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:
86,844 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 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #4

Nov 232011


  • 129,125 miles


Heater core let go and created a uncontrollable fog in the inside of the car.tried to get to side of the road and almost hit a truck because I couldn't see. Smoke(or steam) was pouring from the car even after I stopped plus the fact that I inhaled the coolant fumes.

- Pascoag, RI, USA

problem #3

Nov 012008


  • 115,000 miles
I own a 2002 VW Passat and I am the original owner. I have no heat and the dealer has told me that I need a new heater core which appears to be a known problem w/ VW's that they have yet to acknowledge. The dealer said they would not cover under warranty but suggested I call vwoa and see if I could get it covered under goodwill. I called vwoa and stated my case and requested that they cover it under goodwill and they refused. My car has been regularly maintained by the dealer and I am very upset that VW has a known problem and refuses to correct it and they expect me to pay $1000 to have this known problem fixed.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #2

Mar 242009


  • 51,000 miles
While driving, the windows instantly fogged up without warning. Immediately grabbing something to wipe the windows, nearly hit another vehicle before pulling to the shoulder. Also present at this time, was an odor of anti-freeze. Vehicle purchased used 2007, 37,469 miles. Driven approx 12K miles. Current mileage 51K. Corresponding with mfg, unsuccessful. Research indicates this is a prevalent issue.

- Westerlo, NY, USA

problem #1

Feb 262006

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,250 miles
Car is 3 1/2 years old. 52,500 miles. (2500 miles out of warranty) engine coolant flushed/replaced at 40,000 miles as required. Heater core just failed while on the freeway, blowing vapor into the cabin and steaming up the windows to the point the car was barely drivable. VW America would not assist with the repair citing the age of the vehicle. I guess VW considers a car that's less than 4 years old to have significant problems. Repair cost is close to $1300. I will never buy a VW again, and I have already dissuaded a colleague at work from buying one as he was in the market for a new car.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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