hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,377 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2002 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Aug 282014

Passat 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles


I was driving the car about 30 minutes prior to incident traveling at approximately 45 mph with my child in the car and without warning of any kind my car shuts off and I almost got rear ended. I was able to coast to the side of the road put the vehicle in park tried starting the vehicle and it started right away. I drove vehicle home without incident. I took the vehicle to a mechanic and they couldn't find a problem no engine codes where present. I drove the vehicle for a week and this same scenario played out again I wasn't driving the car any further at this point because again I had my child in the car and again also got rear ended. Had it towed to a different mechanic and they to were unable to find any engine codes or problems. I had my boyfriend drive the car home and it stalled on him at a red light. Car wouldn't restart so he had to push the vehicle across a lane of traffic to the shoulder of the road. When the car cooled down for 2 hours it restarted and drove fine no check engine light or codes present.. after a month of headaches with the car we discovers it was a faulty engine speed sensor this is a very dangerous part to fail without warning leaving the car powerless if this happened on the freeway I wouldn't have been so lucky I imagine.

- Hemet , CA, USA

problem #26

Jan 012014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
There is a dangerous gas leak from the previously recalled fuel tank that is not damaged by the road, or other debris. The recall needs to stay open.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #25

Aug 232013

Passat 6-cyl

  • 196,000 miles
Concerning Volkswagen recall 08V156000. Summary: Volkswagen is recalling 412,000 my 1999-2005 Passat (5th generation) vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions and produced after June 14, 1999. These vehicles may have an underbody heat shield that can become damaged. In addition, affected vehicles with automatic transmissions may have a fuel tank ventilation valve (4motion/all wheel drive only) that can leak due to fracture. Consequence: A heat shield that may contact the exhaust system can result in a vehicle fire. In addition, a fuel leak from a fuel line or fuel tank ventilation valve, in the presence of an ignition source, can lead to a vehicle fire. Remedy: Dealers will install additional underbody heat shields on vehicles with automatic transmissions to cover the possibly damaged areas. Dealers will also inspect the fuel tank ventilation valve on 4motion/all wheel drive vehicles, and replace components if necessary free of charge. The recall began on June 13, 2008. Fast fwd to 2013. Our gas tank is now leaking out and there's every indication it's a ventilation valve. The recall work was complete on this car in 2008, although the dealer service order did not specify the fuel tank ventilation valves were inspected. The work ordered specified installing the heatshields only. VW dealer will not cover costs of checking the ventilation valve given they said the recall work was already performed. Who holds dealer accountable for properly completing recall inspection /maintenance?

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #24

Oct 012012

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that after refueling, fuel spilled out of the fuel tank. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 08V156000 (fuel system, gasoline). The failure mileage was 109,000. Updated 07/10/13 updated 07/11/2013

- Manfield, TX, USA

problem #23

Sep 022011


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. While parked, the contact noticed a strong fuel odor around the exterior of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the mechanic stated there was a leak near the top of the fuel tank. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 08V156000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery). The vehicle was included in the recall and was repaired before the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 113,000.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

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problem #22

Jul 142011


  • 136,618 miles
My fuel tank is leaking for the 2nd time in 2 years. In 2009, I smelled fuel when the tank was full. I took it to the dealer and they said the tank was cracked and had to be replaced, which I paid for. In 2011, the exact same thing occurred. The dealer is paying for the replacement. This concerns me that there may be a problem with the fuel tanks in the 2002 VW Passat. I'm not sure if this is the same issue that has been reported earlier and sort of recalled under the heat shield problem. If it is the same issue as that, I shouldn't have paid for the repair in 2009. Could you please investigate the fuel tanks...the escape of fuel scares me!

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #21

Apr 012010


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that fumes were entering the vehicle through the ventilation system and the check engine light was illuminated. The contact also mentioned that due to the failure, the vehicle was unable to pass state inspection. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure and stated that in order to find the cause of failure, they would have to drop the fuel tank. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since because the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 08V156000 ( fuel system, gasoline: Delivery). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 120,000.

- Valley Cottage , NY, USA

problem #20

Jan 272011


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. After adding fuel to the vehicle the contact smelled a strong odor of gasoline inside the vehicle. The contact was able to continue driving without incident; however, after the vehicle was parked the fuel tank was leaking. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop where they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 120,000.

- Bristol, CT, USA

problem #19

Aug 232010


  • miles
I own a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. It has stalled while driving and unable to start right away. It sometimes fails to start when I get in, then starts again later. The fuel pump/fuel line failure has left me stranded in the middle of the road on several occasions and I have also been stranded, while waiting for my car to start again. I believe there is a recall for this problem and I would like to know what I can do about it in order to remedy this issue w/ my 2002 Passat.

- Paia, HI, USA

problem #18

Aug 012010


  • 89,500 miles
Fuel tank leaks when 7/8 to 8/8 full. Leaking gas damages asphalt and poses a fire threat.

- Avon, CT, USA

problem #17

Mar 282010


  • 123,000 miles


Fuel leaks when gas tank is more than about half to three quarters full. Very strong odor inside and outside vehicle. Some wetness around fuel tank, but no visible drips when inspected by owner. When driving at 60 mph soon after filling tank, fuel range indicator decreases by 5 miles for every 1 to 2 miles travelled. Assuming normal fuel consumption should be 20 mpg, in 1.5 minutes vehicle should use 0.075 gal, but actually uses 0.250 gal so the leak rate is approximately 0.12 gal/min or 45 ml/min. Such leakage would be evident as drips if the leak was below the liquid level when the car is stationary so it is suspected to be in the area of the gas tank vents. Vehicle has not yet been inspected by VW. (vehicle was recently purchased used from private seller without maintenance records).

- Isle Of Palms, SC, USA

problem #16

Feb 092010


  • 155,000 miles
While driving home last night, my 2002 VW Passat began to lose power and cut off. I was able to let it coast to the side of the road but in the lane of an exit ramp for traffic exiting the highway. I engaged my flashers and called 911 and a tow truck. I tried starting the car again and it would not crank. Once the police came, he pushed my car into safety and awaited the tow truck. My car was towed to the VW dealer. This morning, I received a call from the dealer who said the fuel flow to the engine was interrupted and caused by a inoperative fuel pump. My complaint is when I checked online for recalls, I found a recall that was posted in Sept 2002 for the same issue I am having with my car. My car was purchased in Feb 2002 and the recall is for 2003 models. I called VW of America and explained the issue with them and the only offer they gave me was $1000 towards a new VW. Unbelievable! because the recall was for 2003 models, they could not assist me because my vehicle is a 2002. Even though I am having the same issues with my vehicle as the 2003 recall. The dealer quoted $589 for the repair. This stall could have been worse than it was due to the inclement weather, night time and the exit ramp. This should be included in a safety recall because there is no warning before the vehicle cuts off which causes a potential for a crash, which is what I was faced with last night. I am not asking to be singled out, but to look into this 6-month gap of the recall in Sept 2002 and the purchase date of my vehicle Feb 2002. I was also told at VW of America that they could only assist me with my issue if my VIN number matched the recalls. So my question, what if the stall of my vehicle caused an accident and serious injuries or fatalities were involved, would VW look into the 2002 recall then or just tell the families, sorry, you didn't have a 2003.

- Yorktown, VA, USA

problem #15

Sep 102009


  • miles
I am a the owner of a 2002 Volkswagen Passat 4motion with an automatic transmission. I am contacting you to seek action in regards to NHTSA campaign number for a recall for faulty gas tanks. I purchased this car as a certified used vehicle in 2004. I took the car to a VW dealership 4 times with a problem with something leaking under the car, and told there was not a leak found. After smelling gas, and finding fuel on my garage floor, the dealership was able to determine that the vehicle had a cracked fuel tank, and repaired the vehicle for $3000. After complaining to VW of America, the costs were covered and shortly thereafter I received a recall letter for the same issue. Now, one year later, I again smelled fumes, and found gasoline on the floor. The dealership stated that it is the same problem. VW of America has offered to cover the cost of the repair. My car is parked in our garage where our gas hot water is located. The fuel on the floor was no more than 15 ft from the hot water heater. Had there been a spark, I am certain that there would have been a major fire, with potential fatal outcomes. I will not bring this vehicle back to my house for fear of a repeat failure. I also have concerns selling a defective vehicle to a 3rd party knowing the potential severe safety hazards. Volkswagen has clearly designed a faulty product they refuse to stand behind, and as a consumer, I will have to incur a finanical loss to replace this vehicle. These problems stem from negligent design and are a very serious potentail hazard. The 4motion cars should be removed from service and compensations should be allowed to owners. I desperately seek your assistance on this issue to review whether a second recall may be necessary. Thank you for your assistance.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #14

Sep 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
Hello, my name is robert campbell and I am a the owner of a 2002 Volkswagen Passat 4motion with an automatic transmission. I am contacting you to seek action in regards to NHTSA campaign number 08V156000, which clearly indicates a recall for faulty gas tanks on this particular make/model due to fractured ventilation valves. Upon purchasing the car as a certified used vehicle in 2006, I had to have the gas tank replaced within the first week of ownership due to this very same defect. This was covered by the two year warranty provided by the dealership. A week ago, my gas tank started to leak again. Fuel is now leaking on the exhaust system creating a severe safety hazard. Upon inspection by the dealer, they have surmised the second tank has once again failed - due to a fractured ventilation valve. Both Volkswagen of american and my local dealer are refusing to acknowledge this recall and will only replace the tank if I agree to repair costs totaling $1,800. Volkswagen has clearly designed a faulty product they refuse to stand behind, and as a consumer, I should not be financially obligated to pay for repairs that clearly stem from negligent design. I desperately seek your assistance on this issue and will gladly offer my full cooperation.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #13

Aug 112009


  • 77,000 miles
I put gasoline in my car. I began smelling gasoline and noticed the fuel meter hadn't registered the increase in fuel. I was stopped at a stop light at this point. I heard a big boom and then people around me were shouting at me to "get out of the car". I looked to the right and noticed flames shooting up the right side of the car. I jumped out of the drivers seat to safety. A good samaritan was able to grab a fire extinguisher from a near by business; and another person came running out of a nearby business with another and the were able to extinguish the fire. The flames were primarily under the vehicle and toward the passenger side. Police and fire personnel arrived on scene. Made sure fire was completely out; then pushed car to safety. A tow truck was called, as my car was completely un-drivable (all the belts, hoses were melted, including the brake cable). The tow truck driver (also a mechanic) told me that the fuel injector had exploded. He then said it was a defect; a manufacturer issue.

- Mill Valley, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 082009


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign id number 08V156000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery) and immediately called the dealer. The contact was informed that they would repair the vehicle according to the remedy; however, if the heat shields and another component became damaged during the installation, he would have to pay for the repair. The vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer did not assist. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 90,000.

- Hallandae, FL, USA

problem #11

Jan 142009


  • 91,000 miles
Suddenly felt strong gasoline smell inside the vehicle (not a result of accident or any other occurrence.) the problem was diagnosed as a fuel tank leak. The gas tank had to be replaced. The VW dealer in sunnyvale, ca, refused to pay for the costly repairs.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 202008


  • 51,300 miles
Vehicle leaked a large amount of fuel (~4 gallons in 3 days). No fire, but there is now a large hole in my driveway. Shop says leak is from top of engine.

- Wayne, PA, USA

problem #9

Jun 172008


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. While driving approximately 30 mph, the contact noticed smoke coming from the front end of the vehicle. She pulled over to a local service station and noticed that the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames. The fire was extinguished by a representative at the service station. Weeks later, the contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign id number 08V156000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery). She is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure and current mileages were unknown.

- College Park, GA, USA

problem #8

Jul 012007

Passat 8-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
For the past nine months I have smelled gas when I filled my gas tank past half full. I checked for recalls on your website last month an came across the VW Passat fuel tank safety recall. Since my car was at the dealership to take care of yet another problem, I told them about my gas smell problem and informed them about the recall. I told them that it only occurs when the gas tank is past half full and told them to put gas in it and test it. When I picked up the car they hadn't done the gas tank test. The service advisor looked up the recall and found information on the gas tank safety recall R5 and printed out a faq sheet. He informed me that they didn't have the new tank for the recall and he expected them on May 30th. He told me to contact him and make an appointment to have the tank replaced once they had the parts in. I called the dealer on May 30th and made an appointment for today June 3rd. I brought my car to the dealership and I was informed by another service advisor and she couldn't find any Volkswagen recall covering my VIN. The service adviser I spoke to when I had picked up my car after the repairs I had done in may came over. He recalled obtaining the information and searched for it again and it wasn't listed. They let me call Volkswagen customer service. The VW customer service representative said that there wasn't a safety recall on the my Volkswagen W8. I told him that it smells like gas when the gas tank is filled past half full. He said he would contact the service manager at the dealership I was at and see what could be done. I read the information on your website involving this recall and it seams pretty clear that any 1999- 2005 model year Passat with a gasoline engine is covered. I have a 2002 VW Passat W8 with 4motion. One of the responses from VW lists VIN number ranges, but mine doesn't appear to be within that range. I think that VW erred in their investigation and didn't look into the W8.

- Durham, CT, USA

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