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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,116 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.

2008 Volkswagen Passat electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #10

Feb 212016

Passat

  • 120,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While driving on the highway in the rain the car would stall which caused us to have to pull to the side of the road. An engine code indicated a faulty part. The part was replaced, then the same issue occurred after a car wash. It was discovered that water had gotten into the wiring harness at an area at the base of the windshield and caused a short. In this area of the wiring harness there is a junction that we were told was not water proof or seal against water. This short damaged the electronic control module which made the car undriveable.

- Edwardsburg, MI, USA

problem #9

Aug 012014

Passat

  • 65,000 miles
While traveling at approximately 50 miles per hour on state highway car suddenly lost all power. Steering became difficult but was able to pull off to side of road and coast into parking lot. Car would not start for 24 hours to move to repair shop. After difficulty diagnosing due to loss of all power, it was determined that the power supply relay was apparently bad. Could find no recall or extended warranty for this issue. Should not happen on a car with so few miles which has been well maintained. Very dangerous and scary issue! was very lucky to be able to pull over in time to avoid traffic.

- Hurley, NY, USA

problem #8

Jul 202014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 75,112 miles
Vehicle has approx one year of difficult starts requiring multiple attempts. On 7/20/14 while driving in parking lot vehicle stalled and refused to restart despite numerous attempts. Towed home. Dtc showed control module for electronic steering column lock leaking. Vehicle refusing to start despite all other electrical components checking out. Check engine light not on.

- Greenfield, MA, USA

problem #7

Jul 162014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The car was parked and would not start even after a check of the battery. The car had no power whatsoever and could not be placed into neutral to tow-the electronic emergency brake was also locked.the vehicle sat two nights in a shopping center parking lot before a towing company could figure something out. The tow was $106 to the VW dealership.the dealer wanted $107 labor charge for each problem. I already looking at a $214 bill for the starting issue and brake.I told the technician if the car starts the brake should release according the operators manual-its electronic.how this happened is a complete mystery as there had never been even the slightest indication.I have seen many, many reports of this same issue with this car on the internet as I did some research after this happened. I received a call from the dealership- the steering wheel module was $565 since the dealership had to move the car and try and get it started, ,,which seems ridiculous to me given that the car only has 90,000 miles. I tried to get some help from VW customer care given that this seems like a design flaw...it really is upsetting to have to pay so much for a car so lightly used with only making 3 monthly vehicle payments and. VW was completely unwilling to work with me in any way. German engineering = german junk!

- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA

problem #6

May 062014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
We came home from a 30 mile trip and parked the car in the driveway. Went in the house and about 5 minutes later heard a big pop sound. I think is was a tire exploding and found the entire engine on fire. Another popping sound occurred and another tire blew. On the drive home there were no problems noted on the dash board. When we got out of the car there were no odors or indication of a fire. My keys were in the house at the time of the fire. Other issues that might be related. This past week my charger got extremely hot to touch and I stopped using it. I also felt the car try to start after I turned it off.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #5

Dec 182013

Passat

  • 40,000 miles
All controls located on the steering wheel went dead, and airbag failure indicator came on. Turning vehicle off and restarting it did not solve the problem. Drivers side airbag seems not to be functional.

- Hudson, WI, USA

problem #4

Sep 092013

Passat 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The car was parked and would not start even after a check of the battery. The car had no power whatsoever and could not be placed into neutral to tow. After 4 days in the shop, it was determined that the entire anti-theft system had burned out and fried the ignition as well. How this happened is a complete mystery as there had never been even the slightest indication that something was wrong before this incident.the entire steering column had to be pulled out of the vehicle and the module had to be replaced. I have seen many, many reports of this same issue with this car on the internet as I did some research after this happened. The price to repair the car was $895, ,,which seems ridiculous to me given that the car only has 45K miles. I tried to get some help from VW customer care given that this seems like a design flaw...it really is upsetting to have to pay so much for a car so lightly used...and could it just happen again? VW was completely unwilling to work with me in any way.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #3

Nov 202010

Passat

  • 24,800 miles
I got home after work Saturday night around 7pm and park my 2008 VW Passat in front of my house and two minutes after smoke start coming out through front grille I open the hood and it small like burned plastic. I sow coil and wire where is connected all melted. I was lucky that this did not happened while I was driving.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #2

Jun 152010

Passat

  • 39,249 miles
Owned the car for 9 months, and have had documented problems for 8 months including a complete failure that required towing. The primary problems are: 1. steering column warning light on - the comfort module and steering electronics were replaced 7 weeks after purchasing the car 2. ongoing intermittent problems starting the car. The car died on 6/15/10, was towed, and the ignition coil was replaced. Current: Car did not start on first attempt on 7/4/10, which is less than 3 weeks later! 3. car burns excessive oil. Need to add oil between scheduled oil changes. In April 2010, oil pressure light came on. Dealer added 2 qts of oil and tank was still not full. Still had 1,000 miles to go before next scheduled oil change. Have had oil added on two other occasions between oil changes. 4. car is sluggish, especially when going up hills. No response or resolution for this, but the car has a turbo engine note: This car has only been serviced by VW dealerships.

- Essex, MD, USA

problem #1

Feb 062010

Passat

  • miles
2008 VW Passat wagon. This car while parked, running and occupied, in a garage had a fire whose point of origin was the area of the driver's seat. The fire investigation determined the cause to be accidental mechanical. The fire caused significant damage to a single family home, damage estimated at about $200,000 also one occupant of the home had to be transported by ems for smoke inhalation. The driver of the car stated she to leave. She placed the 5 year old in the child seat of the Volkswagen and opened the garage door. She started the car and smelt smoke. Immediately shut the car off and called the husband. The husband said that it was probably the seat heater, had her turn off the seat heater and restart the car. She restarted the car smelt and observed smoke again, turned off the car, got out and saw flame underneath the driver's seat. She removed the daughter from the car and took her out to the driveway. She then went back into the garage and removed a gas can from the area of the car/snowblower. She again re-entered the garage and opened the other garage door (both now open) observed flames shooting out of the drivers door of the car. She exited the garage through an interior door, closing it behind her. She then went up into the house removed two dogs to a crate on the deck. In the meantime a neighbor had grabbed the little girl. While all this was happening the mother placed three frantic 911 calls. The owner of the car stated he had had problems with the heated seats in the past and that they had been repaired twice. The last time in November of 2009. The derry fire department has completed its fire investigation, and the car is being turned over to the insurance companies (state farm and Liberty mutual).

- Derry, NH, USA

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