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 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,625 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.

2005 Volkswagen Passat accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2005 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #8

Mar 022014

Passat 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


I started the car and immediately turned on my driver's heated seat. Within 2 mins, smoke started appearing on my left side. I realized my seat was starting to catch fire, so I quickly turned off the vehicle. Luckily, my clothes did not catch fire. However, my heated seat burned a hole complete through the leather. This is a major safety issue.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #7

Feb 262014


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated the that front passenger's side heated seat was activated when a high voltage of heat penetrated through the leather seat cushion unexpectedly. The front seat passenger suffered from a burn to the right leg. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The manufacturer was notified and accepted responsibility for the repair expense. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Woodbridge , VA, USA

problem #6

Oct 202011

Passat 6-cyl

  • miles
On 10/20/11, I started my car and turned on the driver seat heater to 2, to warm the seat. I proceeded to drive to a 9 am appointment within 2 miles from my home. After driving just a couple blocks, I smelled a slight burning smell, but thought it normal since I had not used the seat heater in quite some time; it was just like turning the heat on in a home after several months of non-use. Within a few short blocks, I felt a sting in my left leg and thought it could have been a pine needle, so I shifted my body position to alleviate the issue. After a couple more short blocks, another stinging sensation. At the next stop sign, I reached down with my hand to feel what could be causing the stinging of my leg. I felt a hot spot in the left side of my seat and turned off the seat heater since my seat had warmed enough to be comfortable, but I did not think my seat was burning, so I continued on to my appointment. I went in to my appointment and came out to my car an hour and a half later. I noticed what looked like a small cigarette burn in the seat and a horrible smell in the car. I returned home and told my boyfriend about the incident.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #5

Oct 102010


  • 94,800 miles


Small hole has burned into the drivers side seat when heated seats activated. When the seat is activated, it burns through to my skin, making heat feature not usable.

- Fairport , NY, USA

problem #4

Feb 062010


  • 139,200 miles
I own a 2005 Volkswagen Passat gls. The factory installed seat heater malfunctioned the other day producing smoke, burning my buttock (and finger when I reached down) and burning two pea sized holes on the driver's seat. The local VW dealer was aware of the issue. I also called the district VW office at 1-800-822-8987 and notified them of the problem. Apparently VW is covering the cost of repair on some but not all vws. I was told the 2005 Passat is not covered under any kind of extended warranty. However, the district office is investigating the issue and promised to get back to me by day's end tomorrow. To me this is a safety issue. Other then minor burns to my buttocks and fingers, I was able to safely pull over and turn off the seat heater. The heat and smoke went right away. When I asked about the safety, the VW dealer's service department suggested I not use the heaters until they are repaired. I asked about disabling them via a fuse of something but they said unfortunate the fuse controlled other functions in the car. However, I believe this is a safety issue with the 2005 Passat gls. IżM okay but others may not be so lucky. Also, IżM concerned how the VW dealer's service department suggested I just not use it again. What if someone else uses the car and I forget to tell them? the repair bill was estimated at $900+ for the driver's seat only.

- Milford, MA, USA

problem #3

Oct 052009


  • 160,000 miles
Seat heater remained on after switched to the off position. Heat increased to uncomfortable level, in-dash switch became too hot to touch, and smell of burning plastic filled cockpit (no smoke though).

- New London, CT, USA

problem #2

Jan 262009


  • 52,000 miles
I had a 2005 VW Passat heated leather seat burn my leg and seat. Caused by faulty seat heater.

- Millerton, NY, USA

problem #1

Apr 302005

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Customer notices a metal on metal squeaking noise coming from driver and passenger front seats. Noticeable when there is any weight shift of the occupant in the seat such as during acceleration, bumps, corners, etc. Customer unable to determine if the metal on metal noise is from seat back, seat springs or seat mounting. Customer is concerned that this will lead to a weakening of the metal components and the seat will fail during an accident.

- Bridgeport, WV, USA

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