really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,200 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.

2001 Volkswagen Passat electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Nov 102014


  • 180,220 miles


So I got rear ended at the other party's fault at high speed while I was at a stop sign and they neglected to stop pushing me into an intersection full of traffic...no airbags deployed..and since my heater doesn't work but passenger seat heat burned my 12 year old daughters butt...anyone help? I just want heat for my babies..below zero here :( thank you!! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Watertown , SD, USA

problem #29

Jun 202014


  • 104,435 miles
I was driving on I-95 at approx. 78 mph when the car suddenly says stop! brake failure! see Volkswagen service. In my research on the issue, I've found this happens on almost all 1998-2001 VW Passats and Audi A-4S. This needs to be addressed.

- Ashland, VA, USA

problem #28

Oct 112013


  • 152,000 miles
ABS module is out, can't get emissions passed unless I pay over 600 dollars. Also I don't have ABS, can't see if my check engine light means anything because I'm told it all gets re routed thorough the ABS module and can't get past that problem.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #27

Mar 102011


  • miles


The first things that is happen is that my digital instrument panel blink in and out and the second is that water be running in the car compartment on the passenger side.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #26

May 172011

Passat 6-cyl

  • 157,000 miles
2001 Passat glx my ABS light/brake light/asl light flash on my dash panel randomly during the day which points to another failed ABS module. I get the three beeps that accompany the flashing lights. This happens about 10 times a day or more. I can feel a kick from my brake pedal when this happens during braking.

- Searcy, AR, USA

problem #25

Feb 172011

Passat 4-cyl

  • miles
Headlamp wiring harness melts.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #24

Nov 072010


  • 165,000 miles


Class action law suit settled with VW for oil sludge. This makes no sense by the time the settlement was reached my 2001 VW Passat, 1.8 turbo was not covered. 7 or 8 weeks ago I took my vehicle into the VW dealer (halmark VW of madison) they told me I had a sludge problem and did not even mention that it was a known problem or that the law suit was underway- very sneaky. They told me to replace my engine or to change the oil every 1000 miles for awhile. My ABS and computer module failed at the same time with no one taking responsibility for it. Now I have the problem but have no way to get it resolved.

- Goodlettsville, , TN, USA

problem #23

Dec 202010


  • 160,000 miles
Ignition coil failure after 13 months after VW replaced all 4 coils under prior recall.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #22

Aug 052009


  • 175,000 miles
My foster son was driving our 2001 VW Passat when he noticed a large amount of smoke coming out from under the hood. He pulled over into a parking lot and there were flames engulfing the passenger compartment. Fire and police were on the scene. It was determined by the fire department and a mechanic that looked at the car later that the fire started in the computer located in the dash area of the car. The car is a total loss with the passenger compartment melted beyond repair. We have a fire report and pictures.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #21

Sep 152008


  • 51,323 miles
Faulty wiring for tail lights, brake light, turn lights. Replaced fuse, replaced brake and tail light bulbs eight times, this correct the problem for one day. Bought new kit to replace old brake, tail light, turning light. This worked for approx. Two months now nothing works.

- Greer, SC, USA

problem #20

Mar 122009


  • 35,000 miles


Front ball joint failure at approx. 35,000 miles. Then a lower control arm failure at 95,000 miles. Old control arm is available.

- Marion, NC, USA

problem #19

Dec 122008


  • 64,445 miles
Dec 12th 2008 the interior of my passt was flooded with water, VW service removed 10 + gallons of water which entered from air plenum /pollen filter hosing(cabin area). Service informed me of the P9 recall for the Passats manufactured Nov '00 to Dec '05. But, VW of America will not help me they said my VIN # is not in the recall. The computers are on the floor of car. Air bag is in default damage from electrical damage from water damage.. my trans mod is wrecked from the water damage, just the part alone will cost $1,300. I have lost work and can not drive. The make of car & year is in recall so why is my VIN not included?! someone please, please help me.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #18

May 152008


  • 115,000 miles
My 2001 VW Passat ABS module became defective after 1 year of owning car from the original owner. Not sure if original owner had done repairs/replacements of the unit. Now there is no communication between the car computer and the module, therefore no ABS brake is active. ABS light stays on and brake light flashes intermittently. There are also 3 beeps when car has been started. I am a very unhappy consumer of VW due to their faulty vehicle equipment and has deter me from purchasing any VW in the future. I have recently just had a repair to replace my maf sensor, 2 ignition coils, 4 spark plugs again after purchasing brand new ones just a month prior. It was very costly!!

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #17

Sep 202008


  • 60,000 miles
Warning light and beeping sound on dashboard comes on frequently (about half the time) saying stop ABS brake. According to mechanic, many many vws have the same problem (something to do with ABS control module) which can cost $2,000 to fix at a dealer), and he's surprised there isn't a recall for it.

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #16

Sep 102005


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 55 mph, the "stop vehicle do not drive", and oil pressure warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. The indicators remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer and they repaired the engine. The previous repair required the vehicle to remain at the dealer for one month. On three separate occasions, the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for identical failures, but there were no resolutions. In addition, during rainy weather conditions, five inches of water leaked onto the front passenger side floor panel. There was electrical failure due to the water leakage that caused gear component damage. Recently, the contact received a recall notice that consists of installation of a drainage filter and fuel system component repair. The vehicle has not been repaired for these malfunctions. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The failure mileage was 36,000 and current mileage was 85,000.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #15

Apr 072008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
I have had my 2001 VW Passat for 7 years now and have had it in the shop multiple issues including warped rotors (front and back), cracked chasse, electrical issues and various other problems. Before having this car, I had a Toyota for 8 years and in the 8 years I had the Toyota, I only had it in the shop for routine maintenance. This car is disappointing and everyone I talk to who has a similar model/year says the same thing. I think the 2001 VW Passat is a lemon.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #14

Apr 022008

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Volkswagen Passat. While parked in the driveway, the vehicle burst into flames underneath the hood. The fire department stated that the fire was due to an electrical malfunction. The vehicle only had liability coverage; therefore, the insurance company would not investigate. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact will give the manufacturer a report. The current and failure mileages were 87,000.

- Souderton, PA, USA

problem #13

Jan 272008


  • miles
My car is a 2001 V6, we had heavy rain during the past week and one morning my car had a puddle in the passenger side and failed to start or even put in gear the mechanic explained the transmission computer was flooded and it took 4 days for them to take all water out of the car and test all sensors.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #12

Jul 142006

(reported on)


  • miles
Mechanic refuses to repair 2001 Passat electronic control system. The consumer stated the problem had been mis-diagnosed on more than one occasion. The vehicle had an oil hose leak.

- Mahwah, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jan 302006


  • miles
Consumer has had three instrument clusters replaced in his 2001 Volkswagen Passat. According to the dealer and manufacturer this problem is rare and is likely a wiring problem. The manufacturer hasn't taken any steps to permanently fix the problem, instead they just keep replacing the instrument cluster.

- Portland, OR, USA

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