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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,574 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Mar 162009


  • 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 #15

Jul 262007


  • 51,764 miles
While driving my 2003 VW Passat down the highway at 35 miles per hour, the engine simply ceased operating. Fortunately, I was able to get out of traffic and glide into a shopping center parking lot. The vehicle would not restart and had to be towed, and the fuel pump replaced. The Passat had only 51,764 miles when this breakdown occurred. While searching through the internet, I have seen numerous complaints of this same make model and year vehicle with a fuel pump failure. VW has only recalled certain VIN numbers for this fuel pump. My Passat does not fall within the recall vins and VW refuses to acknowledge a global problem with these fuel pumps.

- W. Conshohocken, PA, USA

problem #14

Dec 282008


  • 76,440 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that the fuel pump failed in his vehicle. The vehicle stuttered while driving 60 mph, stalled, and then completely lost power. The vehicle restarted for a few seconds, but then lost power again when he attempted to accelerate. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop and the contact was informed of NHTSA campaign id number 07V375000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery:fuel pump). Two different dealers stated that the vehicle was not included in the recall. The manufacturer agreed with the dealers. The current mileage was 76,455 and failure mileage was approximately 76,440.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #13

Nov 222008


  • 46,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle suddenly shut off. The vehicle was towed to an auto repair shop and the mechanic stated that the fuel pump failed. He called the local dealer to inquire about relevant recalls and was informed that there were none. Through research, the contact found NHTSA campaign id number 07V375000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery:fuel pump), but was informed that his VIN was not included in the recall. The manufacturer stated that they could not offer any assistance; therefore, the contact would have to pay for the repairs. The VIN was unknown. The current mileage was approximately 46,100 and failure mileage was approximately 46,000.

- Jeffersonville, PA, USA

problem #12

Oct 312008


  • 62,215 miles
2003 volkwagen Passat wagon W8 (4motion/all-wheel drive) fuel tank leak at/or near rollover valve at fuel tank. Fuel tank has no apparent damage or abrasions and fuel tank heat shield is original undamaged condition, vehicle has no damage or crash history. Vehicle is equipped with w-8 4.0 L w/ automatic transmission and has 62,215 miles. After refill of fuel, strong odor of gasoline and/or vapor. Inspection found fuel tank leaking from rollover valve and from fuel pump cover in top of tank. Immediate action was taken and vehicle was delivered to dealer for remedy.

- Westminster, CO, USA

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problem #11

Aug 302008


  • 97,656 miles
Got into my 2003 VW Passat and smelled fuel. Got out checked for leaks and none were visible. Took the vehicle to repair shop for further checking. When repair shop started vehicle, fuel sprayed on catalytic converter and surrounding components. A leak in the fuel line was determined. The area of the fuel line adjacent to the fire wall had rubbed a hole. Fuel line assembly had to be replaced.

- Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #10

Sep 232005


  • 61,980 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle would no longer accelerate. The vehicle had to be towed to a mechanic and it was discovered that the fuel pump failed. The fuel pump was replaced. Approximately one year later, the contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign id number 06V017000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery:fuel pump); however, the manufacturer stated that her VIN was not included in the recall. The current mileage was 120,000 and failure mileage was 61,980.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #9

Aug 072008


  • 105,000 miles
I have had the 2003 Passat glx for less than 2 weeks, I have only put 307 miles on it. Today while on the interstate, the car quit pulling. It was not getting any gas. Then it died completely and would not start. It turns over but won't start. Was on the side of the interstate for nearly an hour waiting for a tow truck. Was told that it is the fuel pump.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #8

Jul 272008


  • 31,000 miles
This car was never inspected for recalls, or safety issues. The moment the car was handed to us the battery died. The dealership quickly change the battery. The car was hesitating on acceleration ever since. It was on July 27 2008 that finally the check engine light came on. Took the car to a garage and it has coast us 270 dollars to fix it so far. We have not had this car for more than a month. There are two recalls on this car that were never look at or fixed by precision Toyota of tucson. One of these recalls can cause fire.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #7

Jul 062008


  • 77,000 miles
Car stalled several times and eventually would not start. Had it towed to nearest auto repair shop, cost $45. After diagnostic testing they stated there was nothing wrong with it and it started right up, costing another $110 for this information. A few days later car stalled and would not start. Towed once again to VW dealership, cost $155. They discovered it was the fuel pump and replaced it free of charge and also check all other recalls. We received the recall letter the day after the no start. I am asking to be reimbursed for both tows and the diagnostic testing as all cost incurred were due to this recall.

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #6

Jun 082008

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 71,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While the consumers husband was driving 40 mph, the contact smelled gasoline. He approached a stop sign and heard a pop sound. The contact looked out her window and noticed flames coming from the wheel well on the front passenger side of the vehicle. She and her husband exited the vehicle and called the fire and police departments. A police report was filed. The insurance company was notified and began researching available recalls. The contact found a recall related to the failure, but the NHTSA campaign number was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 71,000. Updated 07/15/08 updated

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #5

Jun 082008


  • 27,314 miles
Driving on I-87 upstate NY around albany in the fast lane about 80 miles an hour the car completely lost power. We pulled over quickly to the grassy area between the highways. We heard a sound but it might have been from the road when we pulled off or a backfire? the car was completely dead. We called 911 and a sheriff arrived soon and told us how difficult it would be to get back on the highway with traffic going 90-95 miles an hour. We had to get into the fast lane. We drove a little on the grassy area to see if the car would work. With great difficult and tremendous fear we managed to get onto the highway. We were then able to drive to nyc without problems in the slower lanes. No lights or sounds came on to warn us of the loss of power. This happened about 6 weeks ago as we were approaching the williamsburg bridge in manhattan but going at a much slower speed. We pulled over and had to restart the car. We have had the recalls from VW but not a recent one that may have come out in May. It seems like it could be a fuel tank issue. I will be taking it back to VW in brooklyn in two weeks to have them look at it. They have told me that since I did come in and get all the recalls that it could not be that. I am afraid of this car and only have about 27,000 miles after 5 years. It is a 2003 Passat turbo wagon. It was a hot day on June 8th and when we turned on the car the temp out side light said 101 degrees.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #4

Jul 012005


  • 42,000 miles
I own a 2003 Passat 4-motion. I purchased it from the dealer in July of 2005 when it had 42,000 miles on it. Almost immediately I noticed two things about the car: First, it sometimes hesitates when trying to accelerate and then when it does finally take off, it "leaps" forward. Second, when shifting down sometimes, it does not do so normally but will actually jerk the car badly and make a "clunky" sound, like the transmission is failing. This seems to happen when you don't come to a complete stop and then try and accelerate again, like stop and go traffic. I have had the car back to the dealer many times and have been told that this is just a "characteristic" of the car and that there is nothing they can do about it. Overall I am very disappointed in the car.

- Prospect, KY, USA

problem #3

Mar 122008

Passat 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
When filling up the car with gasoline there is a severe fuel odor. Took car to dealer and they said the "fuel tank ventilation valve" was leaking. This also happened two years ago and they replaced the fuel tank under warranty. The dealer refused to fix the problem unless I paid for it. I have noticed that they are issuing a recall for this exact problem but when I called Volkswagen they said my VIN number is not included. Very disappointed in the car overall and would not recommend one to anyone.

- Prospect, KY, USA

problem #2

Sep 132007

Passat 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,670 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While parked in the garage, the contact smelled a strong gaseous odor coming from the vehicle. She examined the vehicle and adjusted the fuel cap. The smell still lingered. The contact removed the vehicle from the garage and parked it on the street. The vehicle was then towed to the dealer and they stated that the fuel tank valve failed and the fuel tank needed to be replaced. No repairs have been made. The current mileage was 96,703 and failure mileage was 96,670. *updated 12/27/07 the consumer stated the vehicle was paid in full by the manufacturer on October 8, 2007. Updated 12/12/07

- Loveland, CO, USA

problem #1

Jan 122006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
Bought a 2003 VW Passat 1.8T in May 2005. Since then, I have taken the car to the dealership for repair 4 times now. The car will all of the sudden start running very rough and the check engine light came on. The first time, they replaced a "defective" spark plug. Within a few days of getting it back, it happened again. They decided to replace all the spark plugs that time. It happened a third time and they did not tell me what they had done to the car, but kept the car for a week. It is currently in the shop again (now for a week again) because it began to run rough, developed a slow oil leak, and does not always start on the first attempt. I have not yet heard from the dealership what is causing the problems. I asked them to check everything on the car. I have also lodged a complaint with VW of America.

- Gates, NC, USA

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