definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,046 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.

2002 Volkswagen Passat electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 062007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles


2002 Volkswagen Passat, wagon, 4 cyl 2.0 L motor. I had 2 occasions where the wiring harness shorted out on the front headlights, once on the driver's side at 75,000 miles, and once on the passenger's side at 40,000 miles. There was no fire, but in both incidents the wires had completely melted to the wiring harness where the headlights were attached. The wires were completely exposed in both incidents.

- North Liberty, IA, USA

problem #6

Jun 182007

Passat 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,425 miles
I own a volkswagon 2002 Passat wagon. I have replaced the coils at least 7 times. I replaced #4 two weeks ago, and #1 & 2 blew yesterday. I took it into livingston Volkswagen in woodland hills, ca., and they told me I needed to have all four replaced, and, , I have complained to corporate, saying this was obviously a defect and was dangerous as the time before last. I was in the fast lane on the freeway, doing 65 mph and the car went from 65 mph to 25D mph in a 10 seconds! not dangerous?

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #5

Jul 052006

Passat 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
When it rains heavily, the air bag fault light and the mil come on. Water gets into the vehicle and shorts out the electronics. Fortunately the Oct. 2005 repair was still under warranty. I was without the car for a week that time. I took the car in July 5th, 2006 for the same thing and have not seen the car yet (7/20/06). Each time the service person calls, I am told that there is more electrical damage. Now the transmission module also must be replaced for $800+. there is obviously a design flaw in the Passat. If you cannot keep the car in a garage, you should not purchase a VW Passat. The dealership is inundated with these cars whenever we experience heavy rain. I have placed numerous calls to VW, and have received no assistance. The response is that the vehicle is out of warranty. Too bad. The car has only 21,000 miles on it. The master cylinder also had to be replaced last year. VW needs to do something about this design flaw.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #4

Jan 072006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles


Water leakage in 2002 Passat 1.8T gls. After rain, water seeped in through faulty pollen filter housing. Fried engine cluster. After being returned, water continued to seep in. It corroded electrical wires and caused many problems. After 5+ dealer visits, no one was able to fix it until I personally stripped all carpeting and found the faulty wire. Dealer had told me filter housing was susceptible to water leakage, and yet he did no fix it...

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #3

Dec 272004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Burning of heat warming wire in driver's seat.

- Westlake, OH, USA

problem #2

Nov 152004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 54,900 miles
Passenger original low beam light failed. Brought into dealer and problem was determined to be a melted wiring harness. I observed the harness behind the bulb and it was melted. Dealer replaced the harness. This was the original bulb and had never been serviced. Taking with the dealer he said they had replaced several in the past week in Passats and I had to wait a week until they got a new shipment in. My concern here is that a melted wire harness should not happen and could lead to a fire.

- Kennewick, WA, USA

problem #1

Sep 192003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at 40 mph, the vehicle vibrated uncontrollably. Without warning then the vehicle stalled. The driver tried to restart the vehicle but was unable to do so. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic informed the driver that the engine needed to be replaced. The dealer replaced the mass air flow sensor and cleaned the fuel pump relay to resolve the stalling problem. The radio was inoperative due to a short in the wiring.

- Upper Darby, PA, USA

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