hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,581 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.

1998 Volkswagen Passat brakes problems

brakes problem

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1998 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 212005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles


ABS control module failed. $2200 for part no labor, search online shows massive failures or Bosch 5.3 and 5.3I unit used in Passat and A4.

- Orono, ME, USA

problem #6

May 242005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 79,890 miles
Our 1998 Volkswagen Passat gls 4 cylinder sedan (80K miles) had intermittent warning lights go on for the ABS system and the brakes. The manual states that when the warning lights go on the ABS system is disabled and that the car should be serviced immediately. There was no regular pattern to the lights coming on, but once it started it happened virtually every trip at different times. I drove for about a week with the light on with no apparent loss of braking ability. I did experience a failure of the ABS system while the light was on (on a hill on a rainy day) and so determined it should be repaired. We took the car in to the local dealership and they could not diagnose the problem until the warning lights were on. We came back with the warning lights on and they told us we needed to replace the ABS control module at a cost of $2600. We went ahead and did the repair. We did not keep the previous part. We are distressed that a single part from a safety system is so expensive and that the problem is widespread in Audi and vws. Visit any online car forum and it is filled with stories of this repair. Because this is a safety issue I feel Volkswagen be alerted to this issue and a formal complaint should be registered about this safety system malfunction.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #5

May 202004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Daily driving conditions the ABS light comes on with audible warning and the brake light blinks continuously. Root problem is the ABS electronic module that is malfunctioning. This is a very common problem as much web research has been conducted through online Passat forums.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #4

Feb 212004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,680 miles


My ABS and brake light became illumlinated on the instrument cluster. I had the trouble lights diagnosed at the 70K service and the dealer noted the ABS control module was defective and needed to be replaced at an estimated cost of $1,800. The brakes continued to work, however the anti-lock braking system was not operable due to the failed control module. Volkswagon was unwilling to fix the problem and I have sent the module to an outside vendor for a complete rebuild of the unit.

- Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA

problem #3

Oct 152004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 85,000 miles
1. early on braking (intermittent) and now always at engine startup 2. the ABS brake comes on solid, the brake light flashes, and three beeps on engine startup. This indicates that the ABS braking system has failed. And indeed I currently have no ABS, although the brakes work, and the car cannot pass DC inspection because of the warining lights on the dashboard. 3. I have attempted to diagnose the problem by running the vag-com diagnostics on it. Vag-com cannot communicate with the ABS control module which indicates the ABS control module must be replaced. I am currently in pursuit of a used replacement part or a rebuild of the current module due to the high price of this part from VW and the fact that it has not been recalled. I have also submitted a complaint to VW of America.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #2

Oct 042004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,500 miles
Failure of computer modual for ABS (automatic braking system). ABS system no longer works.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #1

Dec 012003

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles
My 1998 VW Passat has 85,000 miles on it and a problem with the ABS control unit. The ABS light stays on steadily and the brake light flashes with an audible four-chime tone. The VW dealer tested and confirmed that I need a new ABS pump/control. The cost of parts and labor is $2,100. Since purchasing this vehicle, I have had many problems with it from replacing the turbo charger to a complete replacement of the front-end suspension to name a few. VW of America declined to help with this problem because of the mileage. I used to own a Toyota with 250,000 miles on it when I sold it and never had problems with it like I have with this car.

- Algonquin, IL, USA

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