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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 44
Injuries / Deaths:
25 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,558 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.

2003 Volkswagen Passat accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Jan 082005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While driving the car we noticed a faint burning smell after a short ride. The next morning I went to clean snow off of the car and noticed a burn hole about 1/2" in diameter in the seat. I turned the car on and began cleaning the snow off the car and called my fiancÉ to see what happened. With in 2 minutes there was smoke in the car, sparks and small flames coming out of the hole in the seat. When turning off the heated seats the melting and smoking subsided leaving a hole (about 1" diameter) through the driver's seat. (later found a hole hole in the clothing that was worn the night before) vehicle had less than 20K miles, so the malfunction is covered in full by the warrantee. After calling the dealership the mentioned that this is a common problem and they have had a lot of calls regarding the same thing. They told us we would have to wait aprox 1 month before they would take the car. As a remedy the mentioned that they would replace the seat cover.

- Brookline, MA, USA

problem #20

Jan 062005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
Consumer smelled an odor in the vehicle. Consumer asked her spouse to check it out. Consumer turned seat heater on and the seat started to burn. The seat slightly scorched the consumer. The passengers coat was burned by the seat.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #19

Dec 282004

Passat

  • miles
Seat warmer on my 2003 VW Passat burned through the leather seat (drivers side), burned through my pants and left a mark on my skin.

- Robbinsville, NJ, USA

problem #18

Dec 182004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Heated velour seats caught fire and burned small hole in seat.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #17

Dec 172004

Passat

  • miles
Driver's side heated seat burned through seat cushioning, through leather covering, through pants pocket, and through wallet contained in the pocket. Hole in the seat 2-3 inches deep and 1 1/2 - 2 inches in diameter. Hole in pants was 1/2 inch in diameter, leaving burn mark. The seat heating mechanism had been turned on high. Smoldered, but no open fire.

- Holly, MI, USA

problem #16

Dec 142004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Seat heater burned through the fabric, burning the driver on the leg. Consumer had to pull over to pour water on it since smoke and sparks were on it. Consumer will contact dealer for repairs.

- Elizabethtown, NY, USA

problem #15

Dec 142004

Passat

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Seat heater was on high when I felt my bottom heating up and when I lifted my bottom off of the seat the car filled with smoke. I drove straight to the dealership (luckily under warranty) and sure enouch there was a burn in my leather seats. They are ordering me a new seat heater!! didn't seem to mind the fact that I was burned.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #14

Oct 152004

Passat 4-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
Heated seats overheated and burned a hole (about 1/4" diameter) through the driver's seat. Vehicle had 23K miles, so the malfunction was covered in full by the warrantee. The dealer replaced the heating coils and seat cover. Old part is not available.

- Manorville, NY, USA

problem #13

Nov 122004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 21,500 miles
The heater in the driver seat over heated and burned through the seat and the consumer's pants while the vehicle was at a stop position. The dealer was notified.

- Norwich, VT, USA

problem #12

Nov 042004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 40 mph consumer noticed that the passenger's heated seat burned. Consumer was able to maintain control of the vehicle, and pulled over. Consumer extinguished the fire by turning off the heated seat. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that passenger's seat needed to be replaced.

- Middleboro, MA, USA

problem #11

Nov 052004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2003 VW Passat; heated seat burned through cushion and started smoldering. Dealer replaced seat. Said there was a short in the heating element.

- Latham, NY, USA

problem #10

Oct 242004

Passat

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
While driving driver's seat warmer burned through the seat and started to burn the consumer's clothing.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #9

Oct 222004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,140 miles
1.) driver's seat heater was activiated. 2.) driver's seat heater burned through seat leather and scorched driver's pants 3.) dealer contacted, appointment set for warranty evaluation. Dealer stated "we've had a few of these occur.

- South Chatham, MA, USA

problem #8

Oct 192004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
I am a school teacher and was on my way to work on Tuesday October 19, 2004 at approximately 7:30 a.M. I was smelling a strong smoke odor as I started driving and as I continued to drive I looked over to my passenger seat and there was smoke smoldering through the seat. As I noticed this happening to the car, I turned off the passenger heated seat (and thankfully no one was in it). No one was injured! within minutes my car stalled on a major expressway and I was stranded. Nothing has been done yet with my vehicle. I have been without a vehicle for almost two entire weeks. It's very unfair that a vehicle under two years has failed in this way. This situation was very unsafe. Nothing has been done to provide complete coverage of my car. I'm waiting to hear from Volkswagen.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #7

Oct 012004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
I wanted to note that on October 1st, my heated seat on my 2003 volkswagenw Passat malfunctioned. It actually burned through the seat, filled my car with smoke, and left me with a small burn on my thigh. Luckily, I am fine. But, this should never have happened, and I was lucky I wasn't driving down the highway at a high rate of speed. Feel free to contact me if you need further information.

- Brandon, SD, USA

problem #6

Sep 202004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 12,000 miles
I have a 2003 Volkswagen Passat with heated leather seats. I turned the seat heaters on this morning when I was going to work and they started to burn my back side. They burnt throuigh the leather. They did turn off but if they didn't I would have had a car fire. I called hobart's Volkswagen in warrington, pa and they said there was no recall on these seats. They are taking the car in this afternoon and will repair it. This is a very dangerous problem if it is widespread! sincerely, mike and marta grothman newtown, pa.

- Newtown, PA, USA

problem #5

May 162004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,700 miles
It was chilly the evening of May 15, 2004. I started the car, turned the seat heater control from 0 to 5, and drove about 5 minutes from my brother's house to a hotel. When I turned off the car I forgot to turn down the seat heater control. It remained at 5. the next day (May 16), I made a series of 4 short trips with the car. Each trip was about 5 to 10 minutes of driving. On the 5th trip, I started the car. After driving about 1 block, I noticed an odd smell. After driving 1 more block, I definitely smelled something burning, and I felt like I was sitting on a hot coal. When I looked down I saw smoke coming from the same area -- my pants were smoldering! I stopped the car and got out. There was a hole burned through the leather in the driver's side seat. The area was still smoking. My jeans were scorched. I turned the seat heater control from 5 to 0 and let the car sit for awhile to make sure the car did not catch on fire. On May 17, I called the dealer. I explained what happened and made a service appointment to correct the problem. The appointment is scheduled for May 22.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #4

Apr 022004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 14,500 miles
In 2003 VW Passat gls wagon, the heating element in the heated seat burned a hole through the seat fabric in passenger seat. Driver noticed burning smell and turned off heater (which was set to highest setting).

- Watertown, MA, USA

problem #3

Feb 222004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 17,000 miles
Driving my 2003 Passat for 1-2 minutes, I smelled something burning. I noticed that the seat was getting extremely warm. I checked the seat heater setting, it was on 1 (of 5). I turned the switch off, but continued to smell the burning smell and feel the heat. I pulled over and noticed a hole in the driver seat and discovered that the heat had burned a hole through my pants as well. The car was inspected by the dealer and parts were ordered to replace the element and seat cover. I also reported the failure to vwoa.

- Linwood, NJ, USA

problem #2

Nov 222003

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
On a sat. Morning (Nov 22nd 10 am) my fiancee and I got in her 2003 VW passatt. It was a cold day and I was driving. Both of us turned the seat heaters within her leather seats on level 5 (high). Very shortly after, I felt a burning sensation in my left rear end area. We then smelled smoke. We stopped the vehicle and I jumped out quickly as I could feel my left rear end burning only to see that the seat heater had burned a hole through the leather seat and through my pants and burned my rear end! ouch! no joke! I have taken pictures of the seat, my nylon pants, and my rear end! we immediately called theillan VW of bay city Michigan where the car was purchased and spoke to a salesman. The car was repaired yesterday. I was then given a copy of autobeat daily from Wednesday December 10th, 2003 and on page 10 there is an article which reads "NHTSA probes smoldering VW seat warmers" I then thought I would submit this complaint formally to inform NHTSA that the article reads that just 2002-2003 jettas were being probed. This happened on a passatt as well. The VIN below is incorrect as I don't have the VIN with me at this time.

- Grand Blanc, MI, USA

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