NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 1999 Volkswagen Passat

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 1999 Volkswagen Passat, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. PASSENGER AIR BAG LID FAILURE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA03020

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: October 07, 2003
    • Date Closed: April 23, 2004
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: This investigation involves the Volkswagen (VW) passenger supplemental inflatable restraint (psir) lid utilized in MY 1998-2002 VW Passat.the psir lid may detach from the instrument panel during air bag deployment.the Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened the preliminary evaluation on May 23, 2003 to determine whether alleged psir lid detachment presents an unreasonable safety risk to passengers in the vehicle.ODI's investigation reveals that detachment of the psir lid during air bag deployment may occur for two reasons: 1) the shape of the psir lid, and the length of the attaching tether, may snag the air bag during deployment applying additional pressure on bolts that fasten the lid to the instrument panel (ip); and/or 2) the original psir lid design (subject vehicles) utilized six grade 4.8 mm carbon steel tack weld bolts which may not be as strong as the new design psir lid consisting of six grade 8.8 mm carbon steel press bolts that are heat treated.ODI concludes that detachment of the psir lid is a defect because the lid should remain attached to the ip after deployment of the airbag.however, after analyzing VW's responses, and test data collected by VW and faurecia, the psir lid supplier, ODI believes that further investigation would not likely identify a safety-related defect trend because a detached psir lid and parts do not project towards a passenger during deployment of the airbag.the test data shows that the airbag pushes a detached psir lid upwards into the windshield during deployment, and away from the passenger compartment.it is highly unlikely that a passenger would contact the psir lid or associated parts during air bag deployment.therefore this engineering analysis (ea 03-020) is closed.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist. For a detailed discussion of the psir lid and testing, see the attached report.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA03020 »

  2. PASSENGER SIR DOOR MOUNTING STUD FAILURE NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE03021

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: May 23, 2003
    • Date Closed: October 07, 2003
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: ODI opened a preliminary evaluation (PE03-021) based on two reports of failed bolt studs that attach the passenger supplemental inflatable restraint (psir) door cover to the instrument panel (ip) on the Volkswagen (VW) Passat (model years 2000, 2002).VW has indicated to ODI that it has no additional reports.VW implemented a process change on March 1, 2002.this process change consisted of changing the bolt application that fastens the psir door to the ip from a weld on application to a press on application.VW also changed the material of the bolt.VW stated that the changes were made to ease production by eliminating a welding process.ODI has upgraded its investigation to engineering analysis (EA03-020).

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE03021 »

  3. PASSENGER ENGINE COMPARTMENT FIRES NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA07014

    Component(s): Electrical System:Ignition
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Exhaust System

    Summary: The manufacturer notified NHTSA on 04-Apr-08 that a safety recall action would be initiated to remedy the issue.in June 2008, the manufacturer issued a technical service bulletin (code 26E5/R5) regarding the specific procedures to be employed in this campaign.vehicle owner notification letters were sent beginning approximately June 13, 2008.the campaign was assigned NHTSA no. 08V-156.this recall affects all MY 1999-2005, 5th generation gasoline-powered Passat sedans and station wagons.approximately 412,000 vehicles are affected.corrective action will consist of installing additional exhaust system heat shielding to mitigate the potential thermal effects of engine ignition problems.based on this action, the subject ea has been closed.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA07014 »

  4. STUCK-OPEN THROTTLE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA04017

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline:Fuel Injection System

    Summary: Vwoa has recalled approximately 28,300 MY 1998-99 A6 vehicles in cold weather states that experienced the highest rate of throttle icing incidents in the subject vehicles (04V-495).the failure rate in the A4 and Passat vehicles is much lower than in the recalled vehicles.ODI will continue to monitor the experience in the A4 and Passat vehicles.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists for the Audi A4 or VW Passat vehicles.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by a change in circumstances. For further details see the attached closing report.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA04017 »

  5. POWER BRAKE BOOSTER VACUUM BY-PASS NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ99008

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #RQ99008 »

  6. ALLEGED PREMATURE TIE ROD FAILURE NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP05003

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: August 08, 2005
    • Date Closed: December 09, 2005
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Steering:Linkages:Tie Rod Assembly

    Summary: On August 2, 2005, ODI received a petition submitted by Ms. Miriam schneider of olney, md, requesting an investigation of allegedly defective tie rods in certain model year (MY) 1999 Volkswagen Passat vehicles not included in two previous safety recall campaigns (identified henceforth as the subject vehicles).in a September 1999 letter, Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VW) notified the Agency that an undetermined percentage of MY 1998-1999 Volkswagen Passat and Audi A4, A6, and A8 vehicles contained a safety-related defect affecting aluminum tie rod ends in the steering system.VW indicated that it was possible that some tie rods would not seal properly which could allow moisture and dust particles to enter the swivel bearing mechanism, resulting in premature wear.the approximately 22,200 Volkswagen and 29,700 Audi vehicles affected by this recall (identified by NHTSA recall no. 99V-248) were built from January 1998 through July 1998 and fell within a specific vehicle identification number (VIN) range.in November 2000, VW chose to expand the scope of the recall (identified by NHTSA recall no. 00V-414) after it determined that some potentially defective aluminum tie rod ends may have been installed in an additional 44,000 Volkswagen and 39,000 Audi vehicles built from August 1998 through April 1999.these subject recall actions were not influenced by ODI.instead, VW made an independent determination to conduct a recall after german vehicle inspection authorities notified it of ┐worn┐ tie rods and factory inspection of some ┐worn┐ tie rods revealed improper sealing.according to a December 2004 report, the petitioner brought her MY 1999 Passat to an authorized Volkswagen dealer for an unrelated recall repair where she was notified by service personnel that, after 59,000 miles traveled, the tie rods ┐have too much play, ┐ and the recommended repairs would not be covered free of charge because her VIN (wvwna63B1xe499116) was outside the recall range.in June 2005, after 65,400 miles traveled, the petitioner paid $588.59 to replace worn inner and outer tie rod ends on both sides of the vehicle.the petition letter specifically requests that the scope of VW's recall be expanded to include the petitioner's vehicle and that she be reimbursed for the cost of the repairs.there are a total of 191 non-duplicative complaints to ODI and VW that allege premature wear of either one or both outer tie rod ends in the subject vehicles.as of November 18, 2005, ODI is not aware of any allegations of tie rod separations resulting in a loss of vehicle control, crash or injury in the subject vehicles.the petitioner's vehicle was manufactured on June 8, 1999 using revised steel tie rod ends and therefore was already equipped with the tie rod ends used to remedy defective vehicles in the subject recalls.analysis indicates that there does not appear to be a safety-related defect trend with respect to the steel tie rod ends used in the subject vehicles.in view of the foregoing, it is unlikely that NHTSA would issue an order for the notification and remedy of the alleged defect as defined by the petitioner at the conclusion of the investigation requested in the petition.therefore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the Agency's safety mission, the petition is denied.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #DP05003 »

  7. FUEL TANK PUNCTURE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA00028

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control:Linkages

    Summary:

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA00028 »

  8. FUEL TANK PUNCTURE NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE00033

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: August 10, 2000
    • Date Closed: December 28, 2000
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control:Linkages

    Summary: The Office Of Defects Investigation opened this investigation on August 10, 2000 based on 9 reports regarding punctured fuel tanks involving the jetta, Passat, and cabrio models.the reports indicate additional reports in its response to the preliminary evaluation.this investigation has been upgraded for further study.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE00033 »

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