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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,242 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #6

Jan 012014

Passat 4-cyl Diesel

  • 100,000 miles


I have noted when replacing front headlight bulbs that the plastic covering the headlight wiring was deteriorating on all the wires to the point that the wiring was coming in contact with other deteriorated wiring causing a short and failure of the front headlights. The problem appears to be a failure involving a type of plastic covering the internal headlight wires that attach to the bulbs that may be, or likely be failing due to heat causing premature failure of the headlight wires, the headlight bulbs and burned out headlight fuses due to the shorting out of the headlight wires.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #5

Jan 292013

Passat 4-cyl

  • 63,507 miles
Brake lights remained on without brake pedal pressure, and remained on after turning off ignition. I investigated prior recalls and saw: Report receipt date: Feb 20, 2007 NHTSA campaign number: 07V063000 component(s): Exterior lighting I went to local VW for recall repair and was told that brake light repair was already performed in 2004, so this repair was no longer covered. ( I am second owner, so could not confirm.) a 2004 repair on a 2005 model year car for a recall issued in 2007" the brake switch replacement cost $176. Is this not the same recall failure again" I have had many cars and have never had a single brake light switch fail, except for this VW, which as of today has had three! (original, 2004 replacement and now 2013 replacement.) is the recall still in effect" should I have to pay for an obviously defective part replacement"

- Branford , CT, USA

problem #4

Mar 012011


  • 70,000 miles
While driving my 2005 VW Passat station wagon for about 10 minutes, the check engine light flashed. As I was pulling to the side of the road, the battery light came on. I turned the car off and immediately noticed white smoke coming from the hood of the engine, as well as a brown burn circle. I got myself and my daughter out of the vehicle, and called 911. Within 2-3 minutes, the entire engine was engulfed in flames. The firemen informed me that they believe it started with/near the battery. It was considered an electrical fire. The car had not been acting up, nor had the check engine light been coming on in recent weeks or months. The car is a complete loss. The VW Passat was only 6 yrs old, with less than 70,000 miles on it. Regular tune-ups and maintenance was performed on this vehicle. It was shocking how quickly it went up in flames.

- Utica, NY, USA

problem #3

Dec 102010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 71,430 miles


I purchased a new 2005 VW Passat and needed to have two of the ignition coils replaced. In both situations, the car suddenly lost power creating a dangerous situation. In addition to losing power, the check engine light starting flashing and I needed to exit the roadway. I disposed of that vehicle and purchased a certified pre-owned 2005 VW Passat 4 motion. I have now had to have one of the ignition coils replaced. Again I was driving along and the vehicle suddenly lost power and started running very rough. This time I was in an area with very little population and a severe snow storm without cell service.

- New Berlin, NY, USA

problem #2

Dec 202008


  • 41,000 miles
I went to start my 05 Passat and got several error warnings: Airbag fault, esp, check engine, absorber intermittent warnings. This occurred because the transmission control module (tcm) got wet from a (known by VW) water leak problem from the sunroof and HVAC system. VW has a recall to try and seal the leaks, but will not fix results of the leaks. I am lucky I wasn't going down the road when the tcm malfunctioned. I've researched, and this problem is a recurring one with not only Passats, but also golf and jetta models from the late 90S to 2005. A malfunctioning tcm isn't the only electrical component that can be affected by the water leak. The engine control module and climate control module can also get wet and malfunction, causing serious safety issues if this occurs while moving.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #1

Apr 172007

Passat 4-cyl

  • 33,515 miles
2005 Passat air conditioner failure, blows cold air intermittently. Customer states that it blows cold air intermittently then will stop for no reason and blow ambient temperature air. ** the dealer replaced various parts within the ac unit, however the consumer continued to experience ac failure. The consumer believed there was a serious problem with the electrical system or the wiring harness. The consumer stated he replaced two tires due to extreme cupping.

- Cedarville, MI, USA

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