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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,377 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2002 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

May 062008

Passat 6-cyl

  • 37,700 miles


I have a 2002 VW Passat V6 glx wagon with 37,000 miles. Whenever the fuel tank is full, or near-full, there is a strong smell of gasoline from the right rear side. I have had to leave my garage door partially open because of the danger of igniting fumes from the Pilot lights of my home gas water heater and furnace in the garage. I have found wet patches smelling strongly of gasoline on the underside of the fuel tank. It is obvious that the gasoline tank is leaking somehow and presents a fire safety issue. I suspect it might be the same problem that is being investigated in NHTSA action number PE08008 even though my model is not an all-wheel-drive. Meanwhile, whenever the vehicle is parked, in my garage or out in the open, there is a constant danger of fire being ignited.

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Sep 242007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am complaining about a 2002 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T. With 76,000 miles on the car based on the latest news from the dealer today I will have invested over $1000 on various failures of the fuel evap system. First it was vacuum hoses and now it is the charcoal canister and purge valve. There has been one recall on one part of the system which of course was not what was wrong at any point with my vehicle. The entire fuel evap system is faulty and VW knows it and refuses to do anything about. It is a great moneymaker for them as only they have the access to the electronic codes and parts to repair the system and tremendously over inflated prices.

- North Hampton, NH, USA

problem #4

Aug 082007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,068 miles


Check engine light came on for 6 times since purchased new. Latest incident, in first week of August, 2007 - the diagnosis was "found fault for evap system incorrect purge flow, tested purge valve and found to be stuck". for 6 dealer visits, 2 identical diagnosis with 2 replacements. Is this a design fault" defective part" why the repetitive issue with the same area. Car only has 48,000 miles.

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #3

Nov 052005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
I own a 2002 VW Passat V6 glx with 42,700 miles. Within the past 2 months an intermittent problem started with very strong gasoline fumes coming from the car after the tank is filled and the car is parked in a residential garage. The gas tank is filled until the first click off of the gas nozzle ( at several different gas stations). The gasoline fumes are very strong, requiring that the garage doors be left partially open to reduce the fumes to a tolerable level. No fuel drips from the vehicle. The fumes seem to be coming from the right rear of the car. Fumes can sometimes be smelled briefly outdoors when the vehicle's gas tank is full. The fumes stop after the tank level is down to about 3/4 tank. The problem recurs consistently now for me everytime the vehicle is refueled. I brought the vehicle to the local VW dealer on 11/5/05. They pressured tested the vehicle's fuel system with argon and reported that they can find no fuel leak or duplicate the problem with a full tank of gas. The service manager contacted VW technical assistance. I brought the vehicle in on 12/15/05 with a half tank of fuel as requested. The service technicians, as recommended by VW technical assistance, removed the gas tank and weighed the charcoal canister to determine if adequate charcoal was present. The charcoal canister was within factory specifications. The service technicians reinstalled the same parts and then filled the gas tank. They then pressure tested the vehicle's fuel system with argon overnight, leaving the vehicle in the service bay. They could not detect any fuel leaks or reproduce the problem. VW technical assistance reportedly told the tech's that they had done all that was possible and that there was nothing else to do. The service manager acknowledged that their service bay is quite large and ventilated so that the conditions do not duplicate having the vehicle in a residential garage. A fire risk and fume exposure remain.

- Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

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problem #2

Sep 192003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at 40 mph, the vehicle vibrated uncontrollably. Without warning then the vehicle stalled. The driver tried to restart the vehicle but was unable to do so. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic informed the driver that the engine needed to be replaced. The dealer replaced the mass air flow sensor and cleaned the fuel pump relay to resolve the stalling problem. The radio was inoperative due to a short in the wiring.

- Upper Darby, PA, USA

problem #1

Aug 212002

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
Bought the car new 4/02, ignition coil failed in 8/02 with only 1000 miles on car. The vehicle started shaking and lost power w/ baby in the car on a highway. Car was towed to the dealer and they replaced the ignition coil. Happened again on 10/31/02, car was at the dealership for almost 1 month waiting for another ignition coil. Dealer provided rental car and complaint was filed with V.w. they paid my car payment for month of 11/02. Many people having same problem. Dealer's lot was full of cars waiting for this part. I took their last rental car, lucky for me, since I got an Impala ss instead of a 2 door cavalier. There should be a recall issued on these ignition coils. There are many lemon law cases filed against VW. Also very poor gas mileage and acceleration. Very dangerous left hand turns when the car just sits there and you're hitting the gas!!!

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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