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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,000 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 #5

Dec 062007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles


1) both failures occurred in wet conditions --- once in pouring rain after the car had been driven for a while, and once during the first drive on a cold morning (just below freezing) after an inch or two of snow. 2) in both cases, the brake pedal moved only a little (an inch or two perhaps?) and then became very hard, not moving any further with additional pushing, and providing very little braking power (perhaps 5% of normal braking?). fortunately both incidents occurred at relatively low speed, and the hand brake was not affected. In both cases, the brakes worked normally again by the time we had organized ourselves to take the car in for service --- both times, this was days later (though we had not driven the car); in the second incident, we left the car on the street overnight before putting it in our driveway the next morning, and the brakes were still not working at that time. 3) in the first incident (occuring in August '07?), we took the vehicle in for service at a service station, learned of a VW recall involving water leaking that could affect the brakes and leak water into the passenger compartment (which was also happening during heavy rain), and then took the car to the dealership (piazza Acura/VW of ardmore, pa) for service --- they repaired the leak problem and cleaned the interior, but I am not sure whether they did anything about the brakes (we may not have mentioned this specifically to them, since it was mentioned in the recall). The car seemed fine afterward. After the second incident (on 12/6/07), we are once again having the car checked out at our regular service station (we have been impressed by their diagnostic skills in the past). So far they have not identified any brake problem, and we plan to take the car to the dealership next if our regular station mechanics cannot find a problem that would explain the brake failure.

- Ardmore, PA, USA

problem #4

Dec 072006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 30 mph, the ABS brake system failed. The brake pedal could not be depressed. When it finally released, the brakes self-applied and released without warning and repeated several times. The contact had to stop the vehicle using the hand brake, because the brake pedal did not function properly. The vehicle was taken to the service dealer by a private wrecker service. The service dealer replaced the brake booster. They also gave him the old booster and a bag containing cherry tree debris deposited on and around the old booster. The repair cost was about $900. The manufacturer was notified.

- Millbrook, NY, USA

problem #3

Dec 012005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Failure at 8100 miles on 2003 VW Passat glx V6. Failure reported by computer: Brake fault, stop, read service manual. Dealer reports this is an ABS module failure. forums report this as a common failure among Passats. Please hold VW's feet to the fire on this problem.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #2

Oct 032005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
I have a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. Since September, I've been having problems with the ABS light coming on and staying on. Twice, I've also had "brake fault" warnings to stop the vehicle. It's been in for service four times since October 3 to fix the problem. The cv joint was replaced yesterday, which was supposed to fix the problem. First thing this morning, the ABS light is on again. I have a fifth service appointment with bachman Volkswagen on Monday. I've been reading about quite a few ABS problems on various online forums, so I don't seem to be alone with this particular problem.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #1

Feb 142004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
Ignition coils failed two times, resulting in loss of power and causing vehicle to shudder. Coils were supposedly replaced. On a separate occasion (following the coil repair) vehicle completely shut down on the interstate- going from 80 to 0 mph in the matter of seconds. I had already been driving the vehicle for over an hour. I lost all power and was barely able to get the car to the shoulder. Problem was diagnosed as bad gas (not possibly the coil). In addition, my rear door quit closing, headlights have burnt out, filters have gone bad causing front of car to become flooded, vacuum hose defective, rear brakes went bad, and radio quit working. Parts were replaced either under the warranty or out of my pocket. VW refuses to admit there is a problem with this car. I have approximately 40000 miles on it.

- Wheeling, WV, USA

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