fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,500 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #4

Nov 172006

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles


I've spent over $8000 towards VW dealership attempts at fixing the horn, radio, homelink, climate control (A/C and heat) rear passenger side window, heated seats, dashboard panel lights, and defroster flap. VW replaced ABS and brake light module, but only fixed the horn. VW stated they are not responsible even after I paid for them to fix the above problems and they are still unable to determine the cause of the problems. I request reimbursement from Volkswagen for the repair attempts and related expenses. Current vehicle mileage: 127,000.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 262004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
While driving on interstate highway I observed smoke billowing in my rear view mirror. I pulled off highway and found a fire in engine compartment which I extingushed using an extingusher. The fire was caused when a plug at the rear of the engine fell out causing the engine oil to empty onto the exhaust system which caused the fire. The temperature at the time was well below zero. I was told the plug in the aluminum block engine was made of steel which heats and cools at different rates and appears to have caused the plug to fall out. The car was a total loss per my insurance and Volkswagen. The car is a 2003 VW Passat wagon glx 4-motion.

- Plainfield, VT, USA

problem #2

Sep 012002

Passat 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Loss of power to climate control, cruise control, headlights (low beam), some interior lights, radio display, steering wheel controls, home link transmitter. Apparent short in driver side sun visor. Visor was replaced under warranty and everything returned to normal.

- Allen, TX, 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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