really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,167 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.

2003 Volkswagen Passat accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 292005

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Consumer owned Volkswagen Passat 2003. The driver's seat would automatically go forward while consumer was driving. Consumer was unable to reach seat controls, but later she found that they would not work anyway. The seat motors were replaced twice. The last time was less than six months ago. On July 29, 2005 consumer's vehicle was involved in an accident. The seat pushed consumer into the steering wheel and she was not able to move. Then vehicle struck something on the side of vehicle and came to a stop. Consumer was able to manually move seat backwards. Consumer stated that manufacturer knew about problem. Consumer sustained neck injuries, and she was unable to walk with cane because of neck injury. Suffered pain in head and shoulders.

- Lona Linda, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 212003

Passat 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 3,500 miles
This is portions of a letter sent to the customer complaint section of the www.VW.com website on June 22, 2003. I am writing to report a potentially serious passenger safety issue regarding the electric front seats in the 2003 Volkswagen Passat glx on a rainy afternoon, my six year old son and I got into the car in a parking lot. I put him into the rear passenger side of the car and he secured himself with the seat belt. I went around to the driver's door and entered, putting the umbrella into the foot well of the front passenger seat, with the handle resting on the front seat edge. As I started the car, without my noticing, the umbrella handle fell between the seat and inside door, activating the lever to recline the front passenger seat back. My son yelled something about the seat and I turned to see the seat back lowering toward his legs. He could not move out of the way because of the seat belt. Without knowing what had happened, I could not immediately find a way to stop the seat from reclining further. I turned off the ignition and pulled the key out, but the seat continued downward onto his legs. At the last second I realized what had happened and pulled the umbrella handle off the seat lever as the seat back lowered onto my sons knees, pinning him into the rear seat. After I raised the seat, my son complained of pain in both of his knees. In checking out the seat later, I found that the front seat back has no stop, ratchet or release to prevent it from lowering forcibly into the rear seat cushion. The seat continues downward into the cushion until the motor strains to a stop. * nlm

- Cranford, NJ, USA

problem #1

Sep 192002

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
I recently leased a VW passatt station wagon and things have gone wrong with it even before the car had 300 miles on it. The car has less than 5000 miles on it and it has spent some 10 days at the repair shop. Defects have included a transmission that would disengage, heated seats that would not turn off, A/C and side mirrors that would not work, a module had to be replaced, the car had to be aligned, the front spoiler fell off, a speaker had to be replaced, part of the trim on the back was falling off, the memory settings on the driver's seat were not working, and the sun roof was rattling. The sales department has responded to all my calls by saying that I need to talk to the service department or to VW corporate directly. I have done both, when I called VW corporate they responded that as long as the car was driveable they would cover it under warranty and would not replace the car. They offered me a lube job as a settlement!

- Glendale, AZ, USA

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