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:
119,247 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

problem #6

Sep 152010

Passat 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


Since early 2009, there has been an evap system problem with my 2002 VW Passat 4motion. This has caused me endless hassle and significant expense over the last 4 years. After 3 failed attempts to get the problem diagnosed, a dealer finally identified the problem in 2011 as a fuel vapor leak from the fuel tank. No mention was made of the 2008 recall (vwoa #25E5/R6, NHTSA #08V156000) covering such fuel leaks. After (re-)discovering the recall notice in 2013, I contacted both VW and two separate dealers; all indicated that since my vehicle was serviced in 2008 under the recall (though only the underbody heat shield was replaced; the gas tank and related parts may or may not have been "inspected" but the dealership no longer has those records nor does VW have those details), VW would not cover the fuel tank replacement. I have since contacted VW again, who have agreed to look into the matter but require me to pay to have the vehicle re-diagnosed. Since this is a safety matter (a leak at the gas tank could start a fire), it seems clear that VW's responsibilities in the matter should not be limited to merely "inspecting" the affected parts once with no oversight or follow-up, as has happened in this case.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #5

Oct 212013

Passat 6-cyl

  • 159,684 miles
I recently had work done on my vehicle under NHTSA campaign id #08V156000, which required inspection, and the installation of additional heat shields near the fuel tank. The vehicle had been previously serviced under the campaign in 2008. Recently, the fuel tank began leaking gasoline, which indicates that the heat shields that were installed had either failed, or that the heat shields were inadequate to prevent eventual damage to the fuel tank. I believe that the fuel tanks for these vehicles should be inspected again in order to determine whether repair to the fuel tanks is required and to prevent vehicle fire, injury, and loss of life. I contacted VW customer service, and they agreed to replace the fuel tank under the NHTSA campaign. The dealership charged me $136.49 in additional labor for the removal of aftermarket parts, even though the campaign clearly states that dealers will "replace components if necessary free of charge." Neither VW customer service, nor the dealership would agree to perform the work fully free of charge. I believe that the charge for additional labor is in violation of the NHTSA campaign and request assistance in obtaining reimbursement.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #4

Jun 302008

Passat 6-cyl

  • 66,797 miles
We have attempted to have a gas leak / smell repaired by 3 different Volkswagen dealers over 5 years. We first approached the dealer in 2008 when receiving notice of a recall. The recall was the "underbody heat shield/fuel system components (#08V156000). Today, 10/17/2013 we finally have a dealer stating that there is a fuel leak even though we have been attempting to get VW to believe us for 5 years. The overwhelming smell of gasoline permeates our entire house after a fill up and immediately park the vehicle in our garage.

- Colchester, CT, USA

problem #3

Aug 232013

Passat 6-cyl

  • 196,000 miles


Concerning Volkswagen recall 08V156000. Summary: Volkswagen is recalling 412,000 my 1999-2005 Passat (5th generation) vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions and produced after June 14, 1999. These vehicles may have an underbody heat shield that can become damaged. In addition, affected vehicles with automatic transmissions may have a fuel tank ventilation valve (4motion/all wheel drive only) that can leak due to fracture. Consequence: A heat shield that may contact the exhaust system can result in a vehicle fire. In addition, a fuel leak from a fuel line or fuel tank ventilation valve, in the presence of an ignition source, can lead to a vehicle fire. Remedy: Dealers will install additional underbody heat shields on vehicles with automatic transmissions to cover the possibly damaged areas. Dealers will also inspect the fuel tank ventilation valve on 4motion/all wheel drive vehicles, and replace components if necessary free of charge. The recall began on June 13, 2008. Fast fwd to 2013. Our gas tank is now leaking out and there's every indication it's a ventilation valve. The recall work was complete on this car in 2008, although the dealer service order did not specify the fuel tank ventilation valves were inspected. The work ordered specified installing the heatshields only. VW dealer will not cover costs of checking the ventilation valve given they said the recall work was already performed. Who holds dealer accountable for properly completing recall inspection /maintenance?

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #2

Mar 082010

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. After the vehicle was repaired per NHTSA recall # 08V156000: Fuel system, gasoline, delivery, the contact noticed a crack in the fuel line near the fire wall. He also noticed that gasoline spilled over the engine and the catalytic converter. The contact is concerned that the manufacturer did not perform the recall properly. When the dealer was notified of the failure they refused to repair the vehicle again under the recall unless the contact would pay for the repairs. The current and failure mileages were 125,000. Updated 04/22/10 the consumer stated to the best of his knowledge the fuel lines on his vehicle had not been replaced under the recall. The consumer stated the dealer refused to make the repairs free charge. Updated 07/01/10.

- Flanders, NJ, USA

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problem #1

Sep 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
Hello, my name is robert campbell and I am a the owner of a 2002 Volkswagen Passat 4motion with an automatic transmission. I am contacting you to seek action in regards to NHTSA campaign number 08V156000, which clearly indicates a recall for faulty gas tanks on this particular make/model due to fractured ventilation valves. Upon purchasing the car as a certified used vehicle in 2006, I had to have the gas tank replaced within the first week of ownership due to this very same defect. This was covered by the two year warranty provided by the dealership. A week ago, my gas tank started to leak again. Fuel is now leaking on the exhaust system creating a severe safety hazard. Upon inspection by the dealer, they have surmised the second tank has once again failed - due to a fractured ventilation valve. Both Volkswagen of american and my local dealer are refusing to acknowledge this recall and will only replace the tank if I agree to repair costs totaling $1,800. Volkswagen has clearly designed a faulty product they refuse to stand behind, and as a consumer, I should not be financially obligated to pay for repairs that clearly stem from negligent design. I desperately seek your assistance on this issue and will gladly offer my full cooperation.

- Louisville, KY, USA

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