 042005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,500 miles
The ABS light comes on, but the car is not doing anything different, I also get the epo light on, took it to VW service ctr they said it will cost $1500 + 2.5 hrs labor. I called up Volkswagen of America customer service they said they cannot help, even though 1000S of other Volkswagen have the same problem.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Jan 192005

Passat 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,309 miles
On three separate occasions, the 2001 VW Passat V6 gls engine and all electrical quit for no apparent reason. One incident occurred on the freeway at approximately 65 mph. The vehicle was in the fast lane and the momentum allowed the vehicle to continue forward enough to get the vehicle restarted without coming to a complete stop. Luckily, there was not a lot of traffic because this could have resulted in a disastrous situation. During the incident that occurred today the vehicle had to be brought to a complete stop before being restarted.

- Rocklin, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 092002

Passat 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 14,362 miles


Car died while driving on 55 mph road. Starter worked and engine would turn, but would not run. Dealer found no codes in computer. Engine and horn fuses blown and dealer replaced horn relay. I asked the dealer why there were no codes in the computer and they didn't know the answer. They would not replace the computer. Car was in the shop for 7 days. Incident happened over 100 miles from home and dealer finally authorized loaner after 2 days. Dealer was very rude during the whole incident and construction made it difficult to communicate. Phone lines were disconnected part of the time.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #6

Feb 152004

Passat 4-cyl

  • miles
The car shut off traveling about 45 mph. I was told by a vokswagen warranty spokesperson that it does not fall under a saftey issue. I diagree. I lost all braking and turning power and was glad that I was not on the highway with my kids in the car. I am currently waiting for it to be fixed. I have been four days now without a vehicle. They will not pay for a loaner car.

- S Dennis, MA, USA

problem #5

Jul 202003

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 38,000 miles
Pollen filter seal failure. This problem is documented in many international Passat owner groups. The seal around the pollen filter fails. The car's interior becomes flooded in rain. Electrical components that get wet fail over time at accelerated and unpredictable rate. Safety concern: It is difficult to operate auxilliary components (defroster, radio, etc when interior lights fail) emergency flasher and asr breakers are also subject to moisture-related accelerated decline as a result of pollen filter leakage. Our VW dealer and vwoa stated that pollen filter seal failure and associated flooding damage and electrical failure were part of "normal wear and tear". VW service advisors in the Washington DC area have said they see "several of these each week" in rainy seasons. The filter designed to reduce allergens in the air has the perverse consequence of accelerating the growth of mold inside the car because it seal fails, creates (in our case 2" of standing water) moisture in the car that promotes unpleasant, unhealthy, expensive-to-remidiate mold growth in the passenger compartment.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #4

Jan 192004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,050 miles


This is the letter I sent to VW. They are maintaining "the vehicle now operates accorind to maufacturer's specifications" and are refusing to do anything. Help!!what do I do now"?" VW customer care 3499 w. hamlin road rochester hills, Michigan 48309 to whom it may concern: I am writing in regards to our 2001 VW Passat, . if you review the file, you will find that this car has now failed three times. The failures are such that all power cuts out and creates a potentially hazardous driving situation. We have been very fortunate in that so far it has not happened when traveling at freeway speeds. We feel that there is an inherent defect with the vehicle. Ideally, we would expect replacement of the vehicle or replacement of the entire electronic system and wire harness. If your company is unwilling to comply, we would like a letter acknowledging the past failures and our concern that we have a vehicle we feel is unsafe to drive. Furthermore, we would like written confirmation of our informing you that we hold your corporation liable if the vehicle fails and the end result is an accident. Frankly, this is a nightmare. We only wish that when we had the choice of Toyota, Volvo or VW, that we had not chosen VW. Stephen mcchrystal

- Phoenix, OR, USA

problem #3

Nov 252003


  • 34,000 miles
Vehicle's drainage hole was installed incorrectly, causing a blockage. Also, the electrical system malfunctioned.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #2

Apr 302003

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Headlight build connector shorted against adjacent metal due to exposed wire. Charring and melted harness connector resulted. Potential exists for this to cause a vehicle fire with possible loss of life. Headlight is inoperable until wiring harness connector can be replaced.

- Jeffersonton, VA, USA

problem #1

Oct 242002


  • miles
Consumer states that water got into the electrical system, as a result of the manufacturer failing to seal the fresh air filter at time off vehicle being manfacture. Which cause smoke to come from the interior vent inside the vehicle. Almost causing a fire.

- Worchester, MA, USA

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