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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,059 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

problem #6

Aug 152006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 171,410 miles


I am a private fire investigator that recently investigated a fire in 2001 Volkswagen Passat. The fire was very minor originating below the plastic engine cover at the ignition coil modules and plug connector between cylinders #3 & 4. appears to be a high resistance connection at the plug connector causing the plug connector to overheat and ignite.

- Kutztown, PA, USA

problem #5

Mar 312005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Engine light continually goes on and off, when blinking on, the car shakes, as if it is about to stall, and a bad odor emits. When driving, the car would not exceed 20-30 mph, even when the gas pedal was to the floor. Brought the car to VW first time, they said the light came on because the car was idle for a day or so. The 2nd time, after going to an independent repair shop and having all the plugs replaced and a complete tune-up, same thing happened the next day. Independent shop said the only other thing was the ignition coils and that they were expensive. Called VW dealership(car is on extended warranty-less than 30 thousand miles & a 2001), waited 9 days before they could look at the car, however, the engine light was out again. I explained to them the problem, and all they said was that VW does not have a recall on the ignition coils, they replaced the newly purchased plugs again, and said there was nothing wrong with the coils"?" cost me $261 plus a rental car, but there was nothing wrong.

- Falmouth, MA, USA

problem #4

Jan 222003

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 42,600 miles
I was making a left hand turn into oncoming traffic when what I now know as one of my ignition coils failed. The car initially lost significant power and then from there continually drove as though it was misfiring. Fortunately, the car I was turning in front of had time to slow down. I now wonder if VW is just waiting around until someone actually gets hurt from something they call "not a safety issue." They probably hope that the people this happens to don't complain at all and that this will die down unnoticed as to not hurt their precious reputation. I drove it slowly to the VW dealership the next day. They only replaced one of the coils. Interestingly enough, even though my car has long been out of warranty as a result of miles, VW paid for the part and the labor. If that isn't a sign the part should be recalled, then I don't know what is. Unfortunately, I have 3 more times that this could potentially happen. I would like immediate results in having the other 3 replaced. I was told this would not happen. What company admits they knowingly have parts that are expiring earlier than they should (in most cases affecting 1/2 power loss in a car) and then only replaces the ones that goes bad"???"

- Kent, OH, USA

problem #3

Jan 092003

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,500 miles


Failed ignition coil on 2001 VW Passat... this part and car needs to be recalled!!! this part is defective in all 2001 and 2002 Volkswagen and Audi with 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged engines. Those engines are found in Audi A4S and tts and in Volkswagen jettas, Passats, new beetles, and golf gtis. We have had 2 coils fail in 2 seperate instances, in the past 6 months. In addition to being an inconvenience, both instances were dangerous as the car either lost power or shut down while on the expressway. VW dealerships have been unwilling to replace the defective coil until it actually fails (which is just a matter of time). They say until the product is officially recalled, they can and will do nothing but the bare minimum.

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #2

Oct 152002

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,844 miles
Since 10/15/02, I have had 3 coil packs fail on my 2001 Passat 1.8T wagon. On 10/15/02 a coil pack failed and they replaced it that day. On 12/16/02, another coil pack failed and I didn't get the car back until 12/30/02. On 1/8/03, a third coil pack failed, and I didn't get the car back until 1/20/03. In each case, the car dropped dead within 2 miles of a dealership. At this point, I don't want to take the car beyond the 5 miles it takes me to get to work. I've spoken with VW North America about replacing the fourth (and final) coil pack, but they are unwilling to do so until it, too, fails. The car is still under warranty, but that will expire in another 1000 miles.

- Doraville, GA, USA

problem #1

Jan 142002

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 21,000 miles
One of the four coilpacks on my 1.8T engine has failed. It has been brought to my attention that this is a very common problem. I was told that VW has redesigned the part. VW will only replace the part that failed. Once the part fails the car is not drivable. VW should recall all of the Passats with this engine and replace the faulty parts.

- Fenton, MO, USA

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