NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2000 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 2000 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. PASSENGER/ENGINE COMPARTMENT FIRES NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE07024

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: May 10, 2007
    • Date Closed: September 28, 2007
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System:Ignition

    Summary: Many of the fire reports allege that the vehicle fire was attributed to ignition coil failure.VW provided additional data regarding its analysis of vehicle fires and a detailed description of the three different engines and ignition systems for the subject vehicles.odifinds the need to further investigate this issue.to facilitate acquisition and analysis of additional information, this investigationhas been upgraded to an engineering analysis (EA07-014).

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE07024 »

  5. ENGINE STALLING NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP05004

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: August 11, 2005
    • Date Closed: December 08, 2005
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System:Ignition:Module

    Summary: By letter received on June 24, 2005, Mr. Ronald M. strickland of raleigh, nc, submitted a petition requesting that the Agency investigate the performance of the ignition coil plugs on model year (MY) 2000-2003 Volkswagen jetta, golf and Passat sedans.the petitioner alleges that he had experienced multiple stalling events as a result of one or more ignition coil plugs malfunctioning on his 2002 VW jetta sedan.as a result of the engine stalling, the petitioner experienced a loss of power steering and increased braking efforts when he pulled the vehicle over to the side of the road to control the vehicle.after a few minutes parked on the shoulder he was able to restart the vehicle although the engine operated at reduced power.VW issued a customer satisfaction campaign (csc) on January 31, 2003 to instruct their dealerships to inspect the vehicles for any malfunctioning ignition coil packs and to replace them at no cost to the consumer.consumers were notified to bring their vehicles to their dealerships via owner letters mailed out on June 6, 2003.while VW initially instructed the dealerships to only replace the malfunctioning ignition coil packs, a revised csc was issued to dealerships in December 2003 and January 2004, instructing dealerships to replace all ignition coil packs regardless of their performance.a reminder to the dealerships was sent by VW on April of 2004.although the concerns of the petitioner could theoretically create a safety problem, the risk is very small, due to the engine still running on either 3, 5, or 7 cylinders.there are no reported crashes or injuries due to the alleged defect.once drivers are aware of the problem (loss of power due to one of the ignition coil packs malfunctioning), drivers are able to take precautionary and compensatory measures and still maintain control of their vehicles.in addition, four fires were reported to ODI.these were ignition coil burnouts with no additional damage to the vehicle and were localized on top of the engine. During the last 24 months the number of stall and drivability complaints reported to ODI has greatly diminished from a peak of 195 in January of 2003 to only 3 in August of 2005.this coincides with the csc released by VW.a safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further use of Agency resources does not appear to be warranted.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #DP05004 »

  6. 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 »

  7. 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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