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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,523 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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Jan 122006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,830 miles


Engine stopped running while driving. There were no warning indicators. After coasting down a hill approaching an intersection, I eased into the accelerator to cross intersection, only to experience a total loss of engine power. VW dealer diagnosed engine loss due to failure of fuel pump. Dealer replaced fuel pump and saved old pump at my request. Old pump is available for inspection. I consider engine loss to be a safety issue because most cars these days have steering and brakes that are powered by the engine. Luckily, I was able to keep control of the car and bring it to a safe stop.

- Stormville, NY, USA

problem #24

Dec 272005


  • miles
Engine stopped while in motion without warning causing power steering to fail. Diagnosed as fuel pump failure. Also, in 2004 oil pump failed due to sludge. Repair not covered due to inability to produce service records.

- Horton, MI, USA

problem #23

Oct 152005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,385 miles
Fuel pump failed at 44385 miles.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #22

Dec 172005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,782 miles


Instant fuel pump failure. Late Saturday night with 9 week old child in the car. Car simply stops running on the highway. Does not restart. Did manage to get baby into warm vehicle and home. Car had to be towed.

- Bolton, MA, USA

problem #21

Oct 102005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 38,500 miles
Without warning, my 2003 Passat stalled in the middle of a very busy intersection and would not start again. Thankfully the police were quick to arrive and helped direct traffic so that I could be pushed off the road. The car was towed and the VW dealer diagnosed the problem as a prematurely failed fuel pump. They replaced the fuel pump free of charge, but they are denying that there is a problem or defect across the board. I have read many reports of other VW Passat owners having similar problems. This could be a dangerous failure depending on when the pump stops working (there are no warning signs), and I think VW should address this.

- Winfield, IL, USA

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problem #20

Nov 302005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
Early fuel pump failure. 22,000 miles (Volkswagen). The vehicle suddenly stopped blocking the roadway. The engine could not be restarted due to failure of the fuel pump. The fuel tank was full. The dealer commented that it has been common for 2003 Passat to have fuel pump failure. Updated 12/01/05.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #19

Oct 042005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,981 miles


While driving consumer 2003 Passat battery light came on and vehicle died. The dealer did a pressure test and determined that the fuel pump had failed.

- Oradell, NJ, USA

problem #18

Nov 112005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 58,189 miles
Fuel pump failed while traveling on merritt parkway in wilton, ct. The pump failed without warning. While traveling on the parkway, the engine sputtered and died, and I managed to have enough forward momentum to pull over to the side. No warnings at all. The fuel tank was about 1/4 full. The engine could not be restarted. I diagnosed and replaced the part by the next day. I disassembled the old pump and discovered that the brushes in the motor had worn excessively- the vehicle has only 58200 miles. I an keeping the old part in my custody. The new fuel pump part no. Is 8E0906087D. Researching this issue on internet discussion forums on VW enthusiast web sites reveals that the failures appear on a higher-than-normal rate on '03 model year VW Passats. Discussions here:"T=188629"id=1982739&postid=22264430#22264430 as you can imagine, having the fuel pump fail at highway speeds can have catastrophic results.

- Hamden, CT, USA

problem #17

Oct 282005


  • miles
Car stopped running while traveling on a busy highway doing 65 mph. Car just started slowing down, luckily I was in the right hand lane and able to pull over onto the shoulder. Dangerous problem. Towed to VW dealership and fuel pump was replaced. Car had 53000 miles on it.

- Joppa, MD, USA

problem #16

Oct 132005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Problem with 2003 Passat glx fuel pumps. There are an enormous amount of fuel pumps that fail on the Passat model. VW has had a recall for the fuel pump, but only on the golf, new bettle and jetta, not the Passats. VW has an admitted problem, but is not willing to cover all models affected.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #15

Jul 102005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


2003 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated the vehicle stalled at highway speeds. There was no warning lights that came on before this occurred. The vehicle was pulled over, and it started up immediately. The vehicle was taken to the dealership, and they had it for 77 days. The vehicle was returned to the contact twice. The dealership replaced a coil pack, spark plugs, and four brake light bulbs. The dealership told the contact the vehicle was ready, he picked it up and drove 3 miles and the vehicle stalled. He immediately took the vehicle back to the dealership. They contacted technical support, who told the dealership to check for the electrical grounds. The dealership then took the vehicle on a test drive and it stalled again. The factory service engineers said to put every electrical wire on the car through an ohm test. All of the wires checked out, and no out of tolerance ratings were found. They told the dealership to check the ignition key adaptation, and the security system for proper function. No problems were found. They found nothing definitive at that point. The technician told the dealership to replace the engine wire harness that was replaced August 8, 2005. The vehicle was then picked up on August 10, 2005. The contact went on vacation, and 175 miles later the vehicle stalled again on the interstate. The vehicle was taken back to the dealership; they found 20 fault codes in the engine computer. They replaced the vacuum pump on August 25, 2005. They road tested it and it stalled. The contact was trying to get Volkswagen to take the vehicle back. The vehicle is still at the dealership, and they are still working on it. The dealership is now going to replace cylinder heads. It was finally determined that the fuel pump relay was the problem and the reason why the dealer could not determine the problem the first seven times was because they were relying on the computer to display codes. Updated 01/11/06.

- Ledgewood, NJ, USA

problem #14

Aug 262004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 35,310 miles
I have 2003 Volkswagen Passat glx V6. With 35310 miles on the dash & driving on a local road in NJ going 4O miles a hour my car just loss power & cut off. I was able to turn my wheel hard & pulled off on the side of the road safely. My fuel pump failed & was replaced under warranty. However, if I was on the highway, I am not sure what would have happened. This is a serious defect & would hate this happen to others.

- Helmetta, NJ, USA

problem #13

Aug 152005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 47,500 miles
Have owned car about 10 months. Bought with warranty intact from a dealer. Was driving, going along at 50 mph when car began dramatically slowing down. I had no control over engine speed, and was forced to shift down to avoid stalling. Car eventually died and when I tried to restart it, it would attempt to turn over but would then quit suddenly again after just a few seconds. I ended up being towed, and didn't have car for week plus. Turned out to be an fuel pump. Under warranty, this was free, but had we been just a few thousand miles more we would have had to pay 500 dollars for this repair. I believe it is totally unacceptable for a fuel pump to go at 48,000 miles, and I can see that on this web site alone this is clearly an issue! this same thing happened immediately after we bought the car too but that time it restarted after a few minutes. I feel very, very fortunate that I was not in traffic at either time!

- Dansville, NY, USA

problem #12

Jun 012005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Have had nothing but problems with this lemon. * 500 miles cruise control fails, has to be replaced. * 16,000 miles ignition coil fails, replaced coil and mass air flow sensor. * 28,000 miles fan in dash diagnosed as faulty and needing to be replaced. Parts ordered, never installed. * 40,000 miles oil pump and oil hoses are replaced due to oil pressure failures. Car broke down on road. * 44,159 miles oil pressure switch replaced due to oil pressure failures. * 46,000 miles fuel pump failure, replaced under warranty. Car broke down on road. Volkswagen has a problem with these cars and "oil sludge". VW refuses to fix my car under warranty. Last word was "we reserve the right to refuse any warrany claim, regardless of documentation of oil changes." I've talked to several dealerships and it's a #1 problem with these cars comming in for ruined engines and oil sludge. VW is refusing to pay for fixing the problems in most cases. I've got all documentation, original paperwork when purchased, etc.

- Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

problem #11

Aug 102005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,200 miles
Car stopped running while traveling on a busy highway doing 70 mph. Towed to VW dealership and fuel pump was replaced. Car had 59000 miles on it.

- Flat Rock, MI, USA

problem #10

Aug 102005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
While my husband was driving his 2003 VW Passat the engine without warning stalled. He was able to restart it, but 3 miles down the road it died again. He was traveling during rush hour on a busy freeway. We suspect it is a faulty fuel pump. We have read of several others having this problem and I believe this is a huge safety issue as more cars of this year gain more mileage. The car has about 58,000 miles on it.

- Flat Rock, MI, USA

problem #9

Jul 202005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,001 miles
No warning before fuel pump failure at 37,000 miles. My wife was stranded and had to get a tow. The part was replaced under warranty and the towing cost is supposed to be reimbursed by VW. I have no complaint against the dealer but a fuel pump failure at 37,000 miles is unacceptable.

- Homewood, IL, USA

problem #8

Jul 282005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
I was driving down the highway when all of a sudden my 2003 Volkswagen Passat engine turned off. The fuel pump had stopped functioning, so the engine was no longer receiving fuel. My car is only 2 years and 3 months old with 60,000 miles. I have talked to numerous other 2003 Passat owners who have experienced a similar fuel pump failure. This is a $700 service job. From talking to other 2003 Passat owners, this seems like it is a frequent problem that VW should offer to fix. This problem is very dangerous since the car just stops working while you are driving, there is no warning it is going to happen or nothing you can do to prevent it.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #7

Jul 232005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 47,000 miles
I purchase a new 2003 Volkswagen Passat from burlington Volkswagen 2 years ago and have taken it back to the dealership at least 7 times since then for a myriad of problems, from airbag lights coming on to check enginge light to the latest of the car shutting off in the middle of the road.

- Columbus, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jul 152005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,300 miles
VW Passat mainly 2003 experience fuel pump failure without any warning. The car becomes unmanageable, shuts down and stops. This could be potentially dangerous in the higher density traffic resulting in property damages and injuries.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

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