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:
65,539 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

problem #4

Feb 282008

Passat 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,700 miles


1. no event lead up to the failure 2. fuel leak; strong gas fumes within car. Leak & fumes more prominent with warmer weather. 3. VW dealership found gas leaking from (3) locations including nipple & plastic seams where clips are attached. Gas tank was replaced.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #3

Feb 192008

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 69,050 miles
After replacing the fuel pump (under recall) on my 2003 VW Passat in October, 2007, I began to notice a periodic gas leak from around the gas tank. In December, 2007, I had a local mechanic investigate and he could find nothing wrong. My tank leaked again last week.

- Dolores, CO, USA

problem #2

Sep 082007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,905 miles
After filling up my 2003 Volkswagen Passat 4-motion, V6 with fuel, I noticed a strong fuel odor. After inspecting under the car, I found a fuel leak on the gas tank. I took it to our local repair shop that specializes in Volkswagen since I am 140 miles from the nearest dealer to be checked out. They discovered that one of the 90 degree connectors for the vapor line on top of the tank had cracked. The whole tank has to be replaced as you can't just replace the connector. The tank is plastic and the connector has a steel sleeve in it to make it more rigid. On inspection of the old tank, it was discovered that three (3) sleeves on the 3 vent connectors had worked there way out of the connectors so they just sit there and flex until they fail. This type of bad design cvould have resulted in an explosion and serious injury to myself or my family. On contacting VW consumer line they were concerned but not enough to admit a problem or help pay for the replacement as my mileage was too high. Mileage should not have anything to do with those vent connectors failing. I know this is not a unique occurrence since another VW Passat came in two days later to the same repair shop with exactly the same problem.

- Lake Havasu City, AZ, USA

problem #1

Jul 202007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,500 miles
My 2003 Passat with 46,000 miles and regular 5,000 miles service visits recently had two major problems. The alternator went bad and was producing nearly twice the voltage. There were no service bulletins or recalls on this item and was fixed at a significant cost to me. Next was the fuel tank. I first experienced an odor which turned out to be a leak in the gas tank. I am working with an excellent Volkswagen service business which is not a dealership. VW America will only take the word of a licensed dealer. The defective tank is currently being replaced at a very significant cost to me. There are no service bulletins or recalls on my VIN. I understand that a local dealership has had to replace a few of these. This is a very nice car developing a bad reputation. I have safety concerns with this car and wonder what will happen next.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

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