definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,286 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

problem #11

Aug 202012

Passat 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


Fuel tank ventilation valve is cracked and leaking on 2003 VW Passat 4motion/AWD (under NHTSA campaign # 08V156000). Contacted multiple dealers and VW directly and dealership/VW will not replace fuel tank under recall. Both stated this recall was completed in 2009 however work completed was only one part of the recall that included adding additional heat shields. VW customer care stated vehicle was out of warranty and they could not assist. Customer objected stating this is a safety concern not a warranty issue.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #10

Jun 012012

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Volkswagen Passat. Consumer writes in regards to safety recall 26E5/R5 concerning underbody heat shield the consumer stated due to the recall, the fuel pump failed. The consumer was informed it would cost $ $1343 to replace. Recall # 08V156000 the consumer stated even if the dealer performed the recall, she would not feel comfortable in the vehicle. Updated 09/13/12

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #9

Sep 182010


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. While fueling the vehicle, the contact noticed a strong fuel odor and noticed fuel on the ground. She loosened the fuel cap to stop it from leaking but it continued to leak. The contact had previously been taken to an authorized dealer for repair for recall 08V156000 (fuel system, gasoline: Delivery) September 2008. The dealer replaced the fuel line and heat shield. The dealer refused to repair the vehicle again according to the recall. The contact called the manufacturer who took a report and advised her to take the vehicle to the dealer for a diagnosis. The current and failure mileages were approximately 84,000.

- Las Vegas , NV, USA

problem #8

Aug 252010


  • 95,000 miles


Vehicle is 2003 VW Passat 4 motion. A fuel leak was detected in the tank area. Automobile was brought to an independent repair shop where it was determined that there was a crack on the rollover valve. A recall was issued on this car for this problem (recall #(08V156000, NHTSA investigaiton #PE08008) and the necessary repairs were purportedly done by the authorized VW repair shop.

- Clairton, PA, USA

problem #7

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

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problem #6

Sep 052009


  • 149,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. There was a strong odor of fuel outside of the vehicle while it was parked. The contact also observed an excessive amount of fuel on the ground. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection and the technician stated that the failure was contributed to the fuel tank ventilation valve. NHTSA campaign id number 08V156000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery) is related to the failure; however, the VIN was excluded from the recall. The estimated repair cost was $2,000. The vehicle has not been repaired. There was concern of the significant safety hazard. The failure and current mileages were 149,000.

- Great Falls, MT, USA

problem #5

Jul 032008

(reported on)

Passat 6-cyl

  • miles


2003 Volkswagen Passat with recall for faulty seal and heat shield. Consumer had the problem repaired and then received the recalls. He would like reimbursement for these repairs. The consumer stated there was a burning smell coming from the vehicle. The dealer discovered oil leaking from the valve cover and cleaned it. The sunroof tubes and drain plug were replaced.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #4

Jun 272008


  • 49,143 miles
On approx. June 20, 2008 I received a recall notice from VW that there was a safety issue with heat shields and fuel system of my 2003 Passat ( recall notice- 26E5/R5 and 66C8/P9. I made an immediate appointment with my dealership (donaldson"S VW in sayville, NY and got an appointment for June 27. Because I was very concerned with the recall and the fact that the notice advised of a possibility of fire existed, I took my vehicle right down there. I was then advised by the service representative that they could not perform the necessary repairs because they were back ordered on the parts. I was also alarmed when I was told that they had no idea when they could do the repair or when the parts would come in. I am writing this in the event that my VW Passat should malfunction because of a defect that could be expeditiously repaired by the dealer.

- Middle Island, NY, USA

problem #3

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

problem #2

Jan 162003

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles
2003 Passat glx with 2,500 miles had a problem where the car would shut down for no reason while you are driving it. Took to dealer once, no error code, took car home and had problem happena again. Dealer keept car for one week, put 200 miles on it to find bad relay. Dealer said relay was then replaced from one off a new car.

- San Francsico, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 242003

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,500 miles
Defective coils on each cylinder

- Quincy, MA, USA

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