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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,656 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #7

Dec 292015


  • 90,000 miles


Steering column lock malfunction, the vehicle will turn over but not fire. Every now and then it will fire and then immediately die. Luckily it went out while my vehicle was parked, if it were to malfunction while driving it could be very dangerous

- Upper Arlington, OH, USA

problem #6

Sep 152014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 106,483 miles
While merging onto an on-ramp on a toll road, at approximately 50 mph, the steering tried to pull the car in the opposite direction of the one I was turning. This was a "cloverleaf" on-ramp, with a tight turning angle. I immediately slowed down to about 30 or 35 mph, as I was beginning to come out of the turn and it happened again. I was turning the right and steering would turn the steering wheel to the left for a second or two. I was forced to try to maintain the correct direction and avoid crashing. I brought the car to the dealership, but they were unable to duplicate the issue. It only seemed to happen on this one particular on-ramp at the time. Approximately a month later (on a Monday, 10/20/2014), I was on another similar "cloverleaf" on-ramp but at different location and the same thing happened, while turning to the right. Later that day the same issue occurred while I was turning to the left on a lesser exit ramp, and the steering wheel would "glitch" and try to pull the car to the opposite direction. Being aware that this had happened a couple of times, I was very cautious about my speed on these ramps. Regardless of the speed, the issue would still occur. The next day, the steering issue happened again at a different location, three times while on the ramp, pulling the car in the opposite direction. I brought it back to the dealership that same week on Friday (10/24/2014). They were finally able to duplicate the issue and said I needed to have the entire steering rack replaced. Since the problem was getting worse and could cause an accident, I was forced to have the repair made, which cost more than $1,700. This was a very scary issue and I was very afraid it would cause me to get into an accident.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #5

Aug 012014


  • 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 #4

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 #3

Jul 162014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
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 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 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 #2

May 192010


  • 45,000 miles
I have a 08 Passat and for about a year now I have had a 'steering column lock defective┐ problem. I would have wrote this letter a long time ago but when it started happening my warranty was already expired and it was not as severe, now it can take me anywhere from 5-15 minutes just to start my car and when I do get it started my car sometimes completely shuts off while I┐M driving. I started doing research on this issue and there are a lot of upset VW owners with the same problem. If you google ┐Passat steering column lock defective problem┐ you will see multiple websites and forums. I don┐T understand if so many people are having this problem why there hasn't been a recall?

- Hudson, FL, USA

problem #1

May 152009


  • 56,000 miles
Exhaust pipe broke at the flex pipe. Hot exhaust gas burned through the wiring of the electronic steering rack. Lost steering and then engine shut off completely and not able to be restarted. Exhaust pipe, steering rack & steering wiring was replaced (wiring needs a heat-shield to protect the wiring).

- Vernon, NJ, USA

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