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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,433 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.

2004 Volkswagen Passat body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #7

May 072014


  • 85,000 miles


The Passat ignited in our driveway at 4:00 a.M. it had not been started/driven in a week. We woke to the sound of the tire bursting. There is a houston police department /arson case # 140397V - phone # 713-247-8900. Inspector gee. He said the ignition area of the car was the start of the fire. I think he was arson department. The car was totaled. We are lucky we did not loose our house and neighbor's if we had not heard the tire blow. I am not exactly sure of the mileage but know it was low for the year and think it was below 90,000...updated 05/02/16

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Dec 072014


  • 92,000 miles
I noticed there was a considerable amount of water on the passenger side carpeting. I checked all drainage locations for blockage (I.e. plenum, sunroof). All were clear. The water found it's way into the vehicle by way of a faulty (disintegrated) seal beneath the pollen filter housing. The car had 92,000 and was out of warranty. However, I found that there was a service action P9/66C8 applicable to my vehicle for which I was to be notified by VW in 2008. I am the original owner of the car and reside it the same address since 1978. The vehicle was sold directly to me by a VW dealer brand new in October 2004 and registered to me at my home address. I never received any notification. The corrective action noted on the P9/66C8 included directing the dealer to "install an improved seal for the pollen filter". I contacted VW customer care and they did not acknowledge that the service action existed and consequently there was no reason for them to contact me in 2008. They lied and I have a damage vehicle that gets flooded whenever it rains. I was compelled to make the immediate repairs at my own expense since the transmission control module (tcm) is located beneath the passenger side front seat of this car. Should the water get inside, it could cause damage to the transmission function. If this were to occur while driving the vehicle, a potential for personal injury to the vehicle occupants exists along with any damage to the vehicle itself. VW has failed to take responsibility for a defect known to them. VW has instead chosen not only to hold me financially responsible for the defect of their product but to also expose me (and other vehicle occupants of this vehicle) to potential hazards as a result of the failure risk associated with a flooded tcm.

- Farmingdale , NY, USA

problem #5

Nov 082012

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 114,000 miles
Power train issue: Bad torque converter (tc). Why a safety issue" it can fail while on the highway sending debris into the transmission causing a catastrophic failure. Caused by a bad seal gasket. Technical bulletin # 2011908 address the issue in 2007. But the tdis were not included in the TB [same tc & transmission], and this is a very common problem in many VW, Audi and BMW vehicles, including tdis. E.g. VW & Audi: BMW: with a P0741 error: Dtc results: 17125 P0741 003 torque converter clutch circ. Performance or stuck off intermittent if you do a web search for: P0741 error code transmission torque converter the results are startling, it seems that VW, Audi and BMW all have the same issue with tcs, "my understanding is the internal tc seals were not up to the task on the original tcs of that era....including Audi". "if the problem is not addressed then the transmission will over heat due to the slippage and you will need to replace the transmission." it seems that this should of been fixed under warranty, there was a recall for non-diesel vehicles service bulletin: 2011908. The tc is the same in all B5 models. so why was the tdi S not covered" ------------------------------------ body: Doors: Won't unlock from outside by remote or unlock button from inside.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 292011


  • 92,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated whenever it rained, water began to build up on the floor board behind the drivers back seat. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 92,000.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #3

Oct 282008


  • 75,001 miles
We have a 2002 and a 2004 Volkswagen Passat sedan and wagon. Both have suffered motor mount leakage and both have broken water pump dispellers. We have replaced the water pump parts and are saving up to replace mounts on both vehicles. This seems to be a weak part for Volkswagen. We are constantly going to get something fixed which is not a typical repair for automobiles from other companies.

- Hudson Oaks, TX, USA

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problem #2

Jun 012006


  • miles
2004 VW Passat 4-motion passenger vehicles are at high risk for a drainage clog related to the sunroof. This can occur even when the sunroof is in the down or closed position. The leak will cause water to pool in the right front passenger seat floor and can cause mold and a very smelly and potentially hazardous condition for the comfort and breathing of all passengers. Having attempted repairs, I do not believe that VW is adequately able to address this problem; is attempting to minimize or conduct sub-standard repairs; and are returning vehicles with mold to consumers while stating that there is no mold. This appears to be a design flaw that cannot be fixed.

- Trumbull, CT, USA

problem #1

Dec 012004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30 miles
Water coming into front passenger seat resulting in damages to the tcm (transmission control module), wet carpeting, and rust under the passenger seat. The transmission module failure resulted in vehicle not able to shift into higher gear, and delay acceleration. The tcm and carpeting was replaced.

- Millwood, NY, USA

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