definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,300 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #1

Dec 032005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,300 miles


2001 Volkswagen Passat low mileage of 21,000 miles. Normally garaged and maintained according to schedule. After rain, found an inch of water in rear passenger floor. Transmission non-functional, air bag warning light and other warning lights on. Dealer said the pollen filter seal was no good and that water leaked in and destroyed the transmission control unit which is located in the floor behind the passenger seat. Cost of repair in excess of $3,100. VW refuses to compensate in any way because warranty was only for two years. Transmission and power train are covered for 5 years, but VW says the failure was due to "outside influence". I have read many accounts on the internet from many angry owners of similar problems where leaks from this seal have caused catastrophic repairs. The service manager at the VW dealer told me that checking the pollen filter seal is not part of any regular maintenance and that in order to check it, you'd need to disassemble quite a few things in the engine compartment. When I asked him how an owner could possibly know if the seal needed replacement and he replied "you found out how". I am clearly not alone in having experienced a failure from a part that is not in any way maintainable (the pollen filter seal) and that has caused major damage to the car. I feel this is a consumer issue and that this is a design defect in the Passat that VW should compensate owners for. There is no way for an owner to be able to avoid this situation -- it is not a matter of maintenance. It got to do with the Passat leaking water and the location of an extremely expensive component in the rear passenger floor, the area where any water that leaks migrates to. If this failure had occurred during driving, I might have had an accident.

- Sag Harbor, NY, USA

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