really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
79,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace homelink visor (1 reports)
2002 Volkswagen Passat electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #1

Jun 272008

Passat GLX

  • Manual transmission
  • 79,000 miles


click to see larger images

frayed wiring in sun visor

My Passat first exhibited a problem when it blew fuse 5 which controls the air conditioner, steering wheel controls and the homelink visor on the drivers side. The fuse was replaced and two days later I had smoke coming out of the sunroof, near the visor. After reading another complaint online, I tried to remove the visor to check the wiring. I've attached a picture, but basically the insulation on the wiring had been burned off and the wiring was down to a few strands. I have no doubt that the wiring had been wearing for some time.

As I looked at the wiring I saw sparks. I took the car to the dealer. They wanted to detach the visor from the rest of the car wiring, but the connector was melted. The technician cut the wire and wrapped it in tape since they weren't able to work on the car that day. He pull the taped wire out and laid it against the headliner and put the disconnected visor back so I could still use it. Later that day when I was driving home, there was more smoke and the wire he had taped and gotten so hot that it burned the headliner in the car. I waited until the smoke stopped and then tried to get the car home. Not more than a 100 feet or so and I started hearing popping sounds and more smoke. I stopped the car and had it towed to the dealer.

When the dealer got a chance to look at it, it turned out that the wiring had gotten so hot that at least one wire from the roof area to the fuse box had melted the insulation off of other wires. The #5 fuse never blew, but was instead melted into the fuse box. The dealer had to replace the fuse box and trace all of the wiring in the front of the car to repair or replace any damaged wires. They ended up taking out the dash, and steering wheel. The car was in the shop for almost 3 weeks.

I contacted Volkswagen about this and they initially told me that since the car was out of warranty they couldn't do anything. After working through the service manager at the dealership, VW did finally pay for probably 2/3 of the cost. However, I was still stuck with paying $1000. I've seen other complaints about frayed wiring in the Passat visor and it is my feeling that this represents either a design or manufacturing defect. I've heard from other VW technicians that wiring in this area can go bad, but my situation was unusual. I firmly believe that VW should put out a service bulletin on this problem and should fully cover the costs of the repairs. A quality car should not have frayed wiring in an inaccessible spot of the car. I was lucky that I was near home when this happened. If I had been out on the road, or late at night, things would not have been good.

- , Ann Arbor, MI, USA

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