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.

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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,444 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #9

Feb 092008

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles


Last Saturday (Feb.9, 2008) around 11:00am, while I was picking up my two daughters from ballet school (boston ballet, 19 clarendon street, boston), the check engine lamp started to blink and I could feel my car (2002 Passat wagon, all wheel drive) was a little bit shaking. As the car manual says, I drove in low power to the closest Volkswagen dealership (boston Volkswagen, 168 western avenue, allston). While I was driving to the dealership, I saw some smoke coming out from the front hood (right front side). We (my daughters, my wife, and myself) got the dealership around 11:30am. A sales consultant (michael petersante) and another person there saw my car, and said that my car possibly would catch on fire. We evacuated from the car, they moved all the cars around my car to the other place. The dealer called for a fire department. Before the fire department came in, while I was looking at my car from the inside of the dealership building, I could see the flame coming out above the right front wheel in the car (somewhere the engine is located) and smoke filling up inside of my car. The fire department (boston fire-engine 41, ladder 14, unit D11) came and put out the fire. A police officer (boston police district 14, 301 Washington street, brighton) came after the fire was extinguished (arrived at 11:53am), and checked out the scene and had my car, whose front part (engine compartment) was all broken and crushed while the wire was put out, be towed. It was hard to believe that a 5-6 years old car caught on fire while I was driving and in just 30 minutes reached to such situation. Fortunately, we were close to the dealership and were able to get there before the worst thing happens. And again, very fortunately, my family was able to get away to the safe place before the worst thing happens. But if it happened 10 minutes earlier or if it took 10 minutes longer than actually it did to get there, things that I don¿T ever want to imagine could happen to my family.

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #8

Feb 212005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
VW Passat 2002. Malfunction indicator light indicating problem with engine. Returned to dealership for repair. Lease about to expire, brought in (3) prior times.. 2/21 towed to nearest dealer, being told don't know what is wrong, needs all oil change receipts, needs permission from manufacturer to ok repair under warranty. Warranty is extended for 8 years in writing. Manufacture blames dealer, dealer blames customer. Car is a lemon. See article autoweek 2/7/2005 and prior articles. Customers are well aware there is an engine problem and now causing oil sludge related problems. Absolutely outrageous. Since 2002 until now, payments being made for a defective car due to faulty engineering! and now the customers must pay for it! no way.

- Belleville, NJ, USA

problem #7

Aug 182003

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles
Oil pan failed or was damaged by "outside influence" resulting in severe oil loss and risk of fire. Oil pan is constructed with a thin sheet of aluminum and is protected by a simple sheet of plastic.

- Holmdel, NJ, USA

problem #6

Oct 012002


  • miles


No summary.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #5

Nov 162002


  • miles
Coil pack failure on new car with only 11K miles. Driving at 50 mph with 6month old child, left with little power has cylinders misfiring. Requested that all 4 be replaced. VW denied request. Got car back after 12 days at dealership (12/1/02). 2 days later, (70 miles later) same problem. Car returned to on Dec 3rd. VW has not issued recall. Safety issue!! being on boston highways with other drivers bearing down on you at 70 mph and you lose this type of power. Not to mention the other possible scenarios of being standed. Go to vwvortex forum. Many other owners having the same problem.

- Natick, MA, USA

problem #4

Nov 182002


  • miles
The replacement ignition coil is on back order. The car has been sitting idle for 1 week. It is unknown when the replacement part will arrive possibly a week or two. This is not an isolated incident as I was told by the technician at the VW service department (new motors, erie pa) that 5 other cars were sitting waiting for a new ignition coil. This is also evidenced by the fact that I have to wait 2 weeks or more for the part to arrive.

- North East, PA, USA

problem #3

Oct 102002


  • miles


No summary.

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #2

Sep 152002


  • miles
Consumer states that the vehicle would intermittently loses accelertion while driving in low gear. Vehicle been to the dealer on two occasion and they are unable to locate the problem. Feel free to provide any further information.

- Mocksville, NC, USA

problem #1

Apr 102002


  • miles
Engine check light comes on and stayes on or flickeres on and off, indicating an engine problem, the component was reset on 4 occasions but the problem reoccurs.

- Monroeville, IN, USA

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