hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,523 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #85

Sep 222008

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2003 Volkswagen Passat fire the consumer stated while driving a light blinked on the dashboard. According to the owner's manual, it was a light for the catalytic converter. When the consumer arrived to the dealer, the light went out, and they could not find a problem. The light returned shortly thereafter and stayed on. The dealer repaired the light. The ball joints failed, but they were not covered under warranty. Soon, the light illuminated on the dashboard again, that was supposed to have been fixed by the dealer earlier in the year. The consumer continued driving, when suddenly another motorist informed her the vehicle was on fire. The fire department stated the fire was caused by the catalytic converter. The consumer's insurance agent contacted her and advised her Volkswagen was covering all the cost related to the incident, because the fire was a result of a recall that had not been taken care of by the authorized dealer from where the vehicle was purchased.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #84

Jun 172009


  • 173,000 miles
Fuel pump failure on 2003 VW Passat. Driving on interstate and lost power and was lucky to be able to coast to the side of the road. VW has a recall on this part but they claim my vehicle (NHTSA 06V01700 and 07V375000) is not in the VIN range covered. I feel my fuel pump should have been covered in the recall as it is a defective unit and not safe.

- Mcmurray, PA, USA

problem #83

Aug 072008


  • 105,000 miles
I have had the 2003 Passat glx for less than 2 weeks, I have only put 307 miles on it. Today while on the interstate, the car quit pulling. It was not getting any gas. Then it died completely and would not start. It turns over but won't start. Was on the side of the interstate for nearly an hour waiting for a tow truck. Was told that it is the fuel pump.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #82

Jul 062008


  • 77,000 miles


Car stalled several times and eventually would not start. Had it towed to nearest auto repair shop, cost $45. After diagnostic testing they stated there was nothing wrong with it and it started right up, costing another $110 for this information. A few days later car stalled and would not start. Towed once again to VW dealership, cost $155. They discovered it was the fuel pump and replaced it free of charge and also check all other recalls. We received the recall letter the day after the no start. I am asking to be reimbursed for both tows and the diagnostic testing as all cost incurred were due to this recall.

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #81

Jun 262008

(reported on)


  • miles
2003 Volkswagen Passat with coolant system and heated seat recall. Consumer states that the coolant system was under warranty. The heated seats were repaired but now don't work at all. She also states that the gas has been burning out very fast. The consumer stated she was smelling fumes inside the vehicle.

- Suitland, MD, USA

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problem #80

Mar 052005

Passat 4-cyl

  • 32,251 miles
2003 Volkswagen gls Passat with several problems. Consumer states that they have had problems with the fuel pump, cam shaft sensor and more. The vehicle stalled on 2 occasions due to a faulty fuel pump. The consumer soon discovered there was a recall on the fuel pump, however the consumers vehicle identification number was not included in the recall. The front cv boot and timing belt were replaced. The vehicle also had a transmission leak. The drivers heated seat malfunctioned.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #79

Apr 072006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,940 miles


I own a Volkswagen Passat, 2003, 1.8 liter turbo. For the past two years we have been experiencing a hesitation on take off. Sometimes when backing out of the garage the car hesitates really bad. The is my wife'F car and I am afraid the someday it may stall out at a very busy intersection, causing a crash. I have contacted a Volkswagen dearler and he advised that my VIN number does not fall under the VIN numbers of the recall, volkswagon already has in place. I would like to report that we have already had out oil pressure pump replaced and I was wondering if there has been other coplaints of the oil pressure pump failing.

- Wilson, NC, USA

problem #78

Mar 312008

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
Fuel pump failure while driving on the freeway the car quite running. 1.8 liter turbo in O3 VW Passat. Dealer calls and tells us our VIN number is not part of the recall. To call VW of North America and they should cover it. I talk to a women tell her the same thing as above and she ask me to hold while she submits the claim. She comes back on the line after 45 seconds or so and says that they won't cover it. The VIN number is not part of the recall. I ask to speak to a supervisor. I am told there is no one else I can speak to and this is the finally decision of VW of North America. This is not the first failure for this car. Temperature sensor replaced, brake module replaced twice, the heater core replace, the trip tronic shift replaced, instrument panel replaced, the engine flushed for sludge. Cv boots replaced. They're cracked again after 3 months.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #77

Nov 242007

Passat 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,716 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle vibrated and shut off without warning. In addition, the accelerator pedal extended to the floorboard when it was depressed. As of November 26, 2007, the dealer had not inspected or repaired the vehicle. There is a recall for the fuel system, gasoline: Delivery: Fuel pump (NHTSA campaign id number 07V375000). The current and failure mileages were 81,716.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #76

Sep 162007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,730 miles
My car experienced a fuel pump failure as described in a recall notice found on the NHTSA web site. The VIN number of my vehicle was in the range of recalled vehicles. When I contacted the manufacturer (VW) they informed me that my car was not affected by the recall. Well, the car sure was affected by the defect!

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #75

Feb 242007

Passat 4-cyl

  • miles


2003 VW Passat with fuel pump replacement. Consumer would like reimbursement for the cost of the rental vehicle, while his vehicle was having the fuel pump replaced. In the beginning, Volkswagen told the consumer his vehicle was not included in the recall and the fuel pump was not defective. After the fuel pump failed and the consumer paid for the repairs, Volkswagen extended the recall which included the consumers vehicle identification number.

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #74

Sep 242007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,300 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While driving 10 mph, the vehicle stalled. The contact attempted to restart the vehicle, but the stalling continued and the vehicle shut off without warning. The vehicle was towed to the repair shop and the mechanic stated that the fuel pump failed and was not distributing the fuel. The fuel pump was replaced in 2005 under warranty. The current and failure mileages were 101,300. Updated 01-15-08. Updated

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #73

Aug 262007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,131 miles
Vehicle would not start on Aug. 26. starter cranked but engine failed to turn over and start. Dealer diagnosed as fuel pump failure. Vehicle has approximately 88,000 miles. We were informed manufacturer VW has recalled fuel pumps for this make and model year (2003) but not this particular VIN. We also understand VW originally limited recall to an even smaller batch of vins. We believe the fuel pump defect is more extensive than VW is willing to acknowledge. The repair is currently not under warranty and will cost our family approximately $655 to repair, plus towing and car rental costs. We are lucky the failure occurred during a cold start and not on the road, where we could have been stranded in a desert, a storm, or the middle of an intersection with oncoming traffic. This is a major safety concern. After dealer claimed to have fixed problem on Aug. 29,2007, we took the vehicle home and it again failed to start, or even crank. Dealer has towed it back and is reviewing. Updated 01-15-08. The consumer stated the second failure was diagnosed as a failed battery. Updated

- Felton, CA, USA

problem #72

Aug 212007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for routine maintenance when the dealer noticed a failed exterior brake light switch. The dealer stated that the VIN was not included in recall number 07V063000 (exterior lighting:brake lights:switch). The contact felt that the recall should be expanded to include his vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 72,000. Updated 02-01-08 the consumer stated this is the 3rd recall the vehicle was not included in due to the VIN number. The consumer stated the fuel pump problem the company fixed because they could not dispute it. Updated 02/01/08

- Bloomingdale, IL, USA

problem #71

Aug 032007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle came to a complete stop. The dealer stated that the fuel pump malfunctioned and they will not repair the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 74,000.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #70

Jul 182007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
2003 Passat faulty fuel pump. Car experienced total loss of power that could potentially lead to an accident. Despite VW issuing a recall to remedy this problem on certain 2003 Passats, they refused to pay for this repair (replacement of fuel pump - parts and labor).

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #69

Jul 292007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 55,150 miles
While driving 2003 VW Passat the engine stalled out (no fuel) causing near accident by passing vehicles. Drifted to side of road. After 100 mile tow to vincent Volkswagen dealer in rochester, they found no problem. Car did run two days. The same stall-out occurred three days later. Another tow to a dealer (schmitts garage) to attempt to repair. Not sure what the problem is but strongly suspect fuel pump or control system for fuel or fuel line system. There have been previous recalls on some 2003 Passat fuel system items including fuel pumps (potential to cause crash when fail). Was told my Passat was not part of the other 2003 Passat fuel pump/system recall. However, are more fuel pump units bad that VW doesn't realize which could cause major accidents, head on collisions during passing. Filed this with VW customer care. Two weeks prior brake lights did not work and was nearly rear ended. VW dealer replaced defective brake switch which initially wasn't on the recall list but was recently added. Two near major accidents in two weeks due to equipment failures.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #68

Jul 242007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,879 miles
I was driving East on atlantic avenue in delray beach, fl., I made a left turn onto N.E. 4th avenue and within a few yards the car stalled in the middle of the street. Fortunately I was not too far from the fountain square parking lot so I pushed the car into the parking lot to prevent an accident.

- Boynton Beach , FL, USA

problem #67

Jun 052007

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While driving 5 mph, the vehicle lost power and completely shut off. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who determined the cause of failure was the fuel pump. The contact conducted research on his vehicle and found that there were recalls on the fuel pump for the 2003 Volkswagen Passat. He notified the manufacturer who stated that the recalls applied to vehicle's made between September 2002 through March 2003. The contact's vehicle was made in April, therefore excluding it from the recall. He believes that his vehicle is included in the recall. The current mileage is 52,000 and failure mileage was 52,00 updated 02-01-08.

- Lutherville, MD, USA

problem #66

Jun 022007

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,317 miles
While driving 60 mph on highway, car stalled and would not restart. Dealership replaced fuel pump to remedy failure. Old part is available.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

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