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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 9
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,095 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Jun 102009

Passat

  • 42,000 miles

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

Pollen filter and/ or sunroof drains become blocked and water leaks behind battery and into cabin of car. The water then pools under and behind the drivers seat where the convenience module is stored. I am concerned because it caused my car to be unable to start because it is affecting the electrical components of the car. In addition, the pooling under the drivers seat is troubling since it is a hub for interior electrical equipment. The convenience module in my car now has to be replaced.

- White Plains, NY, USA

problem #29

Mar 162009

Passat

  • 78,000 miles
I have had my 2003 VW Passat for 7 months now and have already had it in the shop 3 times. Right after I bought it used from a VW dealership the turbo went out. I had to pay for that. I then drove the car about 150 miles for a tournament and when almost there a light came on saying to stop and turn off the engine. Took it to VW dealership and it was covered by VW. It had something to do with sludge from oil. Got it back and 3 days later a light came on. It was the mil light. I took it in to the VW dealership. Still waiting to hear what the problem is this time. I have now had my oil changed 3 times in 5 thousand miles due to repairs. It has been one thing after another with this car so far.

- Eugene, OR, USA

problem #28

Aug 022003

Passat

  • 2,300 miles
Brake failure light appears even after multiple brake repairs. Driver"S side rear upper brake light replaced for 29th time in less than 2 yrs. Multiple coolant leaks still present even after repair and water pump replacement. Radio/amplifier not functioning even after replacement (radio was only used twice in vehicle"S lifetime). Diagnostics show airbag malfunction. Regulator pin on rear passenger side window keeps breaking (3rd replacement since 2003). Engine cover below car keeps falling off due to rusted bolts. Homelink system keeps malfunctioning. Fuses keep blowing out. Dashboard panel lights out (odometer, fuel gauge, etc.). ccm module keeps breaking down. Car needs to be jumpstarted when not in use for over 48 hrs. Climate control (A/C and heater) works only sporadically. All repairs performed by VW dealership, yet same issues keep reappearing just a few weeks after repairs. Repairs performed in past 2 years: ECU unit replaced, brake light switch replaced 3 times, A/C compressor unit replaced, ABS module replaced, alternator replaced, brakes replaced 3 times.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #27

Jan 012008

Passat

  • 55,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While driving 65 mph, the vehicle suddenly lost power. The vehicle was driven to the contact's home and then towed to the dealer. The dealer discovered that the ignition coil failed and will make the repair at the cost of $250. The contact previously traded in his Volkswagen jetta due to the identical coil failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 55,000.

- Newbritan, PA, USA

problem #26

Jul 062008

Passat

  • 49,000 miles
In 4/08 and 5/08 had malfunction light indicator come on, then had separate repairs at bayside Volkswagen. Same light came on 7/6/08. Its seems every month or so, its an issue with the car and having different repairs.

- Fresh Meadows, NY, USA

problem #25

Jun 202008

Passat

  • 81,000 miles
My 2003 Volkswagen Passat is holding 6inches or more of water on the passenger side in the floor board and has shorted out the computer underneath, in servicing the car the technician advised he found 3 other Volkswagen Passats of the same year to have the same defect. I have also been advised that a serious crash could have resulted because the computer underneath regulates the transmission.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #24

May 282008

Passat 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles

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

I drove about ten miles up the canyon parked the car. Then got a call about 15 min later telling me my car was on fire and the fire department had put it out. I am still waiting to find out what is going to happen with the car from the dealer and insurance. It looked like the fire started in the dash.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #23

Nov 112006

Passat

  • 130,000 miles
Radio not functioning, air conditioning unit works intermittently, airbag malfunction recognized, operation unit in steering wheel malfunctions, no communications with brake control unit, brake light switch causes drivers side brake light to malfunction. Horn not functioning nearly caused 2 accidents within a month. I drove over an island to avoid one collision from the other non-attentive driver and ended up scraping the transmission pan. Cost of replacement: $550. After thousands of dollars in repairs and diagnostics, VW dealerships still unable to fix any of the above!

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #22

Apr 102008

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles
Every 5,000-7,000 miles an ignition coil fails on my car. This results in my car instantly starting to shutter and I have to pull over immediately. Last time this happened, driving only a mile resulted in a severe vehicle fire putting myself and other in danger. This time, I was able to pull over before serious incident occurred.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #21

Jan 102008

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2003 Passat V6 in which there is a leak through the pollen filter because of faulty design. Every time it rains or snows in the northeast water gets through the faulty seal and is accumulating in the passenger rear and front seat. The water accumulation has caused the tcm to work improperly and may malfunction. With out the use of a tcm that works properly the car may shutdown or malfunction and cause an accident. This a problem VW knows about and has in fact issued a recall on the 2002 model. This is an issue on all B5 Passat models. Please help issue a recall to correct this matter. Thanks steve

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #20

Nov 172007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,116 miles

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

A third ignition coil failure in 18 months, the last one allowing raw gasoline into the catalytic converter, where it caught fire, destroying the turbo and causing a large amount of black smoke. I lost power while drive, was unable to accelerate in a safe manner and eventually suffered smoke inhalation. All coils need to be replaced.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #19

Apr 012007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
Battery going dead without time or reason; doors would lock automatically with no one around; trunk would unlock and would not shut without key intervention; light on driver's door lock would flash incessantly with no one near. Car went over four years with no incident and suddenly started acting "strange." No changes or work done on electrical system since new when the battery had to be replaced twice. Dealer has been very cooperative but unsuccessful in finding source, keeping car as long as three weeks (with a "loaner") and not charging except for a small first time inspection. Six returns to dealership with some relief; only the battery goes dead with irregularity. We have a 2000 Passat that sits nearby and has never experienced the problem. Number of failures is one, but all related.. six trips to dealership and relief on all but the battery going dead. We are 80 and fear that we will be caught out and have serious problems. All dates are approx.

- Keene, TX, USA

problem #18

Nov 012006

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. The contact has had the vehicle repaired, however, several failures continue to recur. The failures include the instrument panel lights, cruise control, heated seats, the regulator pin in the passenger side rear window, the glove compartment, and the head lights. The failures were noticed while driving 40 mph. The current mileage is 109,000 and failure mileage was 80,000.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #17

Sep 012006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
Vehicle battery goes dead if car sits for more than 3 days without being started. Alternator wiring harness has been replaced once. Battery has been replace 5 times in 6 months. Dealer can not find anything that is draining the battery and insists that "nothing is wrong with the car and that it is perfectly normal (except for a dead battery) for this to happen. "just start the car every 1-2 days" is their remedy. I have never heard of anything so lame in my life!!

- Truckee, CA, USA

problem #16

Apr 272005

Passat Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Headlights fails proper function. They have been replaced. Seat belts and sun roof do not work properly. Engine replaced; steering wheels - car pulls to the right everytime an alignment was done and they calibrated the wheels. - problem continued - this problem caused the tires to be destroyed in a few kms - less 20 000; water infiltration - for now it is fixed; trunk was hard to open and close - problem fixed. Front doors vibrated - the rubber of the doors are being exhibiting signs of damage; the front glass ( windscreen ) isn't from the same year of all the others.

- Porto, 00, USA

problem #15

Apr 272005

Passat Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Front headlights malfunctioned - replaced them but they couldn't make the alignment of the beam. The car runs to the right but the wheels are calibrated and the direction alignment is done. The car infiltrated water inside the car and trunk. Sunroof malfunction - opens in all positions but don't close. The car as the front glass is from 2005 and all the others are from 2002, construction of the car 2003. Diesel escaped from the pump. Cd changer - 6 cds as malfunction the radio doesn't eject the cd's. the motor gag various times a constant rotation. The trunk was hard to open and close. There are other complaints.... the complaints begin 15 days from the purchase.

- Porto, 00, USA

problem #14

Jan 012006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,458 miles
I am investigating and gathering incident information about the flooding problems that Volkswagen, especially the Passat, exhibit from model years 1998 to the present. There is a chance of a class action suit for which this information is being gathered. If interested, please respond to doctor.vinnie@gmail.com for more information.

- Ozone Park, NY, USA

problem #13

Jan 152006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,413 miles
: the contact stated rain water leaked into the vehicle. There were concerns expressed of cables under the dash becoming wet, therefore creating an electrical hazard. The rain water usually accumulated in the doors, and when the doors was opened the water traveled to the dash board.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #12

Jun 282006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,924 miles
Started car and asrs light came on and remained on. Soon the mil lit up, followed by the air bag system light flickering and a clicking sound coming from the car. Dealership could not check car the next morning B/C fully booked so had alternate mechanic check it out. Mechanic realized it was not the battery running low (battery charge checked). The next morning alternator checked (alternator replace and tested and same problem continued). The mechanic finds a puddle of water on the floor of the passenger side that same morning which was not there day before. He states car had been parked at slight incline overnight with front of car higher than trunk. Mechanic recommended towing car to dealership. Currently at dealership to try and figure out problem.

- Annandale, VA, USA

problem #11

May 282006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,500 miles
I recently had my 40K mile service done and was preparing to go on vacation. The car made it there without incident however the second day into out vacation the asr light came on and then the prnd432 all stayed lit. It had been beautiful weather for several days however there was easily two inches of water on the passenger side. The vehicles check engine light came on and it stopped automatically shifting. The vehicle is at the shop waiting repair.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

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