really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
4,000 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 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Volkswagen Passat:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2001 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #11

Oct 212003

(reported on)


  • miles


While traveling 40 mph driver attempted to shift from third gear to fourth gear and throttle stuck. Consumer immediately put the gear shift into neutral to release the throttle. Vehicle was taken to the dealership.

- Hartsdale, NY, USA

problem #10

Nov 182002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
Windshield wipers do not work on rainy days making it difficult to see out the windshield. A lady hit my car on the right side collapsing that side along the doors and some of the rear and the air bag did not deploy. I put my feet on accelerator for speed and the car refuses to respond. The more I accelerate the slower the car goes.

- Rosedale, NY, USA

problem #9

Mar 172003

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
Car went into passing gear while passing slow vehicle on two-lane road. When pass was completed and foot was lifted from accelerator pedal, car continued to accelerate dangerously even though accelerator pedal returned to normal position. Only by shifting into neutral, braking with both foot and hand brake and switching ignition off was driver able to bring vehicle under control avoiding collision with other car ahead in same lane. After a minute, driver attempted to resume journey and restarted engine in park. Engine raced to full RPM. The malfunction indicator lamp (mil) and electronic power control (epc) and airbag warning lamps were lit at this time. Driver switched off ignition, deemed vehicle unsafe to drive, and called for local VW dealership to send tow truck. After waiting for tow truck about 30 minutes, driver restarted engine normally. No warning lights were showing except the air bag light, but driver elected to wait for vehicle to be towed.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #8

Sep 282002

Passat 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles


As consumer entered the parking lot, the vehicle all of a sudden accelerated, consumer had no control over the vehicle and subsequently crashed through some large boulders and into a ditch, the side airbags deployed, however the front air bags did not, consumer suffered injuries.

- Helena, MT, USA

problem #7

Jan 052001


  • miles
Consumer stated the vehicle experiences hesitation when pressing on the accelerator, after stepping on the accelerator pedal and receiving no immediate response, the vehicle after a moment will lunge foward spinning the wheels on wet, snowy and or icy pavement, consumer has taken vehicle into dealership on numerous occasions, codes have been reset, spark plugs have been replaced, the idle was adjusted to help with the rough idle, the fuel filter was replaced, the dealer stated possibly a throttle body problem.

- Queensbury, NY, USA

problem #6

Aug 022002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While at a stop applied brakes and vehicle started to accelerate up to 50 mph. Consumer could not stop vehicle, and it rearended another vehicle. No injuries, damage to vehicle unknown at this time.

- Sayreville, NJ, USA

problem #5

Sep 152001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


When at a stop or driving transmission will not shift to higher gear. Engine will race, RPM's go up, and vehicle will not accelerate. Vehicle has been taken to dealer 4 times, cannot remedy the problem.

- Greschen, OR, USA

problem #4

Mar 052002

(reported on)


  • miles
My VW Passat has a problem with hesitation upon acceleration. My dealer has had other complaints but VW of America seems unaware of it and has not provided a fix. I am currently talking with vwoa and working my way up the chain of command. Picture this: I am leaving a gasoline station, accelerate slightly to the station exit, check traffic in the curb lane on a 45 mph limit city street, see there is ample room to merge in front of the nearest car, press the accelerator - and nothing happens - for as long as 3 seconds! I now accommodate for the possibility of it happening by waiting for a large gap in traffic, sometimes to the irritation of the driver behind me. It is very bothersome: An accident waiting to happen. When the problem does occur, it is always at slow speed, around 10 mph, after a short acceleration and after lifting my foot from the accelerator and reapplying pressure. The tachometer is at 1000 RPM and sits there for 1 to 3 seconds, then rises quickly to the point where the engine speed engages the transmission and acceleration begins. I have tried pumping the accelerator which does not seem to shorten the hesitation time.

- North Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #3

Jun 112001

(reported on)


  • miles
There is a bizarre acceleration lag in vehicle when consumer applies pressure to gas pedal. Dealership examined vehicle for two weeks, and informed consumer that there was a problem with acceleration of vehicle, but would not inform him what problem was. When consumer attempted to contact better business bureau, dealership informed consumer that vehicle was operating normally. Please provide any additional descriptive information of the problem or attachments regarding this problem.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #2

Apr 262001

(reported on)


  • miles
Auto has cruise control. The owner's manual indicates that there is a cruise control indicator light on the dashboard. When the cruise control is on/engaged, no indicator light shows on the dash. Morong VW (the falmouth, Maine service center we use) and the VW customer service hotline indicate that despite the owner's manual statement that cars with cruise control have a cruise control indicator light, none is installed in 2001 VW Passats. They both indicated that no repairs would be made to this problem, despite my request. In my view, it is potentially dangerous for there not to be an indicator showing the cruise control to be engaged. I've never owned a car or been in a car with cruise control that did not have such a light. Without the light, there is higher risk of inadvertent engagement, or failure to remember that the system is engaged, both potentially dangerous situations. Is there any regulation that requires such a light? thanks for your time.

- South Portland, ME, USA

problem #1

Dec 162000


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Cruise control was set at 65 mph with about 400 miles on vehicle, and brakes did not turn off cruise control. Vehicle did not stop. Driver had to use emergency parking brake, and crashed into vehicle in front of him. Upon impact, driver's and passenger's airbags did not deploy, which did not protect the occupants. VW did not give consumer a loaner car and could find nothing wrong with vehicle.

- Mountainview, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?