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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
116,616 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.

2002 Volkswagen Passat brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #10

Jan 072015

Passat 4-cyl

  • 216,000 miles


Brake pedal was frozen - brakes inoperative. Mechanical inspection revealed water in the brake booster that had frozen, causing loss in brake function. Examination of the NHTSA website revealed action number PE07018 which is an exact match of the symptoms of the vehicle affected. The plenum drains were obstructed with debris and there was water in the plenum tray.

- Osceola, WI, USA

problem #9

Dec 242014

Passat 6-cyl

  • 82,745 miles
There is water in the brake vacuum booster. When it is cold it will freeze up an no brakes. This is the first year for this problem had car six years.I check the pleum drain an its clean. There should be a recall on this. The part is gno 8eo 612 105 J see this

- Monponsett, MA, USA

problem #8

Nov 042014

Passat 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
ABS fault/flashing brake light.

- Martinez, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 112014


  • miles


Every time the car is started, it beeps 3 times and then my ABS and brake light flash on my dash for my entire car ride.

- Columbia, PA, USA

problem #6

Jun 022014


  • 135,000 miles
Car beeps and displays the ABS light and the brake light. At first they appear and then disappear. On 6/12/2014 the ABS is on each time I start the vehicle plus the brake light flashes throughout the duration of the drive. On two occurrences the traction control off light came on and remained on. The fear is that I have lost ABS and traction control, and also that the E-brake or brakes will engage while in motion. Multiple occurrences of this have occurred in VW Passat forums and most suggest taking out the ABS module and having it refurbished due to a hair sensor that goes faulty on the Passat. Many requests have been made to have this part recalled and fixed, I am adding my request to the other parties involved.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #5

May 142014


  • 124,000 miles
ABS brake light comes on and the brake light keep flashing on and off.

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #4

Dec 302011

Passat 4-cyl

  • 47,397 miles


December 30, 2011, the engine emissions light came on. In addition, the brakes were slow to respond, especially in quick response situations, I.e. traffic light. I took the car to pep boys for a diagnostic on brakes/emission. They said there were no problems. Cost $100. February 10, 2012, the engine emission light came on and the brakes were slow to respond especially in quick response situations, I.e. traffic light. I took the car to a VW dealer/repair shop. They replaced the front brake rotors and pads and changed the brake fluid. I still experienced the brake problem during cold weather (below 15 degrees and wind chill). VW suggested bringing the car in when the temperature was the same as the temperature that I experienced the brake problem. Unfortunately it was March and there were no further cold days. I began to think the car was a warm weather vehicle. Cost $776. December 14, 2012, the VW dealer/repair shop replaced the rear brake rotors and pads. Cost $377. December 26, 2013, the engine emission light came on and the brakes were slow to respond, especially in quick response situations, I.e. traffic light. I took the car to a VW dealer/repair shop. They replaced hose and valve to correct a vacuum leak (valve stuck). They replaced the brake fluid. Cost $376. January 8, 2014, the brakes were slow to respond. I had to use the hand brake to stop. I called to have the car towed to VW dealer/repair shop. The tow driver stated it was a booster problem. The VW dealer/repair shop replaced brake booster and brake fluid. Cost $848. In addition to the brake problems, the belly pan (belly shield, skid plate, lower engine cover) came off twice while driving on major highways on April 21, 2012 and April 12, 2014. I had to pull over and pop the pan back up. I took the car to VW dealer/repair shops to have it reattached. No cost.

- Urbandale, IA, USA

problem #3

Jan 212013

Passat 4-cyl

  • 123,124 miles
On a very cold day (below freezing) in January 2013 while driving down my long driveway with a 4% grade, the brakes failed to stop the car and the car entered the road. The road has a speed limit of 50 mph and fortunately no car was on the highway or I could have been severely injured or killed. On subsequent warmer days the brakes worked fine. I took the car to the VW dealer in charlottesville, flow VW, where they found water in the booster pump and "removed cowl drains and vacuum water of the booster." This problem is cited in a VW service bulletin on the the NHTSA website - P 9-66C8. The invoice did not mention installing an improved pollen filter seal as is described in the service bulletin. The dealer did not charge me for this repair when I complained that it was due a design flaw. This resolved the problem until this year when on another cold day below freezing the brakes again failed to stop the car when driving down my driveway. On subsequent warm days the brakes worked normally. I tested them again on a very cold day and they again failed. I took car back to the same VW dealer on a warm day and they told me there was water in the booster pump and I would have to replace the booster pump at a cost of about $800. When I complained that the problem was due to a design flaw as evidenced by reports of similar problems on websites including NHTSA?S website they eventually offered to lower the price to $500. I believe this is still too much to pay for what is clearly a very dangerous design flaw that allows water to get into the brake system and that the dealer had failed to really correct last year.

- Crozet, VA, USA

problem #2

Jan 232013


  • 110,897 miles
Cel 17887 brake booster failure. This causes a complete brake failure. Hard pedal and vehicle would not come to a stop. After doing research I found out this is a common occurrence with this make/model/year vehicle. The cause of the problem is the brake booster fills with fluid and/or debris causing loss of air pressure. The brake booster can not function without this pressure causing brake failure. I took the vehicle to a mechanic at a reputable dealer and they vacuumed out approximately 1 1/2 gallons of dirty looking water. There is still more inside the part however it is frozen due to single digit temperatures outside. After a thorough inspection of all clamps, hoses and other parts the mechanic assured me there are no cracked hoses, loose or broken clamps (no explanation as to why the booster is filling with fluid or how to prevent it from happening again). The mechanic states the fluid/debris build up inside of the booster. The cel has been reset and the problem has not recurred (yet). This is my 18 year old son's car and every day he drives the vehicle I fear this will happen again since there was no explanation for the occurrence the first time. Reports I have read from other owners state they have had the same problem on this model year. Why isn't VW being held accountable for this malfunction?

- Ewing, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jun 012011


  • 230,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that the brake light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the local mechanic who diagnose that the ABS module needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made a ware of the failure. The failure mileage was 230,000 and the current mileage was 277,000.

- Ocean View , HI, USA

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